Alvin F. Sherman, Jr., Chair
3190 JFSB, (801) 422-2837
College of Humanities Advisement Center
1175 JFSB, (801) 422-4789
Admission to Degree Program
All degree programs in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are open enrollment. However, special limitations apply for teaching and translation majors.
The Spanish and Portuguese romance languages and literatures dominate the Iberian Peninsula, major parts of Africa, and the southern portion of the new world from Mexico to the Magellan Straits. These languages, spoken by over 450 million people in twenty-one countries, provide a wide spectrum of cultural, linguistic, and literary variety. Spanish and Portuguese represent vibrant literature that stands at the forefront of twentieth-century excellence and innovation, a linguist's paradise of dialects, rapid change, and development.
Such breadth—plus some 35 million speakers within the borders of the United States itself—gives multiple opportunities for developing skill in the spoken language, as well as in listening, reading, writing, and translation. Studying the Iberian roots of this large and important part of the population and learning about the people's perception of life also brings greater understanding of their values and their struggle for identity. A Spanish or Portuguese major makes for a demanding, intriguing, and pleasurable experience.
The field of teaching has always provided good employment opportunities for Spanish majors. In addition, opportunities for both Spanish and Portuguese have been found in government service (translation, U.S. State Department, CIA, FBI, Border Patrol, Peace Corps, NSA, USIA), business, social work, airlines, banking, etc. Many majors go on to professional schools (law, medicine, dentistry, business, etc.), where a liberal arts background is advised. For employment in fields other than teaching, a strong minor or a second major in the employment area is strongly encouraged. Teaching majors are required to complete a teaching minor.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese strongly recommends that StDev 317, a 1-credit-hour course, be taken at the end of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Because liberal arts degrees provide preparation in a variety of useful fields rather than a single career track, this course is recommended to help liberal arts students focus on specific educational and occupational goals and to identify the career options or educational opportunities available to them. The course will introduce them to the resources needed for accessing information about graduate schools, internships, careers, and career development. Students will learn basic employment strategies, including the steps necessary for obtaining employment related to their own specialty.
To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:
Undergraduate Programs and Degrees
Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.
Graduate Programs and Degrees
MA in Portuguese
MA in Spanish
MA in Language Acquisition (Spanish and Portuguese)
For more information see the BYU 2008–2009 Graduate Catalog.
Spanish Resource Center
164 University Parkway Center, (801) 378-8107
The Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain, in connection with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES), operates the Spanish Resource Center (Centro de Recursos). The purpose of the center is to provide an ample supply of books, computer programs, and didactic materials, both printed and audiovisual, related to the teaching of Spanish language and literature. Researchers, professors, students, educational institutions, coordinators, administrators, and in general all those who may be interested in the knowledge and promotion of Spanish are welcome. To increase the prestige of the Spanish language academically as well as socially, the Spanish Resource Center
Foreign Language Student Residence
The Foreign Language Student Residence provides live-in opportunities for students in Spanish and Portuguese. A twenty-four-hour-a-day Spanish or Portuguese rule assures participants intensive use of the language, under the direction of native speakers. See the department secretary at 3190 JFSB for information.
Language Skills Development
A program to improve and monitor all language skills at each level of course work has been developed by the department, and a final oral proficiency examination is required of all graduating seniors. Writing skills in Spanish or Portuguese courses will advance from writing exercises and short messages in 100-level courses to original short themes in 200-level classes. Papers in the language at the 300-level and more extensive research and vocabulary and full control of structures at the 400-level will complete the program.
Minor, Double Major, or Approved Supporting Course Work Required for Spanish or Portuguese Majors
All Spanish and Portuguese majors are required to complete either a minor (from any department in the university), 15 hours of approved supporting course work, or a double major.
Nonteaching majors who do not wish to complete a formal minor may substitute at least 15 hours of courses from among the following related fields: a second modern foreign language (upper-division courses only), Latin, Greek, English (beyond the GE requirement), linguistics, classical civilization, Latin American history or geography, Spanish/Portuguese history or geography, humanities, archaeology of Spain/Portugal or Latin America, comparative literature, or other areas approved by the department chair.
Nonteaching and nontranslation majors also may meet their minor requirement by completing 15 additional hours consisting of elective Spanish/Portuguese courses or (strongly recommended) a combination of Spanish/Portuguese electives and interdisciplinary work. In all cases these courses must form a coherent program and must be preapproved by the department chair.
A double major is an acceptable alternative to a minor.
The department strongly recommends that all majors participate in an extended (at least two continuous months) and intensive language and culture experience in a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking country or area.
A student should complete this requirement by:
Students unable to participate in one of these programs must spend at least one year (two semesters) in the Foreign Language Student Residence, pledging to use only Spanish or Portuguese within the residence. Prerequisite to this experience is Span 205 or Port 201 or its equivalent; any exceptions must be approved by the department. For further information contact the department secretary or the Foreign Language Student Residence Office, 3086 JFSB, (801) 422-3765.