Spanish Undergraduate Program

Our program invites you to explore the language spoken by more than 500 million people and studied by more than 21 million students worldwide. We guide your language learning from the first “hola” to bilingual communication in a broad variety of professional contexts. Proficiency in Spanish is not only a professional asset, but a key to communicate in our globalized and multicultural world today.


The Spanish program offers a major and a minor in Spanish as well as a 5-year BA/MA program in Spanish. Students majoring in Spanish also have the opportunity to participate in the Honors program in Spanish. Students interested in majoring in Spanish choose one of two specializations:

  • Spanish language, linguistics, and teaching
  • Hispanic literature and culture

Questions regarding the major or advisement should be addressed to Professor Elizabeth Lansing ( Here is the link to the ADVISEMENT CHECKLIST FOR SPANISH MAJORS and here are two videos that help you understand the distinction between heritage and non-heritage students of Spanish: Placement for Hertiage Students of Spanish, Placement for Non-Heritage Students of Spanish.


The Spanish program faculty offer a wide variety of courses ranging from specialized language study to topics courses in literature, cultural studies, and linguistics. A list of courses offered by the program can be accessed through the Undergraduate Bulletin. For a list of current courses offered see here.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Spanish is designed to promote opportunities for advanced work to highly motivated, mature undergraduate majors and prepare them to do independent work. Students may apply for admission to the Honors Program no earlier than the beginning of the second semester of their sophomore year, and no later than the end of the second semester of their junior year. To gain admission to the Program you must have formally declared a major in Spanish and have completed at least 12 credits toward your major. In addition, you must have an overall GPA of at least 3.25, and 3.50 in your major, both of which must be maintained in order to graduate with honors.

Students must complete the 36 credits required for the major as well as a 4-credit Honors Thesis (ASPN 499) to be done the semester in which they graduate. Students are additionally required to take one additional course at the 400-500 level within the area of their concentration. (This additional 400-500 level course does not increase the number of credits required for the major or for the Honors Program but only mandates that one of the student’s elective courses be at the most advanced level in the area of their concentration.) The Honors Thesis should be a 25-40-page research project directed by a faculty member of the Spanish program. Students interested in doing the Honors Program in Spanish first should express that interest to the Spanish Program Director, Professor Ilka Kressner (

Spanish Honors and Awards

The Spanish Program maintains a chapter (Eta Psi) of the national Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi. Membership in Sigma Delta Pi rewards excellence in the study of Spanish language, literature and culture. The UAlbany faculty coordinator is Leonardo Correa, PhD (

The requirements for nomination are:

  1. The equivalent of three years of college level Spanish (this may include courses taken in high school), including at least one college course in Hispanic literature or civilization at the junior or senior level
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 in Spanish courses
  3. Three semesters of college work with an overall GPA of at least 2.75
  4. Graduate students must have completed one semester of graduate studies with a minimum GPA of 3.00

In addition, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures sponsors a variety of awards each year for outstanding Spanish majors.

Study Abroad

We encourage our Spanish majors and minors to integrate study abroad into their overall UAlbany experience by traveling to Latin America or Spain. Students may fulfill major or minor requirements by taking Spanish language, literature and/or culture courses during the summer or for an entire semester. Our university offers exciting opportunities to spend a summer, a semester or year studying abroad in more than 100 countries on all 7 continents. Some of our students have studied in Cusco, Havana, Madrid, and Valencia.
A complete listing of programs and detailed information about them is available at

Get involved!


Our Spanish majors and minors have obtained internships and full-time jobs because of their advanced language skills. Students have worked at law offices, the State Senate, The State Attorney’s Office, and Teach for America, as well as other public and private teaching institutions.
Our students also enhance learning and enrich communities through service-learning that combines community service and academic study. Spanish majors and minors can earn academic credit by enrolling in Spanish for Community Engagement. This course examines Spanish with a focus on its presence, use, and application within the community. The coursework is coupled with a significant service component that provides students the opportunity to apply what they are learning to language use in the community.

Student Testimonials


Hilda Baldeyaque Chalas

Anthi Docous

Patrick Farrell

Sarah Scott

Nadine Zaky Kotb