UMass SealUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst - 2007/08 Guide to Undergraduate Programs
[ Home ][ Undergraduate Admissions, Expenses, & Financial Aid ][ Academic Information ][ Schools & Colleges ]
[ Departments & Programs ][ Other Academic Opportunities & Services ][ General Information ][ Site Index ]
Department & Program Listings
[ Departments & Programs A-D ]
[ Departments & Programs E-L ]
[ Departments & Programs M-R ]
[ Departments & Programs S-Z ]
[ Departments & Programs - Show All ]

Spanish and Portuguese

Spanish and Portuguese | Courses | Faculty

418 Herter Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: José N. Ornelas
Office: 422 Herter
Phone: (413) 545-4921

Director of Program: Associate Professor Luis Marentes. Undergraduate Program Director: Professor José N. Ornelas. Professors Fagundes, Patai; Associate Professor Russotto; Assistant Professors Amaral, Barbón, Gubitosi, Zecchi; Lecturers Ameal-Pérez, Cunha, Rivera-Rábago. Adjunct Faculty Ben-Ur, Bernabe-Ramos, Espada.


The Field

The Spanish major is designed to enable students to acquire competence in the Spanish language and attain the linguistic, cultural, and literary knowledge necessary to understand the Spanish-speaking world. Acquaintance with the language and many forms of culture of the Spanish-speaking world has become essential in the age of global communications and the internationalization of economic, political, cultural, and social life. Moreover, the study and appreciation of the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of almost 400 million Spanish speakers in Europe and Central, South, and North America, including various Latino communities in the United States, have intrinsic value and are central to a comprehensive liberal arts education.

A major in Spanish, one of the most widely spoken languages, provides the student not only with communication skills but also with an integrative and cross-disciplinary exposure to a wide variety of literatures and cultures within the Spanish-speaking world: the regions of Spain influenced by Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions; the many countries of Latin America where European, African, and Amerindian peoples interacted to form rich and complex cultures, and the Latino communities in the United States with their rapidly growing populations and their increasing prominence in American life. The faculty of the department is fully committed to passing on to students the intellectual benefits to be gained from comprehensive knowledge of a diverse culture that has contributed greatly to the ideas, values, and accomplishments that have profoundly shaped the global community.

The Major

The Spanish major offers courses in literature, linguistics, culture, and civilization. The literature courses not only emphasize literary analysis, but also give insights into the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. All the department’s courses also develop language skills. As a complement to the Spanish major, students are encouraged to obtain certificates or undertake minors as available in areas of related interest such as Latin American Studies, International Relations, Modern European Studies or Women’s Studies.

The undergraduate major in Spanish consists of 36 credits. Entering students who wish to major in Spanish and are at the intermediate level are urged to take SPANISH 246 or the SPANISH 232/242 sequence.

I. Advanced Language Preparation (9 credits)
311 Advanced Grammar
319 Introduction to Literary Analysis
378 Spanish Phonetics

II. Major Core (12 credits)
Two of the following:
320 Literature of Spain I
321 Literature of Spain II
322 Literature of Spanish America I
323 Literature of Spanish America II
370 General View of Hispanic Linguistics
415 Culture and Civilization of Spain or
417 Culture and Civilization of Latin America

III. Junior Year Writing
(3 credits)
313 Spanish Composition II/Junior Writing

IV. Upper-Level Courses (12 credits)
Four additional courses at the 400 level or above are required (not including SPANISH 465), chosen with the adviser’s approval. With permission, up to two of these may be substituted with courses at the 300 level or above in areas related to the major (History, Anthropology, Art, Political Science, Communication, Sociology, etc.).

Education Abroad

The program sponsors several programs abroad: the Salamanca (Spain) summer program, a fall semester in Granada (Spain), and a spring semester in Oviedo (Spain). Students may also participate in other exchange programs in Spain and in several other Spanish-speaking countries. The program works closely with the International Programs Office to facilitate arrangements for foreign study for Spanish majors and minors, and strongly encourages both to take advantage of these programs or to participate in other semester or academic year programs in Spain or Latin America.


A grade of C or better must be obtained in each course required for the major. No Pass/Fail courses taken at the university will be accepted for the major.

A minimum of 15 of the credits required for the major must be earned in courses taught at the university.

Teacher Preparation

Majors planning to teach Spanish at the secondary level must apply formally to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) office in the School of Education, Furcolo Hall. The application should be submitted as early as possible in order to plan the program, which includes both the foreign language major and the necessary courses in professional education. Students entering the program of foreign language teacher training must pass the Communication and Literacy test prior to entering this program, and the Massachusetts Educator Certification Subject Area test before student teaching. For further information about the Foreign Language Teacher Training program, contact Assistant Professor Amaral, tel. 545-4790, or the STEP office, tel. 545-4397, or see the website, for information about provisional certification.

Required Courses for Secondary Level Teaching
Students are normally required to complete a major in Spanish, which includes courses in language, literature, culture, and linguistics. In addition, they are required to complete 23 to 26 credits in courses in professional education and in practica. Study abroad in a Spanish-speaking setting is strongly recommended for those seeking a teaching career. To satisfy the linguistics requirement students must take at least one Hispanic linguistics course. Students may also take additional linguistics courses in other departments, if they wish: LINGUIST 101 People and their Language; LINGUIST 401 Introduction to Linguistic Theory; LINGUIST 411 Introduction to Psycholinguistics; or EDUC 670 Language and Language Learning.

The following are the education-related courses:

EDUC 524 The Work of the Middle and High School Teacher
PSYCH 305 Educational Psychology or
EDUC 594I Psychology in the Schools
EDUC 377 Multicultural Education or
EDUC 597R T.E.A.M.S. (Leadership Tutoring in the Schools)
FRENCHED 572 Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages or equivalent course in Spanish
EDUC 592S Microteaching: Pre-practicum Field Experience
SPANI-ED 500U Student Teaching
EDUC 510 The Teacher in the Middle and High School Classroom
EDUC 615J Workshop in Education

Students completing this program receive the Provisional Certificate with Advanced Standing, which enables them to apply for a teaching post. They then have five years in which to complete coursework for the Standard Certificate, which generally entails the completion of a Master’s program.

Information about the Massachusetts Teacher Test is available on the Massachusetts Department of Education Website at Registration forms may be requested on-line.

Career Opportunities

Many professional and vocational opportunities are open to majors in Spanish. In addition to preparing students for graduate studies in Spanish and other academic fields for which the knowledge of Spanish is necessary or useful, the major provides grounding for careers in teaching, translation and interpretation, diplomacy, health, government, law, banking, insurance, journalism, marketing, public relations, and international affairs, among many others. With these possibilities in mind, students are urged to consult their advisers in the department as soon as possible to plan wise choices of appropriate courses.

The Minor

The minor in Spanish consists of 15 credits, at least six of which must be taken in the Spanish and Portuguese unit. None of these credits may be taken Pass/Fail, and a grade of C or better must be earned in each course.

(3 cr) 311 Advanced Grammar

(3 cr) Choice of one: 301 Conversation I, 312 Composition, 378 Phonetics, 465 Business Spanish

(6 cr) Choice of two: 320, 321, 322, 323

(3 cr) One upper-level elective, 330 or above (except 378, 465), chosen with the adviser. (This course must be taught in Spanish.)

Note: Students must see their adviser regarding courses for the minor.


Contact: F. Fagundes or J. Ornelas
Office: 406 or 414 Herter

Contact: D. Patai (Brazilian)
Office: 402 Herter

Phone: (413) 545-2887

The Field

The program for the undergraduate Portuguese majors provides students with a general knowledge of the language and literatures of the Portuguese-speaking nations (including Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tome e Príncipe, and Cape Verde) as well as of the contributions made to American culture by the thousands of Portuguese, Brazilian and Cape Verdean peoples living in the United States. The Portuguese major allows the student to concentrate on the following areas: Portuguese language, Portuguese or Brazilian literature, or African Literatures of Portuguese Expression (ALPE).

Majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad in a Portuguese-speaking country; advisers should be consulted.

The Major

The undergraduate major in Portuguese consists of 36 credits. None of these credits may be taken Pass/Fail, and a grade of C or better must be obtained in each course. Entering students who wish to major in Portuguese and are at the intermediate level are urged to take PORTUG 246, an intensive course that enables them to begin the major the following semester.

I. Pre-major preparation:
(6 credits)
301 Conversational Portuguese I
311 Advanced Portuguese Grammar

II. Major Core:
(9 credits)
315 Portuguese Civilization or
316 Brazilian Civilization
Choose two of the following three:
320 Introduction to Portuguese Literature I
321 Introduction to Portuguese Literature II
322 Introduction to Brazilian Literature I

III. Upper-level courses
(18 credits)
To complete the major in Portuguese, the student is required to take six upper-level courses. Two of these courses may be taken in areas related to the major (History, Political Science, Anthropology, Art, Literature, etc.). Courses taken outside of the department must be at the 300 level and above. All upper-level courses must be chosen with the adviser’s approval.

IV. Junior Writing Requirement (3 credits)

Career Opportunities

Majors in Portuguese may enter a teaching career either in bilingual education or at the traditional secondary level (Portuguese as a Second Language). For further information, see the Teacher Preparation guidelines under Spanish. School of Education courses required for state certification are often incorporated into the undergraduate program. There are many other career opportunities open to Portuguese majors such as: private business and industry; community related services; federal government. Portuguese majors may do a certificate program in an additional area entitling them to a wider range of professional objectives.

The Minor

The minor in Portuguese consists of 15 credits, at least 6 of which must be taken within the department.

1. Choice of two: 301 Conversation I, 311 Advanced Grammar, 312 Advanced Composition. (With departmental permission the above may be waived in the case of native speakers.)

2. Choice of two: 320 Introduction to Portuguese Literature I, 321 Introduction to Portuguese Literature II, 322 Introduction to Brazilian Literature.

3. One upper-level elective (above the 300 level) chosen with an adviser from among departmental offerings.

Spanish and Portuguese | Courses | Faculty