Our students choose one of three main areas of focus for their studies: Spanish, which encompasses the entire Spanish-Speaking world through courses taught in Spanish; Latin American Studies, which explores Central and South America and the Caribbean through more courses taught in English, and Latino/a Studies, which focuses on U.S. Latina/os through courses taught in English. The three areas not only make connections with each other; they also frequently cross-list courses with Film Studies, Gender Studies, History, Sociology, and Critical Social Thought, providing a broad and complex set of course offerings as well as breadth of vision as a department. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College’s Learning Goals and the Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies Department Learning Goals.

Latin American Studies Major

The interdisciplinary Latin American Studies major requires a minimum of 40 credits. Majors choose a primary area of interest and plan their course work in close consultation with their advisor. They’re also expected to take at least two courses in other areas and to have a command of Spanish or Portuguese. For more detailed information, please see the Latin American Studies section of the course catalog.

Spanish Major

A major in Spanish at Mount Holyoke leads to proficiency in the language as well as a deep understanding of the many issues relevant to Spanish-speakers abroad and in the U.S. Spanish majors examine the past, current state, and emerging realities of Latin America, Spain, and the Caribbean in intermediate and advanced-level courses that adopt a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, including literary studies, film and media studies, social history, and politics. The major requires a minimum of 32 credits and can include up to 20 credits from study abroad.

If you have studied Spanish in the past and are thinking of taking your first Spanish course at Mount Holyoke, your first steps are to fill out the Spanish Proficiency Questionnaire and take the Spanish Placement Exam. The results of your test will be sent automatically to the department and be made available to you immediately if you use your Mount Holyoke account. Your score will indicate the appropriate course for your level. For more detailed information, please see the Spanish section of the course catalog.

Latin American Studies Minor

The interdisciplinary Latin American Studies minor requires 20 credits.  Compare your course work to the Latin American Minor Checksheet. For more detailed requirements, see the Latin American Studies chapter of the catalog.

Latina/o Studies Minor

The Latina/o Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the history, culture, and experiences of Latinas/os in the United States.

The department also offers a minor in Latin American studies. Compare your course work to the Latina/o Studies Minor Checklist.   

Spanish Minor

A minimum of 20 credits is required for the Spanish minor, including 212, Preparation for Advanced Studies. For course advice see the description under the spanish major and compare your course work to the Spanish Minor Checklist.

Detailed information on required credits and courses for the major and minor can be found in the Spanish chapter of the catalog.

Latin American Studies Program, Five-Year Cooperative Degree Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown

This five-year cooperative degree program offers exceptional undergraduate students at selected institutions the opportunity to complete the requirements of both the bachelor’s degree and the master of arts degree in Latin American Studies at Georgetown within a five-year period. Qualified Mount Holyoke students should declare their interest in the cooperative degree program during their junior year and apply by May 1 of their senior year. Applicants should have demonstrated academic strength in Latin American content. For more information, contact Lowell Gudmundson at 413-538-2378. The contact person at Georgetown University is Julie Walsh,

Five College Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

The Five College Certificate in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies enhances rather than replaces the more traditional major, minor or certificate available at the individual schools and can complement the student's major field of study. Under the guidance of an appointed faculty adviser for the program at each campus, students design a sequential, coordinated and comprehensive course of study drawing on the faculty specialists and course offerings at the five campuses

Teacher Licensure in Spanish

Have you considered a career combining Spanish and Education? MHC offers a Teaching Licensure Program for those students majoring in Spanish and who would like to obtain a license as Teacher of Spanish in grades 5-12. There area number of possible programs of studies –including the option of studying abroad- that outline different options regardless of whether students start their study of Spanish at MHC at the beginning or the advanced level. For example:

First Year: Fall: Spanish 101; Spring: Spanish 199 or 201, Psych 100;

Second Year: Fall: Spanish 2019, Spanish 212, Psych 233; Spring: Spanish 200 level above 212, Psych 230;

Third Year: Spring: Spanish 200 level above 212, Spanish 300, Educ 263; Spring: Spanish 300 (culture of Spain), Educ 205;

Fourth and Final Year: Fall: Educ 300 (cannot be taken at any other time), Spanish 360 (Language Methods Course, Spanish 300; January: Educ 320; Spring: Student Teaching;

You may print out the Teacher Licensure Spanish Study Programs List from the Student Resources page.

MHC has a well-earned reputation as one of the Commonwealth’s outstanding institutions for the preparation of educators, and is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students who are thinking about pursuing a teacher licensure during their undergraduate career should contact Sarah Frenette at to schedule an initial advising appointment.