About Spanish

Our Program and Courses

You can major or minor in Spanish at F&M. In fact, Spanish has been a major at F&M for more than 100 years. In small classes and in close collaboration with your professors, you will develop the tools to reflect critically on the cultural practices, products, and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world and your own. Through the use of smart classrooms, blogs, videocasts, and podcasts, you will be able to enhance your learning experience and language proficiency in engaging and interactive ways. There also are numerous opportunities to engage with the Spanish-speaking community at and outside F&M, giving you a holistic language learning experience.

By the time you graduate, you will have: 

  • Proficiency in Spanish and the ability to communicate effectively and cohesively verbally and in writing
  • An appreciation and understanding of the richness, diversity, and complexity of the Spanish-speaking world 
  • The ability to reflect upon your own culture through comparisons with Spanish-speaking cultures
  • Familiarity with relevant historical periods, cultural traditions, social issues, artistic movements, major authors, representative texts and works, and figures of the Spanish-speaking world 
  • A foundation in modes of critical analysis, including close reading, socio-historical contextualization, literary analysis, scholarly research, and more. 

Spanish Language Placement Exam

If you’re admitted to F&M and plan to study Spanish, you must complete a language placement exam. You’ll complete this test the summer before you arrive on campus. This will allow us to place you in the class that best aligns with your skill level. 

Wondering what a Spanish course is like? Take a look at our course catalog to explore what’s available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Maria Elena Aldea Agudo

Senior Teaching Professor of Spanish; Director of the Spanish Language Center

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Kimberly Armstrong

Professor of Spanish & Linguistics

Hebrew; Language Studies Council

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Beatriz Caamano Alegre

Associate Professor of Spanish

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Jessica G Cox

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, Department Chair of Spanish

Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind

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Ileana Feistritzer

Adjunct Instructor of Spanish

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Jialing Liu

Senior Teaching Professor of Spanish

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Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro

Professor of Spanish, Program Chair of Latin American and LatinX Studies

Latin American Studies

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Mery Soto-Harner

Senior Adjunct Professor of Spanish

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Anne M Stachura

Teaching Professor and Coordinator of the Spanish Community Based Learning Program and Community Outreach

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Carmen Tisnado

Professor of Spanish

Latin American Studies

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Shari Vegso

Academic Department Coordinator

Chinese Language Program; Comparative Literary Studies; French; German and Russian Studies; International Studies; Italian Studies and Hebrew; Japanese Language Program; Latin American Studies; Spanish

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Learning Outside the Classroom

You will be actively engaged in developing practical speaking, reading, and writing skills beyond the classroom. Our Spanish professors are committed to tailoring your education to your interests and goals and helping you discover research and study-abroad opportunities to broaden your understanding of the discipline.

Off-Campus Study

As a speaker of the second-most spoken language in the U.S., you will have opportunities to apply what you learn outside the classroom. Our students have studied in Spain, Mexico, and many other Spanish-speaking countries. There are summer travel awards available to help you finance your efforts to study abroad.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Community-Based Learning

Spanish-speaking communities make up a large portion of Lancaster City, offering opportunities to practice your language skills at cultural and social events. Our students have volunteered with the Festival Latinoamericano, Latino Health Summit, and more.

Research Opportunities

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. With faculty guidance, you can do a more in-depth dive into the topics related to the Spanish-speaking world that interest you most.
Explore research at F&M

Spanish Tutoring

As you begin learning Spanish at F&M, you can work one-on-one with a peer language tutor. Our tutors can guide you through Spanish homework, share Spanish-specific study skills, help you prepare for exams, and more. 

Learn more about academic support at F&M

The Spanish Language Center

The language experts at our Spanish Language Center are available to help with the complex process of learning to communicate in another language. You can turn to the SLC for individual, collaborative support to develop your Spanish written and oral expression, from essays and theses to presentations, slide design, podcast, etc. We can also help you prepare for internships and job interviews in which Spanish is required. Whether Spanish is your heritage language or a second language for you, we are here to help you. The SLC is open to all the College community.

Learn more about academic support at F&M

Honors in Spanish

Completing an independent study can lead to honors in Spanish. To be considered for honors, you must first be nominated based on the results of your independent study, after which you will continue to research, defend, and refine results.

Success Beyond F&M

The study of Spanish is not only an enriching personal experience, but also a valuable professional tool. The interpretive skills, practical skills, cultural knowledge and awareness, and intellectual connections you gain by studying Spanish at F&M will open the door to any post-college plan.

Graduate School and Fellowships

It’s not uncommon for Spanish graduates to be awarded prestigious fellowships and continue their academic and professional development abroad. Alumni enroll in law, business, and medical school, have been awarded Fulbright teaching assistantships, or go on to work as English language teaching assistantships in Spain. 

Learn more about fellowships

Career Paths

Recent graduates of Spanish at F&M have pursued careers in law, medicine, business, and non-profit organizations. They hold positions such as: 

  • Attorney
  • Teaching Fellow
  • Translator
  • Doctor

F&M Common Hour

Pulitzer Playwright Pieces Together 'My Broken Language'

It wasn't until graduate school that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes discovered her native tongue. It was there at Brown University that Paula Vogel, creative writing professor and herself a Pulitzer winner, gave Hudes advice that changed her life forever: "Your Spanish is broken. Write your broken Spanish." Hudes' broken language was the topic of an F&M Common Hour.
Read More »

Alumni Spotlight

Connecting the Dots in Immigration and Refugee Reform

Born in Guatemala and raised in Boston, Leora Sammett '22 grew up around diverse immigrant communities. But it wasn’t until she arrived on campus that she fully realized her passion for working with immigrants and refugees. Sammett declared a major in sociology and a minor in Spanish — disciplines she feels are crucial to her intended career path.
Read More »

Related Fields of Study

Latin American and Latinx Studies

The peoples of Latin America and the diaspora embody diverse cultures, experiences, art, and history. As a student of Latin American and Latinx Studies at F&M, you will gain a deep understanding of key themes relating to the study of Latin America and Latinx cultures.

Linguistics

Language is what sets humans apart from other species, but how well do we understand it? By studying linguistics at F&M, you will learn about the roots of language, and why it’s so important in understanding humankind.

Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Engage with a program that is a true representation of the liberal arts. Established as a major in 2015, the innovative women’s, gender and sexuality studies at F&M blends several academic disciplines to explore diverse perspectives of feminist theory.

Spanish at F&M in Action

December 1, 2022

Rouse Scholar Turns Adversity into Curiosity

Stricken with a mysterious illness in high school, Franklin & Marshall student Sara Beqiraj took adversity and spun it into curiosity. That perspective is what put Beqiraj, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and Spanish minor, on the path toward earning the prestigious Rouse Scholarship. "It was a scary experience, but being able to see the medical world from that patient perspective was really valuable to me because I was able to see how doctors work together in a team and how they approach treating patients with conditions like mine," Beqiraj said.

March 16, 2022

Bank Prize Winner Jeremy Mauser Reflects on Writing

Novelist Weike Wang, author of the PEN/Hemingway Award-winner Novelist Weike Wang, author of the PEN/Hemingway Award-winner

December 7, 2021

F&M Senior Earns Second Prestigious Scholarship

With purpose in mind, senior Makaila Ranges has pursued opportunities presented to her since arriving at Franklin & Marshall College, from becoming a Truman Scholar in her junior year to recently being named a Schwarzman Scholar, one of the world's most prestigious graduate fellowships.