Spoken by approximately 572 million people, Spanish is the fourth most commonly used language worldwide.

With a major or minor in Spanish, you'll be prepared for an increasingly global future.  

Our program allows you to pursue a range of interests through interdisciplinary investigations of Spanish language and culture including linguistics, literature, film, art, history, politics and contemporary issues. International travel, independent research and internship opportunities offer you the chance to gain extraordinary real-world experiences while developing your Spanish language skills.                                                

Our professors are native Spanish speakers from different areas of Hispania and skilled non-native speakers, all of whom are prepared to help you master the Spanish language.

A major or minor in Spanish complements majors in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.  Spanish students are primed for a wide range of careers in business, international relations, healthcare, education, social services, law, criminal justice and political science.  The ability to communicate in Spanish is a professional asset for any career.  

We offer both a major and a minor in Spanish. We also offer a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Recent Travels | Our students improve their skills by traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.

students and professor speaking at HOLA table at activities fair

Lots to do here

  1. Join HOLA, our student club.
  2. Get inducted to Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honor society.
  3. Come dance and meet others at our salsa dancing workshops.
  4. Attend the annual Dia de los Muertos party.

Calynn Trent in Argentina"Traveling to Argentina allowed me to have a unique, enriching and cultural learning experience that I could not have received elsewhere. The month I spent in Argentina gave me a lifetime of knowledge on the diversity and beauty of speaking Spanish."

 - Calynn Trent '23

May Term with Dr. Bañuelos-Montes and Dr. Flores-Silva

Young man with Roanoke Maroons shirt, nametag that says Kasey Draper

Testimonial: Kasey Draper

My love for Spanish started early in my schooling career. I had many Hispanic friends in middle school, but they always spoke Spanish amongst themselves. I couldn’t understand them, so I started taking Spanish classes.

I enjoyed taking Spanish in high school but coming into college I had no aspirations of becoming a Spanish minor. I took the required Spanish classes for graduation and was about to call it quits.

Then, I spoke with my Spanish professor at the time, and she convinced me that a minor in Spanish would complement my business administration major well. As a result, I declared the minor and haven’t looked back since. Through the Spanish department at Roanoke College, I have gained confidence in my abilities and learned how to communicate with people from around the world.

My goal is to open my own business where I can contribute profits to charities in Latin-American countries and live out my purpose of helping and getting to know as many people as possible.

“Creo que mi transformación más importante fue en relación con la independencia, porque pienso que ahora puedo hacer más cosas que antes del viaje. Me ayudó a pensar más qué quiero hacer en mi vida, sobre mi personalidad, carrera y trabajo.” 

Keara Moore – Intern, Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

One-on-one research leads to presenting at a national conference

Yucatán Semester Program

Roanoke has a special semester long, faculty-led program in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Students take classes with their professor, go on cultural excursions, experience language immersion and perform service projects. Learn more.

Sample Course Offerings:

  • SPAN 304 Spanish for Oral CommunicationStudent above ruins in peru
  • SPAN 330 Spanish for Business
  • SPAN 332 Spanish for Healthcare
  • SPAN 335 The Sounds of Spanish
  • SPAN 381 Translation & Interpretation

    View all courses 

Class of 2022 includes a record five valedictorians and two salutatorians

The seven valedictorians and salutatorians hail from five different states and earned degrees in 10 different majors. Six of the seven are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society.

Roanoke College student named a 2022 Key into Public Service Scholar

James Suleyman is one of just 20 students selected nationwide. The program connects arts and sciences students with Phi Beta Kappa scholarship and public sector opportunities.  

student and professor performing in a play

Bodas de Sangre

This semester, several Modern Languages students participated in the Theatre Department's performance of Bodas de Sangre/Blood Wedding.  The play, written in Spanish by Federico García Lorca, depicts an ill-fated wedding in 1930s rural Spain.  Dr. Nelson Barre (Theatre) and Dr. Teresa Hancock-Parmer (Spanish) collaborated on a bilingual adaptation that allowed audience members to enjoy Lorca's poetry and characters' most heartfelt lines in the original Spanish, with supertitles for translation.  The student actors switched seamlessly between English and Spanish as they performed. 

Our students go on to great grad schools

logos of: NM State University, Universidad D Salamanca, University of New Mexico, NYU, Virginia Tech, Xavier University, University of Delaware, Eastern Mennonite University