BA in Spanish & Linguistics

The Spanish & Linguistics major enables students to combine the study of human language from a variety of perspectives with the study of Spanish language, literature, and culture. In their linguistics courses, students explore the formal structures of language (sound system, internal structure of words, syntactic organization, and representations of meaning) as well as language universals and variability across languages, social dimensions of language use, and historical language change. In their Spanish courses, they learn about the essential grammatical structures and principles governing pronunciation of the language, improve their reading and listening skills, and develop proficiency in speaking and writing. They also gain an understanding of Spanish cultural and literary traditions and learn to analyze and appreciate great literary and cultural works. Integrating coursework for the joint major focuses on the historical development of Spanish, on variation in the uses of Spanish in different parts of the world, or on the specificities of Spanish in relation to other languages. Class projects and interactions with faculty provide frequent opportunities for making connections between the major’s two primary areas of study.

The joint major equips students with language skills and cultural competence for employment across all economics sectors and provides excellent background for a range of careers including language education, testing and assessment, translation and interpretation, international business, speech therapy, voice coaching, information technology, law, nursing and medicine, child development, and social work. It also prepares students for graduate study in the areas of language, literature, linguistics, and related areas such as Latin American or European regional studies and cognitive science.

Requirements

The major consists of thirteen 4-credit courses, all completed with a grade of C or higher. Further information on individual courses can be found in the list of Spanish course descriptions and Linguistics course descriptions, and on the Linguistics program website.

Five courses in Spanish:

  • one Spanish-language course at the 300 level (CAS LS 306, 307, 308, 309, 310)
  • CAS LS 350 Introduction to Analysis of Hispanic Texts
  • two CAS LS 400-level literature courses (including one Peninsular and one Latin American literature course)
  • one CAS LS 500-level literature course

Five courses in linguistics:

  • CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
  • three core courses in linguistics (may be taken in any order; all have CAS LX 250 as a prerequisite):
    1. CAS LX 502 Semantics I
    2. CAS LX 510 Phonetics
    3. CAS LX 522 Syntax I
  • One additional CAS LX elective at or above the 300 level

One course in Spanish linguistics, chosen from:

  • CAS LS/LX 420 Spanish in the United States
  • CAS LS 504 History of the Spanish Language
  • CAS LS 505 Topics in Spanish Linguistics
  • CAS LS/LX 507 The Sounds of Spanish
  • CAS LS/LX 508 The Structure of Spanish
  • Or other course (including relevant courses offered abroad) with advisor approval

One additional linguistics elective, from offerings in:

  • Spanish linguistics (listed above), general linguistics (CAS LX courses at or above the 400 level), sociolinguistics (CAS AN 521), or other linguistics course with advisor approval
  • One additional Spanish course at the CAS LS 300 level or above in the area of advanced language, linguistics, culture, film, or literature; options include courses taken abroad, with advisor approval

Madrid, Burgos, Lima, Quito, or Buenos Aires

Students may take courses to fulfill their language requirement or courses toward their major or minor in the Boston University Madrid, Burgos, Lima, Quito, or Buenos Aires Study Abroad programs. Additional information on these programs is available in the Study Abroad and Internship Programs section of this Bulletin.