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Spanish Language and Culture

Minor & Certificate

Learning Spanish enables you to be a more successful, competitive player in a global marketplace, and a minor in Spanish Language and Culture will make you more marketable regardless of your chosen field. In addition, the study of language, literature, and cultures encourages spiritual, imaginative, and emotional development. Students in our Spanish classes have helped organize the campus-wide Día de los Muertos celebration and the Dubuque city-wide Día de los Muertos celebration with the Multicultural Family Center. They have also worked with the Multicultural Family Center to host the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Have you ever wondered what the Spanish minor requirements are? If you are interested in earning a Spanish minor degree, check out our campus visits and virtual visits in Dubuque, Iowa, so that you can see for yourself that Spanish at Clarke offers you an opportunity to be more marketable and successful both personally and professionally.


Clarke’s Spanish minor degree prepares students for graduate studies and most professional schools, including law, business, and education, and medicine, and for work in professions such as law, teaching, business, management, healthcare, and publishing. Graduates who have minored in our minor degree in Spanish have gone on to earn careers in a wide variety of fields, both locally here in Dubuque and beyond, such as:

  • Translator
  • Interpreter
  • Nursing
  • Law enforcement
  • Health services
  • Teacher
  • Editor
  • Technical writer
  • Librarian
  • Flight attendant
  • Banking
  • International law
  • Marketing
  • Journalism

Complimentary Majors

Our minor degree in Spanish pairs well with many different majors and other minors, such as those in healthcare, Business, Education, Psychology, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, or Social Work.

Unique Courses

Here is a sampling of the types of unique and diverse classes you will take in among your Spanish minor requirements:

CONVERSATION, COMPOSITION, AND GRAMMAR — You will improve pronunciation and develop fluency while exploring Hispanic culture.

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND CULTURAL PROFICIENCY: U.S. LATINOS — You will learn about the Latino cultures of the U.S. and how to have successful interactions both socially and professionally.

SPANISH FOR SERVICE PROFESSIONALS — You will learn how to successfully serve Spanish-speakers in the areas of healthcare, education and social work.

Ways to Engage

Our college Spanish students get involved in the community, whether that is right here in Dubuque, Iowa, nationally, or even internationally. Here are some of the ways:

  • Study in Spain and Latin America
  • Engage in internships at sites such as the Dubuque Multicultural Family Center or Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish Immersion School
  • Present at our annual Streamlines conference
  • Publish in the Tenth Muse, Clarke’s literary magazine

Quick Facts

  • Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority in the United States. By 2060, Latinos will account for nearly one in three people in the United States.
  • Spanish as a discipline within the humanities offers students communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Spanish pairs well with many disciplines (nursing, business, physical therapy, education, social work) in which professionals are likely to interact with Spanish-speaking clientele.
  • 41 million people in the U.S., or 18.2 percent of the population, speak Spanish.
  • Because the ability to speak Spanish is such a sought-after trait, many students typically add a Spanish minor.

Program Details

You will not only increase your oral and written abilities in Spanish courses, but you will also further your understanding of the cultures of Spanish speakers. You will be taught by faculty who use a culture-centered approach to learning. They use their expertise gained by living, working, and traveling extensively in Spanish-speaking countries. As a Spanish minor, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Study literary texts, periods, theories, and criticism.
  • Deepen your understanding of your own and other cultures, and learn about what connects them.
  • Write effectively, using a variety of perspectives, styles, and structures.
  •  Improve the ability to articulate orally.

Spanish Minor and Certificate Pathways

Students in our Spanish program choose one of three paths in Spanish — a Certificate in Intermediate-Level Spanish consisting of 12 credits, a Certificate in Spanish Language and Culture that requires 15 credits, and a Minor in Spanish Language and Culture that is 18 credits. Each of these recognizes prior Spanish study, and in many cases, students will earn retroactive credit after taking only one Spanish course at Clarke.

Experiential Opportunities may be included as language or elective credit (appropriateness to be determined by Spanish faculty):

  • Up to 6 study abroad credits (SPAN 260 and SPAN 261)
  • 1-3 academic internship credits (SPAN 295)
  • 1 credit short-term faculty-led educational trip (SPAN 150)

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

Prior Credit

Students taking their first course at Clarke University as part of one of the two certificates or the minor who have already successfully completed elementary and/or intermediate-level Spanish coursework will be awarded retroactive credit for those courses on the basis of successful completion of the next level Spanish language course at Clarke University. For example, students who complete SPAN 102 Elementary Spanish II with the grade of C or better will receive three hours credit for SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I. Students who have already completed elementary-level coursework and some intermediate-level work and then complete SPAN 104 Intermediate Spanish II at Clarke with a grade

of C or better will receive credit for SPAN 101, 102, and 103, and will have earned the Certificate in Intermediate-level Spanish; they may then choose to take one elective course and earn the Certificate in Spanish Language and Culture. Students who have had four years of Spanish in high school may start in

SPAN 111, and upon completion of the course with a C or better, will have earned the Certificate in Spanish Language and Culture; they may then choose to take three elective courses to complete the Spanish Language and Culture Minor.

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Meet Our Faculty

When our Spanish degree graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Evelyn Nadeau, Ph.D.

Evelyn Nadeau, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish

The fundamental concept that guides my teaching is the empowerment of students, which translates to learning that is active, student-centered, set within a cultural context and enjoyable.

Apple in Clarke University classroom
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Ian Livingston

Ian Livingston

Spanish and English '11

I was recruited by Hy-Vee Inc. out of college as an assistant manager in Omaha, Neb., primarily due to my Spanish studies and the fact that I was bilingual.

Danni Garcia

Danni Garcia

Spanish and Biology '15

I studied abroad, and my Spanish classes really helped me in meeting new people and experiencing other cultures. Clarke offered me so many opportunities.

K’Lynn Lawver

K’Lynn Lawver

Spanish and Secondary Education '17

I am passionate about Spanish and education, which is why they are my areas of focus. Spreading my knowledge and enjoyment of learning to students is one of the greatest feelings.

18.2 %

41 million people in the U.S., or 18.2 percent of the population, speak Spanish.

46 %

Percent of projected job growth as an interpreter or translator between 2016 and 2022.

1/1 1 major, 1 minor

Our Spanish minor pairs nicely with majors in business, communication, education, nursing, and physical therapy.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Spanish Language and Culture for Yourself

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