Majoring in a world language opens doors to a number of exciting careers and allows you to work and communicate with people from all over the world. As the official or national language of more than 20 countries spanning 4 continents and the native language of over 400 million people, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. With some 40 million speakers in the United States and a long history in the U.S. Southwest, Spanish is a local as well as a global language.
In the Languages, Literatures and Cultures (BA) - Spanish and Hispanic Studies major, you will gain a number of transferable skills that make you attractive to employers. These include excellent interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, the ability to understand and analyze different cultures and perspectives, flexibility in thinking and adaptability to new environments, collaborative work skills, and the ability to research and synthesize information from a variety of sources.
Spanish language skills are useful in careers in business, health care and social services, government and foreign relations and service industries. Majoring in a world language is also an excellent idea for students who would like to live and work in other countries.
Employment: World language majors have excellent job prospects after graduation. According to a 2013 study, world language majors with experience had strong rates of employment, particularly compared to other humanities and social sciences majors. Experienced college graduates with a major in world languages had average earnings of $52,000, and graduate degree holders had average earnings of $63,000.
Spanish majors find jobs in the Foreign Service, FBI, CIA and NSA; translation and interpretation; travel and tourism; international relations; international business and human resources; journalism, writing and public relations; health care and social services; human rights; and in museums, schools and other educational settings.
Graduate School: Students who choose to continue their education often stay at Appalachian for the Accelerated Master’s Program in Romance Languages. Other students pursue MA and PhD degrees at other universities, or continue on to degrees in law or medicine.
A minor is required. Common choices include: Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), Global Studies, Psychology, Anthropology and History.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Sigma Delta Phi, Epsilon Omicron Chapter - Appalachian’s chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society. For information contact Dr. Catherine Fountain.
- El Círculo Hispánico, A social and cultural club for students interested in Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures. For information contact Dr. Catherine Fountain.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
In the last two years, LLC faculty members have led service-learning trips to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Ghana. Read more
Prerequisite placement tests are used to assess incoming student levels of language ability, to better advise them which courses to take and to assist in class level placement.
- The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers a variety of courses related to Spanish-language cultural and literary expression, and also in career-oriented areas such as translation, business Spanish, and Spanish for the health professions.
- The department offers students small class sizes and individualized attention and mentoring. Students have the freedom to choose a course of study that aligns with their personal interests and career goals.
- Students are encouraged to study abroad and have a variety of programs to choose from, both in Spain and Latin America.
- Faculty members include students in their research and frequently present in regional conferences. Faculty research interests include contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature, creative writing and translation, the acquisition and teaching of pronunciation, Mexican literature and popular culture, Afro-Hispanic studies, indigenous languages and cultures of the Americas, U.S. Hispanic literature, Andean studies, and language diversity and variation in the Spanish-speaking world.
- Faculty regularly host immersion weekends where students prepare meals together and engage in other activities, all without the use of English.
- Students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have completed 90+ hours can take 4 classes that count as both undergrad and graduate credit toward a Master’s Degree in Romance Languages.
On campus only
- Foreign Service
- Translation and interpretation
- Travel and tourism
- International relations
- International business and human resources
- Journalism, writing and public relations
- Health care and social services
- Human rights
- Schools and other educational settings
Dr. Kevin Kennedy