» Spanish Program

Spanish ProfessorsHola!

Spanish is widely spoken here in California and throughout the United States.  The Spanish academic program is dedicated to promoting culturally and linguistically competent citizens in our multicultural and multilingual society. It is the largest program in the languages department instructing more than 700 students each academic semester. About 100 students choose Spanish as their major or minor for their undergraduate degree. The professors in the Spanish academic program are dedicated to the communicative approach to language teaching and emphasize student participation in a class size that is limited from 19-23 students for a more personalized education. 

Pictured above (left to right): Professors Hodge, Valenzuela, and Loustau

Degrees Offered

  • B.A. in Spanish: 33 total credits, 30 of which must be upper-division. 
  • Minor in Spanish: 18 credits, 15 of which must be upper-division.

Spanish Majors at Spanish Play In LA

Pictured: Students in front of the Frida Kahlo Theater in Los Angeles waiting to see a play in Spanish.

We recognize that each student has a unique background with their experiences in Spanish. Some were born in different countries or have lived abroad for years; some have studied many years in High School and scored high on Spanish AP Exams; others use Spanish on a daily basis at home or at work. Given the special circumstances that revolve around each individual, the Spanish Major and Minor may show flexibility when taking upper-division courses simultaneously, especially Spanish 343 and 326. For a personal consultation regarding the Spanish Major/Minor please contact the deaprtment.

  • Global Studies
  • International Internships
  • Global StudiesStudying abroad offers a unique opportunity for immersion in other cultures and countries. Chapman Study Abroad coordinates study programs lasting from one semester to an academic year in length to a variety of destinations in Central America, South America and Spain. While abroad students enroll in a full course of study in various academic fields, they can receive Chapman credit and pay their regular Chapman tuition.

    Language majors and minors can take advantage of a rich array of study abroad opportunities in Spanish speaking countries. Semester programs are offered in Argentina, Spain, Costa Rica, and many other places. Students may also take advantage of the faculty-lead interterm program in Buenos Aires, Argentina or the summer program in Barcelona, Spain.

    Pictured above: Sienna Duran-Kneip ‘19 majored in Spanish and Economics in preparation for studying International Law: “During the summer between my junior and senior year, I had the opportunity to intern at a law firm in Madrid in which I got to sit in on civil litigation, insurance fraud and bankruptcy trials to see, first-hand, how the legal system works in Spain as compared to the legal system here in the U.S.”

  • International Internships and ResearchSpanish Majors and Minors are provided with unique opportunities to carry out individual projects in a variety of Spanish-speaking countries. Through the Center for Global Education, students may choose to do an internship in Spain or Chile in an area of their interest. This option is ideal for students with a minor or double major in Spanish since they may use their Spanish in an authentic arena which will benefit the career skills they are seeking. Students have found exciting internships in the public schools abroad, working in medical clinics, language schools and for the film industry. Prof. Hodge is the professor of note responsible for guiding the students in their academic pursuits in the internship.

    A special program for doing research in Peru has been designed by Prof. Valenzuela. Many Spanish majors and minors have traveled to remote areas in the Amazon to assist in a program for the preservation of indigenous languages.

    Pictured above: Kyle Whatnall ‘19 majored in Spanish and Strategic/ Corporate Communication in preparation for a career in the Entertainment or Sports industries: “My current internship for a Sports Public relations firm in Los Angeles grants me exciting opportunities to showcase my fluency in Spanish when pitching sporting event coverage to media outlets, particularly for boxing, soccer, and baseball events. My knowledge of Spanish has helped me to stand out in a competitive professional world.”

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Global Communication & World Languages

The B.A. in Global Communication and World Languages (Spanish). This degree is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine their interests in Spanish with studies in Communications. Students become productive global citizens as they engage in the rigorous application of communication theories and research while increasing their fluency in Spanish and broadening their awareness of culture to prepare for the global workplace. Graduates will be able to pursue careers in a variety of international arenas: diplomacy, government, journalism, broadcasting, NGOs, philanthropic organizations with international outreach and more. The nine-credit hour Capstone sequence, which includes a service learning course/internship, intensive research in the chosen language, and a senior seminar in the global workplace, will provide students with a hands on experience, which future employers will value. The major consists of 45 credits taken through the School of Communications and World Languages and Culture Department (Spanish). For more information, click here.

Students are encouraged to spend one semester in a Spanish-speaking country

Students are encouraged to spend at least one semester in a Spanish–speaking country and have many opportunities around the globe! Students can spend at least one semester in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, or Spain. Earn 12-18 credits toward your course of study at Chapman! Language requirements vary, as some programs do not have any language prerequisite and some require several semesters of college-level Spanish.  With so many options, students have the opportunity to experience various types of Spanish-speaking cultures, history, and politics while studying abroad. In addition, students can partake in a summer international internship in Spain to obtain work and culture experience while earning credits. Visit the Center for Global Education for more information.

Sigma Delta Pi

Sigma StudentsOn Friday, November 14, 1919 at the University of California, Berkeley, a junior undergraduate student named Ruth Helen Barnes invited six other students of Spanish to her residence at 2545 Dwight Way to start what would eventually become the largest collegiate foreign language honor society in the U.S.: Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society/La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica. After that initial meeting and less than six months later on Saturday, May 1, 1920, the Society’s first formal induction ceremony took place at founding member Miriam Burt’s home on 1629 Walnut Street in Berkeley, CA. Today, November is celebrated annually as National Charter Month, and May 1 is commemorated as “Día de Sigma Delta Pi”/Sigma Delta Pi Day. Learn more ... 

Pictured above: Spanish majors and minors participate in the initiation ceremony for the National Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi.

Sigma Delta Pi Induction Spring 2020



Javiera Cartagena ('08 Spanish Major)
Cheverton Award and the Most Outstanding Spanish Major

Javiera Cartagena is the Manager of Regional Services at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). SCAG is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the nation representing the interests of six counties (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial), 191 cities and 19 million people. SCAG develops Southern California’s long-range regional plans and strategies to provide for efficient movement of people, goods, and information; enhance economic growth and international trade; and improve the environment and quality of life of all those living in the region.


Kyle Whatnall ('19 Spanish Major)

Since graduating from Chapman University in December 2019, Kyle Whatnall landed a full-time position for a Sports Public Relations frilm in Los Angeles as an Account Executive. Kyle is assigned to sporting events, teams, and leagues to help generate media coverage around their event, set up and assist with interviews and media procedures on-site at events, and present post-event reports recapping coverage successes. Spanish has been a big factor in his job, since he is the only member of the firm who speaks it. 

About Us

We are a group of committed professors dedicated to assisting individual students in growing both personally and professionally. We will look forward to sharing with you our special and unique connection with the Spanish language and life-long study of its culture. 

Department of Languages
127 DeMille Hall, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866
(714) 997-6843