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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Undergraduate Programs

The Spanish and Portuguese Program here at UMass combines strong academic programs with personalized advising to attract a rapidly growing number of majors and minors. Although Spanish is a particularly popular choice of today's students, many also work toward dual degrees; combining a major in Spanish or Portuguese with majors in a wide variety of fields. With careful planning, most students find ample time to fulfill requirements for a double major. For majors with regional or global interests, additional certificate work in Latin American Studies or International Relations is an attractive option. Other options include our Catalan Minor or our recently developed Spanish & Health Certificate.

Besides offering an array of language, literature, and culture courses, the department hosts numerous activities for its majors throughout the year (including but not limited to: a beginning-of-year reception, career and study abroad nights, an end-of-year reception and awards ceremony for graduating majors, a Spanish Club, the Lecture Series and the Café Series). We recently developed the Undergraduate Research Program (URPro) which will help to foster an opportunity for major students to partake in a dynamic research experience in which the student works directly with a faculty member and gains firsthand knowledge of academic research.

In regards to studying abroad, the department offers a summer program in Salamanca, Spain; a spring semester program in Oviedo, Spain; a fall semester program in Granada, Spain; and a program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2005, the Institut Ramon Llull has sponsored a Catalan Language & Culture Studies. The addition of this language allows our students the opportunity to study about and travel to more regions than ever before.

Students who wish to undertake advanced studies within Spanish and Portuguese, may choose to do a Departmental Honors track. Departmental Honors (DH) is an Advanced Scholarship track of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). Students may complete DH as part of the full CHC curriculum, which includes Honors General Studies, or they may complete DH alone. All DH students are members of CHC. We offer an Honors track in Spanish and an Honors track in Portuguese. Our Integrative Experience contemplates either study abroad or service learning for all our majors. In addition, students have to take two classes: one before and one after their study abroad or service learning experience.

Career Opportunities

Spanish and Portuguese majors develop foreign language skills that are increasingly in demand in today's global economy. University graduates hold a variety of positions in a wide range of fields but most have found employment in one of the following areas:


With Spanish now the foreign language of choice for the majority of U.S. schoolchildren, there is a growing demand for Spanish graduates certified to teach. Some graduates also find career opportunities in English as a Second Language (ESL) or Bilingual Education. Elementary teachers in schools with large concentrations of Hispanic/Latino students find their knowledge of Spanish helpful in teaching youngsters not yet proficient in English. Do you want to be a Spanish teacher? Apply to the Spanish Secondary Teaching Education Program.

Banking and Financial Services

The explosion of international business activity has led to a tremendous need for many banks to hire bi- or multilingual overseas representatives and international officers, and for domestic banks to hire similarly skilled staff to assist non-English-speaking customers.

Government Jobs

Many UMass graduates work for the local, state or federal government as administrators, teachers, counselors, and social workers. Foreign language skills are essential for a wide range of federal government positions, especially in the State Department, the International Communication Agency, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Services, the Peace Corps, Head Start, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and VISTA.

Other Fields

Many graduates of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese bring skills gained from study and their experiences abroad to such fields as social work, international law and other areas of the legal profession, the print and broadcast media, health care services (see our Spanish & Health Certificate), advertising and sales, publishing, translating, travel and tourism, teaching and research at colleges and universities, and consulting firms.