A Spanish degree from Loras focuses on the development of linguistic and cultural competence through active and applied learning, inside and outside of the classroom. Students develop skill sets that prepare them for a globalized workplace through the combined exploration of language and culture. The flexibility of the Spanish major allows students to obtain an additional specialization in their area of interest, giving them experience that’s in high demand in the international marketplace.

A key aspect of our Spanish major is its application of hands-on experience within students’ chosen career paths by offering study abroad opportunities in both Spain and Latin America, with options for semester-long, J-Term and summer opportunities.


Student Experience

Spanish majors learn how to speak, write, and read Spanish as Spanish is the official language of more countries than any other language except English. As a part of this program, you will have opportunities to study abroad and immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture.

Learn More

The Spanish major at Loras College is designed to foster the development of practical and applied language skills and cultural competence. Our curriculum combines a communicative language teaching approach with local and international immersive experiences.

  • All Spanish courses at Loras prioritize effective communication in the target language, thus preparing students for real-world interactions in both personal and professional contexts.
  • We offer courses on Spanish in the professions for students to enhance their career options by acquiring Spanish for criminal justice, health, and social services.
  • Our curriculum allows for community-based learning throughout the major, engaging students with Spanish-speaking populations across Iowa and within the city of Dubuque.

Semester study abroad options are available to Spain and Argentina. International January-Term courses are offered on a regular basis to Europe and Latin America.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

  • Earn 12 credits toward the Spanish major
  • Participate in a home-stay with a family in Santiago
  • Complete an internship in an area of academic interest such biomedical sciences, international studies, public relations, education, psychology, media studies, politics and criminal justice.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Earn 12 credits toward the Spanish major
  • Participate in a home-stay with an family in Buenos Aires
  • Engage in community-based learning projects with the Universidad Católica de Argentina

January Term Courses

  • El Camino de Santiago
    Students hike the oldest pilgrimage route in Europe while learning about immigration and human movement across Spain. While on the Camino de Santiago students engage in an immersive experience that explores the cultural meaning of St. James the Apostle through ancient symbols and modern commodities. The course culminates in the city of Santiago de Compostela where the concept of pilgrimage is fundamental to urban identity.
  • Remembering the Disappeared
    During this travel course to Buenos Aires students explore the Argentine capital to understand how modern urban space reflects a violent military history. While in Buenos Aires, students visit neighborhoods, memorials, parks, and tourist sites that either aim to protect or diminish the memory of the victims of state terror.  During their two weeks in country, students consider the ways in which present-day Buenos Aires is defined by the responses of government, the families of survivors, and the Church to state terror.

The Loras Spanish program views cultural competency and community engagement as essential components of the language learning process. We are, therefore, focused on creating partnerships and fostering student engagement with the Spanish-speaking community in Dubuque.

In our program, students learn that community engagement does not simply mean service. We educate our students about issues of cultural competency and then ask that they apply these skills in a community setting.

Given these values, community-based learning permeates our program from initial courses to the senior capstone.  In Spanish 210 students have attended Spanish mass and other community events and then reflected on what was learned from the experience. Upper level students have engaged in a project that examines the assets of the Hispanic community in Dubuque and, then, uses these resources to suggest long-term community improvement plans.

Student Learning Outcomes


Student Learning Outcomes – Spanish
1. Students demonstrate speaking and writing skills in the target language consistent with the Advanced levels as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
2. Analyze the cultural and literary products of the Spanish speaking world in order to evaluate the historical, social, economic and political forces that shape these societies.
3. Examine the validity of one’s own cultural beliefs, behaviors and norms by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target cultures.
4. Conduct independent, scholarly research by integrating, comparing, and evaluating ideas and materials from various critical, cultural and literary sources and applying this research orally and in writing.


The Bachelor of Spanish degree program is designed to incite and educate the student in the fluency of the Spanish language. The curriculum contains a mixture of lecture, experiential learning, field education and potential travel.

View Highlighted Courses

El Camino de Santiago
This study away course is misty stone trails through the same green lands that legend says St. James the Elder traveled during and after life. We will follow the Route from Portugal to Santiago. Into this same time and place we will weave the theme of modern human migrations across the Galician landscape, learning the emigrant/immigrant history of recent years. How do the modern American pilgrim and the modern African immigrant move through this landscape; how are they received by the inhabitants of the place? Throughout the trip we will investigate the efforts of Cáritas Diocesana. On the Camino, we will be walking about 15 miles/day, maybe more..

La Frontera
This bilingual version of the advanced general education course, “The Latino Experience in the US-AC”, focuses on “la frontera,” the areas along the border between the U.S. and Mexico and includes a travel component to Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico. In this course, we will explore the history of both the U.S. and Mexico and the cultural, economic, linguistic, political and social contexts of this globally unique region.

El Mundo Hispano
This course examines the Spanish-speaking countries and cultures on both sides of the Atlantic from earlier centuries to modern times. Students will enhance their knowledge of persons and events and develop intercultural perspectives.

Topics in Culture & Civilization
In-depth study of a particular issue or area of cultural studies. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Possible topics may include the Spanish Civil War, the Inquisition, Evita Perlin, the Virgin of Guadalupe, music of Latin America and its influence in popular American culture. Course may be repeated for credit.

View Spanish Courses

Major & Minor Requirements

Spanish students will complete the following requirements in order to achieve a major or minor in Spanish.

Degree Requirements

Division of Language & Literature

Kate McCarthy-Gilmore, Ph.D., Chair

Requirements for the major in Spanish (B.A.):

Study Away Programs
Study in another country is a vital component of the language student’s college experience. There are many opportunities for Loras students to study outside the U.S. for a semester, a summer or a full academic year. Such study greatly enhances a student’s skills in the target language and brings the student into direct contact with another country’s culture(s).

Major Requirements for Spanish (B.A.)
Minor Requirements for Spanish



“What can I do with a Spanish major?”

As a Spanish student, you will be prepared for a variety of interesting careers (some may require additional degrees and licensing). Your career could take off into one of these fields:

  • Investment Analyst
  • Pharmaceutical Representative
  • Physician
  • Senior Accountant
  • Professor of Modern Languages
  • Lawyer
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Educational Recruiter
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Consulting

Supporting Your Investment

Loras takes great pride in supporting your investment – both through providing an exceptional learning experience and in sharing the cost of your degree. 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. We have scholarships, grants and special awards for all students based on their achievements and financial need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to earn my Loras degree?

Most students earn their undergraduate degree in four years or less. If you have questions about transferring any previously earned credits or degrees, please see our Transfer Student Information.

How much is tuition?

At Loras College, financial access to education is one of our defining values. We are committed to helping all of our students make their degree affordable. We partner with every student and family to understand their unique financial needs ensuring 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. Scholarships, grants and special awards are offered to all students based on their achievements and financial need. Loras is consistently ranked as one of the best universities for return on investment.  View our Tuition and Fees page.

How do I apply for schlarships and financial aid?

Submit your federal FAFSA, apply to Loras College and review our financial aid resources for detailed information, scholarship opportunities and much more.