Spanish at Aquinas College

Spanish Major (BA)

Major Requirements:

Thrity-five (35) credit hours exclusive of WL101, WL102, and WL201. Required courses:

  • WL202
  • WL301
  • WL302
  • WL304
  • Two literature courses
    • WL325 or WL326
    • WL327 or WL329
  • One culture course 
    • WL320, WL362, WL363 or WL472
  • Plus 12 elective credits

Students seeking to major in Spanish must complete all courses beyond the introductory level with a grade of “C” or higher to continue with the next-level language class (102, 201, 202, 301, and 302). At graduation the student must have a cumulative G.P.A. of B (3.0) or higher in those courses used to fulfill the major requirement. All majors are required to spend a semester abroad or complete an approved internship either in the United States or abroad. At least 18 credit hours must be taken at Aquinas College, which may include courses taken while studying abroad. Aquinas College conducts a variety of Study Abroad programs representing the Modern Languages offered by the Department. Participants in study abroad programs remain registered at Aquinas College and the student’s financial aid package may be applied in full.

All Spanish majors and students who wish to enroll in SH496 and/or 497 must demonstrate proficiency at the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standard of Advanced-Low in Writing and Speaking through examination in SH301 and 302.

Students transferring credits for WL 301 and/or 302 from other institutions will be required to take a proficiency exam. Students must consult with the department chair to arrange the proficiency exam.

Education students seeking a certification in Spanish or Bilingual endorsement must complete an OPI or OPIc exam proctored on campus and obtain a score of Advanced Low or higher and must complete WL 305/EN705 as one of their elective courses.


  • WL202 Fourth Semester Spanish (4)

    Further expansion of the four language skills and cultural knowledge at an intermediate level. Prerequisite: C or higher in SH201 or equivalent.

  • WL301 Advanced Composition (4)

    Strong emphasis on reading, writing, and grammar review. Students approach writing as a process. Different writing genres are explored, including description, narration, exposition, argumentation and literary analysis. Students study and critique model compositions, and practice the composition process in stages. Emphasis on grammar structures and vocabulary enhancement is designed to improve written communication. Multiple drafts and peer editing of compositions are part of the process. Prerequisite: C or higher in SH202 or equivalent.

  • WL302 Conversation and Diction (On AQ Campus) (3)

    A course designed to integrate the four basic language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading. The main focus of this course is based on controlled conversations correlated with readings, reports, debates, discussions and presentations. Topics include, among others, language, politics, national and personal identities, diversity issues, foreigners, minorities, the educational system, religion, and gender issues. This course may be repeated if taken abroad and on campus. Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.

  • WL304 Spanish Pronunciation (3)

    This course provides a comprehensive description of the sound system of Spanish, with attention to the major phonetic characteristics of regional varieties of Spanish both from Spain and Latin America. The main goal of this class is to help students improve their own pronunciation of Spanish through an understanding of how sounds are produced (phonetics) and organized in the Spanish language (phonology). It will also address common pronunciation problems faced by learners of Spanish. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent.

  • WL325 Seminar in Spanish Literature: Medieval and Early Modern Spain (3)

    Reading, discussion, and analysis of Peninsular works in prose, poetry, and/ or theater from the 12th century to the 17th century. The course’s organizing theme and its selection of genres may vary. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent. Recommended: SH302.

  • WL326 Seminar in Spanish Literature: 18th Century to Present Day Spain (3) SC

    Reading, discussion, and analysis of Peninsular works in prose, poetry, and/ or theater from the 18th century to the present. The course’s organizing theme and its selection of genres may vary. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent. Recommended: SH302

  • WL327 Survey of Spanish American Literature (3)

    Reading, discussion, and analysis of the principal literary works and movements of Spanish America, from the Pre-Columbian times to the present. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent. Recommended SH302

  • WL329 Chicano/a and Latino/a Literature (3)

    In this course we will develop skills in speaking, listening, and writing; the means of which will be acquired through reading Chicano/a or Latino/a literature. Through this study we will gain a perspective on multicultural and multilingual life in the Spanish-speaking diasporas and places of origin. Class lecture, discussions and assignments will be conducted in Spanish. This course has a travel component. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent.

  • WL320 Hispanic Film and Literature (3)

    Study of Spanish feature films from Spain, Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Includes film viewing, discussion, in-class essays, oral presentations, and thematic compositions based on literature and film with common issues. Organizing themes vary, as does the selection of film to be viewed. Emphasis is on language acquisition, historical and cultural understanding, character and plot analysis, discussion, and self-expression. Prerequisite: SH301 or equivalent.

  • WL363 Latin-American Culture and Civilization (3)

    Study of political and social institutions, education, art, architecture, literature, and music from pre-Columbian period to present; contemporary problems and everyday life. Prerequisite: WL301 or equivalent.

  • WL305 Spanish-English Linguistics (3) SC

    This course is an introduction to the study of the different areas of the Spanish language: phonology, morphology and syntax, and its differences from English. Several aspects related to language variation, such as regional dialects, bilingualism and Spanish in the US will be discussed. Prerequisite: WL301. Recommended: WL302.

  • WL472: Engaging Latin@ Grand Rapids (3)

    This is an experiential learning course dedicated to understand the effects of immigration on Spanish speaking children in the greater Grand Rapids Area. Aquinas students will analyze Spanish narratives and films. Class lecture and discussion will be conducted completely in Spanish, as well as the assignments and exams. In addition, Aquinas students will volunteer two (2) hours a week at a Bilingual School such as César E. Chávez Elementary School. Through this study, we will gain a perspective on multicultural and multilingual life in the Spanish-Speaking diaspora of Western Michigan. Prerequisite: WL301.