The Spanish and Spanish American Studies Program offers an ideal academic setting and numerous opportunities for students to sharpen their skills and broaden their understanding of the language, literatures, and cultures of the world’s Spanish-speaking peoples, while enhancing their professional options. Our program is guided by the notion that socially responsible individuals in today’s world must be able to cross-linguistic and cultural boundaries. Consequent with this principle, lower- and upper-division courses in our flexible minor programs offer students a unique educational experience to help you meet the complex challenges that characterize today’s globalized world.
The Spanish and Spanish American Studies student has the opportunity to acquire a solid knowledge of the richness of Hispanic literary and cultural traditions, in preparation for graduate studies in Spanish or for work in any field requiring exceptional skills in Spanish and an understanding of Hispanic culture. For the language beginner, we offer lively lower-division courses that emphasize the use of Spanish to communicate. Students who wish to major in Spanish and Spanish American studies are encouraged to pursue the individualized major option. Interested students should see a Spanish and Spanish American studies faculty member to declare this major option. An example of the courses that might constitute an individualized major in SSAS is available in the individualized major section of the catalog.
The program offers two minors, one in Spanish and Spanish American studies and one in creative writing in Spanish.
For those who envision training in Spanish language and culture as an auxiliary skill to be coupled with another field of study, we recommend a Minor in Spanish and Spanish American studies requiring a total of 23 semester course credits to complete.
The Minor in Creative Writing in Spanish makes possible for all interested students to grow as writers of poetry or prose, developing their craft in Spanish. It requires 22 semester course credits. Students engage with fellow students at the Creative Writing Program in English as well as with the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area creative writing community through literary events and find many opportunities for professional development in teaching, translating, interpreting, publishing and performance. Creative writing in Spanish can also be a useful tool for many students interested in journalism, television, film, art, music and drama to expand their job possibilities not only in the United States, but also in Latin America and Spain. In addition, we offer a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing in Spanish.
Students wishing to practice their conversational skills and share their interest in Hispanic culture can benefit from two complementary opportunities. The Spanish Club is open to all students who want to participate in conversation and peer-led activities. The program is also linked to the Mills Peer Tutoring Program.
We encourage our students to study in Latin America or Spain for one or two semesters through various study abroad programs with which Mills is affiliated. This gives the students an invaluable opportunity to perfect language skills and to obtain firsthand knowledge of the areas they are studying. We also encourage all of our students to increase their knowledge of Hispanic cultures by taking advantage of a wide variety of events in the Bay Area. These are complemented by our own annual spring lecture series, film series, and guest lecturers. Recent topics include “Images of Women in Cuban Literature,” “Rethinking Cultural and National Identity,” “Images of Hispanic Women in Film,” “Memory and Imagination,” “Latin American Jewish Women Writers: Identity and Writing,” “Contemporary Mexican Literature and Music,” “Modernity and Cultural Pluralism in Spain and Latin America,” “Latin American Film and Latin America in Translation” and “Latin American Poetry.”
Additionally, a wealth of monographs, serials, and online resources are available to support students’ work in Spanish and Spanish American studies. The Special Collections of Olin Library include the Arturo Torres-Rioseco collection of 20th-century Latin American literature, as well as early 20th-century limited editions such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with illustrations by Pablo Picasso.
For those who envision training in Spanish language and culture as an auxiliary skill to be coupled with another field of study, we offer a minor in Spanish and Spanish American studies requiring a total of 6 Mills credits to complete. Elementary Spanish I and Elementary Spanish II will count toward the Spanish minor.
Entering students unsure of their placement should take the Spanish placement test, available on Blackboard through the Mills Portal.
For more information on placement exams, visit the Office of the Provost's information page on the Mills website.
Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
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