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Page Index: Spanish

Academic Information:

What is Spanish?

Spanish, also called Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native-speakers across the world.

Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. The oldest Latin texts which show traces of Spanish come from mid-northern Iberia in the 9th century, and the first systematic written use of the language happened in Toledo, then capital of the Kingdom of Castile, in the 13th century. Beginning in the early 16th century, Spanish was taken to the colonies of the Spanish Empire, most notably to the Americas, as well as territories in Africa, Oceania and the Philippines.

The Department's mission is to foster students' abilities to think critically, and to communicate accurately and creatively, in another language. Critical reflection in our department often centers upon the products, practices, and perspectives of language communities both within and outside of the United States. The course offerings for the major and minor programs are based upon the following academic disciplines of language study within a liberal arts tradition: literature, cultural studies, and applied linguistics.

Career Information

Possible/Typical Job Titles

Foreign languages help prepare you to work in many types of jobs. For example, you may want to major in a particular foreign language and become certified to teach. This would enable you to take a job either teaching that foreign language, teaching English as a foreign language, or teaching in a bilingual setting. Combining languages with the study of business can help prepare the student for jobs in foreign commerce, including banking, marketing, import-export, purchasing, finance, advertising, consulting, etc. Included among the numerous professions in which a knowledge of foreign languages can be helpful are the following: government service, social work, architecture, engineering, journalism, public relations, library service, archaeology, philosophy, medicine, the travel industry, telecommunications, music, theater, and research scholarship.


  • Economist
  • Insurance adjuster
  • Technical writer, corporate publications
  • International marketing analyst
  • District sales manager
  • Staff human relations training coordinator
  • Management consultant
  • Customer support specialist
  • *Patent attorney
  • Technical translator
  • Overseas representative
  • Travel planner
  • Bank administrator
  • Hotel manager

Government/Public Sector

  • Volunteer recruiter, Peace Corps
  • *Social science analyst
  • International education specialist,
  • Agency for International Development
  • *Securities examiner
  • Special agent/CIA
  • FBI Agent
  • Criminologist
  • Mediator trainee
  • Translator/interpreter
  • Customs inspector
  • Customs /Immigration Officer
  • Import specialist
  • International relations officer,
  • Commerce Department
  • Foreign Service Peacekeeper
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Drug Enforcement Agent
  • National Security Agency linguist/analyst
  • Foreign Service officer, Department of State
  • Intelligence Specialist

Health/Human Services

  • Director, health and human resources
  • *International health care systems analyst
  • *Counseling psychologist
  • *Psychiatrist
  • *Physician
  • Cataloger
  • Laboratory technician
  • *Science information research specialist
  • *Social worker
  • Director, international airport visitors center
  • Youth program leader
  • *Bioengineer


  • International Banking Officer
  • Performer/Video Artist
  • Cultural Officer
  • Intent'l Conference Planner
  • Pharmaceutical Rep.
  • International Consultant
  • *Pharmacist
  • International Hotel Admin.
  • Police Officer
  • Editor
  • International Trade Economist
  • Politician
  • Escort/Interpreter/Guide
  • Intern'l Trade Specialist
  • Production Supervisor
  • Travel Agent
  • Tour Organizer
  • Scientific Transl/Interpreter
  • Proofreader
  • Translator
  • Senior Credit Analyst
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Transport Equipment Manager
  • Sports Agent
  • Publishing Specialist
  • Travel Writer
  • Teacher
  • Quality Control Supervisor
  • UNESCO Official
  • Telecommunications Sales
  • Radio/TV Announcer
  • Writer
  • TESO/ESL Teacher
  • Reporter
  • *Professor
  • Theme Designer
  • Salesperson


  • Exchange student program coordinator
  • Conservator
  • Teacher
  • *Professor
  • *Librarian
  • *Guidance counselor
  • *Intellectual properties attorney
  • Coordinator, cultural arts center
  • Publisher, foreign language books
  • *Foreign film distributor
  • Guidebook writer
  • Abstractor
  • Editor of foreign publications


  • Announcer (radio, TV)
  • Booking agent
  • Road manager
  • International Trade economist
  • Translator, computer
  • Immigration inspector
  • Intelligence specialist
  • Tour guide
  • Foreign language translator
  • Training instructor
  • Foreign information officer
  • Foreign tax accountant
  • Employment interviewer
  • Language researcher
  • Interpreter
  • Anthropologist
  • International broadcaster
  • Case worker
  • Writer/technical publications
  • News writer/foreign languages
  • International Relations spec.
  • Interviewer & claims adjuster
  • Foreign exch. program dir.
  • Community organization worker
  • Manager, Industrial development
  • Teacher/second language
  • Manager, World Trade
  • Flight attendant
  • Foreign student advisor
  • Importer/exporter
  • Accountant
  • Investment Analyst
  • Advertising Manager
  • Filmmaker
  • Journalist
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Finance Director
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Air Traffic Assistant
  • *Lawyer
  • Archivist
  • Library Technician
  • Art Dealer
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Linguist
  • Auditor
  • Foreign Exchange Trader
  • Media Specialist
  • Banking Correspondent
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Missionary
  • Bilingual Officers/Clerks/Tellers
  • Multi-Lingual Port Receptionist
  • Bilingual Educator
  • Foreign Service Specialist
  • Museum Curator
  • Bookkeeper
  • Foreign Social Worker
  • Musician
  • Civil Service Employee
  • Fund-Raiser
  • National Security Agent
  • Commercial Loan Officer
  • Human Resources Director
  • Negotiator
  • Computer Systems Designer
  • Importer/Exporter
  • Overseas Personnel Manager
  • Consultant
  • Intelligence Researcher
  • Overseas Plant Manager
  • Copywriter
  • Intn'l Account Manager
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Cultural Attaché
  • Court Interpreter

*Denotes need for additional education.

Typical Places of Employment

  • Airports
  • Government agencies
  • Public relations firms
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Hotel chains
  • Consumer Affairs Office
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Vista
  • Investment firms
  • Foreign Service Dept.
  • United Nations
  • Fed. Communications
  • Air, bus, and rail lines
  • Peace Corps
  • News bureaus
  • Commerce Dept.
  • Visitors & convention bureaus
  • National Archives
  • Public service organizations
  • Agency of International Dep't.
  • Import/export companies
  • Education Dept.
  • Travel agencies
  • Civil Service Commission
  • Advertising dept. & agencies
  • Immigration & Nat. service
  • Banks/savings & commercial
  • Library of Congress

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Teaching, explaining
  • Enlightening, guiding
  • Helping
  • Understanding
  • Listening skills
  • Speaking to groups
  • Reading/writing another language
  • Clarifying ideas
  • Writing clearly
  • Understanding historical language change
  • Explaining complex concepts
  • Reading critically
  • Interpreting data
  • Evaluating information
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Comparing translations interpretations
  • Gathering information
  • Working with original sources in many fields
  • Organizing materials/information
  • Summarizing ideas
  • Selecting & training
  • Informing, organizing
  • Solving problems, leading discussions
  • Ability to empathsize
  • Evaluating results
  • Collaborating as part of a team
  • Determining the needs of others
  • Acknowledging value systems
  • Interviewing non-judgmentally
  • Designing instruments
  • Reporting and editing
  • Establishing hypotheses
  • Reading for content and structure
  • Working with research subjects
  • Communicating between cultures
  • Understanding cultural diversity
  • Assessing needs
  • Adapting to other cultures
  • Weighing values
  • Compiling/recording data

Alumni Resources

(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major-For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)





Matthew Nuzzi 2004 Technical Examiner Instructor Social Security Administrati
Elinor (Betsy) Lampo 2008 Spanish Teacher St. Mary's County Public Schools
Andrew Hanson 2003 Company Developement Manager Osprey Property
Elenna Christake Sayers 2002 Market Researcher Battelle Memorial Institute

Related Links: Further Explore this Career Field

Professional Associations:

Foreign Language Associations (links to associations)

Modern Language Association

American Association for Applied Linguistics

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Other Career-Related Links:

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