Languages and Transcultural Studies (BA) with an Emphasis in Spanish


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences/Global Languages, Cultures and Societies Department and is only available at the St. Louis main campus.

Program Description

The languages and transcultural studies program seeks to empower students to thrive in a multi-cultural, global society and to think beyond conventionally and culturally-determined boundaries. We help students develop the intercultural communication skills, language-learning strategies and the confidence to engage in thoughtful and meaningful ways with people from all over the globe. At the same time the program trains students to recognize and contextualize their own values, traditions and perspectives. The language competency in one of the two emphases (French or Spanish) will hone creative problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills while providing regular practice at intercultural negotiation. These marketable skills add to students' professional competitiveness in a wide range of fields.

The faculty in the program achieve these outcomes by teaching language in a cultural context. By focusing on cultural and linguistic proficiency, students learn to identify and examine questions of identity central to diverse communities and reflected in their institutions, literatures and cultural icons. Some courses at every stage of the program are also taught in English, thereby fostering more exchange with students in the different language emphases and facilitating more nuanced cultural comparisons. Students are required to apply their skills during an immersion experience. For many this will take place in another country, but some will accomplish this in a local, transcultural environment.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze their own culture in relation to other cultures across the world and identify their own biases.
  • Demonstrate successful communication that respects cultural and linguistic norms, both orally and in writing, with people from the culture of emphasis.
  • Compare and contrast cultures using knowledge of their literatures, history, traditions, cultural products and values.

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 36 required credit hours
  • A minimum of 12 credit hours in the specific target language must be at the 3000-level or above.
  • A 4000-level course in the target language must be taken at the St. Louis campus. This course may not be taken pass/fail.
  • The department requires one term (minimum 8 weeks) abroad in a country where the target language is spoken or an alternative cultural/linguistic experience approved by the department.
  • A cumulative grade average of B or better in courses taken in the language of the major.
  • A portfolio review and demonstration of transcultural and linguistic competency in a departmental overview (ILC 4700).
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives

Courses completed with a grade lower than C do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major. Courses at the 3000-level may only be taken pass/fail with permission of the chair of the department.

Translation certificate courses (taught with the TRSP prefix) may not be used to satisfy upper-level coursework in the Spanish emphasis without specific permission of the chair of the department. 

Students whose primary language is not English must take English as a Second Language (ESLG) courses until they pass their English Language Proficiency requirements.

Required Courses

  • ILC 1000 The Power of Languages (3 hours)
  • Two comparative courses from the following list. One must be at the 3000+ level:
    • ILC 2250 Food Language and Identity (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2600 Introduction to Linguistics (3 hours)
    • ILC 3250 Comparative Global Literatures (3 hours)
    • TRSL 4000 Professional Translation Practices (3 hours)
  • A language course in a language other than English and the language of the emphasis (at any level) (3 hours)

Emphasis in Spanish

  • 24 credit hours in the Spanish sequence
    • A minimum of 9 credit hours in Spanish must be at the 3000-level or above
    • One additional 3-credit 4000-level course
    • ILC 4700 Overview (0 hours)
    • A high-impact immersion experience

Spanish Course Sequence

  • SPAN 1090 Elementary Spanish: Level I (3 hours)
  • SPAN 1100 Elementary Spanish: Level II (3 hours)
  • SPAN 2090 Intermediate Spanish: Level I (3 hours)
  • SPAN 2100 Intermediate Spanish: Level II (3 hours)
  • SPAN 2170 Intermediate Conversational Spanish (1-3 hours)
    or SPAN 2250 La cocina española e hispanoamericana (1-3 hours)
  • SPAN 3090 Advanced Spanish: Level I (3 hours)
    and/or SPAN 3100 Advanced Spanish: Level II (3 hours)
  • SPAN 3150 Culture and Civilization of the Spanish-Speaking World (3 hours)
    and/or SPAN 3250 Introduction to Literature (3 hours)
  • SPAN 3170 Advanced Conversational Spanish (3 hours)
  • SPAN 4090 Topics in Advanced Literature (3 hours)
    and/or SPAN 4250 Topics in Literature (3 hours)
    and/or SPAN 4650 Advanced Topics (3 hours)