Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
Department Romance Languages
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major Minor
Spanish majors focus on learning to speak Spanish fluently, to understand language more fully through the analytical tools of linguistics, to explore the history and culture of Spanish-speakers through coursework and study abroad, and to gain expertise in literary analysis and appreciation by reading and analyzing texts produced by Spanish speakers across many cultures and over many centuries.

Why Study Spanish at W&L?

A strong foundation in Spanish is a powerful complement to any profession, while coursework in Spanish-language literature, culture and linguistics, with an emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and analyzing a second language, prepares students for success in post-graduate study in Spanish as well as many other academic fields.

Completing the Foreign Language FDR

One of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements at Washington and Lee is proficiency in a foreign language. The Department of Romance Languages offers coursework towards language proficiency to fulfill this requirement.

Opportunities for Students

An extended study abroad experience sets students on the road to linguistic and cultural fluency and is strongly encouraged by our faculty.

In Lexington, students are encouraged to live in Casa Hispánica, a university theme house for speakers of Spanish. Students in Spanish are also involved in the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program (ESOL), which facilitates communication within the increasingly diverse population of Rockbridge County. Other opportunities for Spanish students include the annual Romance Languages Poetry Night and the Spanish-language literary magazine, PLUMA. A native Spanish-language teaching assistant conducts twice-weekly conversation tables in the university dining hall, regular office hours, and weekly conversation-based cultural activities open to all students at Casa Hispánica.

Students may participate in the honors program, which allows engagement in original research with a faculty member on a topic of interest. Completed projects are invaluable assets for graduate or professional school.

After W&L

Spanish majors have gone on to pursue graduate study as well as careers in which language and cultural proficiency have proven invaluable. A number of graduates have won Fulbright fellowships. Recent examples include:

  • Kendre Barnes ’13, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Panamá
  • Anna Paden Carson ’16, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Colombia
  • John Dannehl ’17, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Spain
  • Jared Shely ’18, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Colombia

Matthew Bailey

Department Head

Shirley Richardson

Administrative Assistant

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.