(Department of Romance Languages)

The Spanish major consists of nine courses above the 103-104 level. These nine courses include 301, any course 200 level or above, 401, and 402.

The major seeks to provide training in literary analysis and linguistic expression, as well as an appreciation of Hispanic civilization, through the study of the major writers of the Spanish-speaking world.

Students majoring in Spanish and who are also registered in Latin American Area Studies may replace one of their Spanish electives with an Area Studies course offered in another department.

Inasmuch as all courses in Spanish assume the active participation of each student in discussions conducted in the foreign language, regular attendance at class meetings is expected.


Two alternative routes are available to those who wish to apply for the degree with honors.

The first of these involves the writing of a senior thesis; honors candidates are required to devote to their theses two semesters of independent study (beyond the nine courses required for the major-and the Winter Study Period of their senior year (493-W031-494). The thesis will be written in Spanish and will usually be in the range of from forty to sixty pages. Candidates are encouraged to submit thesis proposals in May of their junior year. By the end of the first semester of the senior year, students will normally have finished the research for the thesis. By the end of the Winter Study Period, candidates will submit to the Department a completed first draft of their work. At this time, the student will make a presentation of his project at a departmental colloquium. The thesis will be discussed and evaluated to determine whether or not the student should continue in the honors program. The second semester of independent thesis work will be spent revising and rewriting the thesis. The completed dissertation in its final form will be due at the end of April.

The second route is a group of three clearly related courses (offered by the Department of Romance Languages or by other Departments, such as History, Art, Philosophy, English, etc.), only one of which may be counted in the nine courses comprising the major. One of the courses will be an Independent Study (plus senior year WSP 030) in the spring of the senior year, at the end of which the student will write an essay that synthesizes the content of the three related courses. Students may apply for this route by November 2 of the senior year.

In the case of both routes to the degree with honors, the Department's recommendation for graduation with honors will be based on the originality and thoroughness of the finished project.


Contact the Department Chair for details.


A placement test in Spanish is administered at Williams at the opening of the fall semester. Incoming first-year students who wish to register for any Spanish courses above the 101 level must take this test.


Spanish majors, as well as non-majors interested in further exposure to the language and the culture, are strongly encouraged to include study in Spain or Latin America as part of their program at Williams. Through its special ties with the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain, the Department offers a comprehensive linguistic and cultural experience in a Spanish-speaking environment, for periods either of a semester or a year. Credit for up to two courses per semester overseas can be granted toward the Spanish major. Students interested in study abroad should consult with a member of the Department at their earliest convenience.