Romance Languages Major, B.A.–Hispanic Linguistics

Department of Romance Studies

Visit Program Website

238 Dey Hall, CB# 3170

(919) 962-2062

Martha Ruiz-García, Undergraduate Advisor for Hispanic Linguistics

ruizgar@email.unc.edu

Abel Muñoz, Study Abroad

amunoz@email.unc.edu

Hassan Melehy, Chair

Glynis Cowell, Director of Undergraduate Studies

gscowell@unc.edu

Spanish, the world’s third largest language and second in terms of native speakers, is spoken by nearly 500 million people across the globe. The over 50 million Hispanics in the United States have become the fastest-growing social and political segment in North America. Because of its prominence, learning to communicate in Spanish can be essential for those entering the global economic market and numerous professions.

Spanish studies at UNC–Chapel Hill thrives on innovative literary, linguistic, and theoretical approaches to the Spanish-speaking world, and includes the study of indigenous, Afro-descendant, Asian, and other cultures. Students obtain well-grounded and comprehensive critical knowledge of the literatures, languages, and cultures of Spain and the Americas, often through collaborative research with a faculty member. Qualifying students have the opportunity to pursue an honor’s thesis with one of our faculty members.

Department Programs

Majors

Minors

Graduate Programs

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire competence in the practice and analysis of Romance languages together with a critical knowledge of the written, oral, and visual traditions of their origin and diaspora. Our faculty promotes interdisciplinary connections and incorporates the study of literature, culture, theory, and history across the curriculum. Through coursework that emphasizes language acquisition, rhetoric, composition, and written and oral expression, our majors receive sustained personalized training in critical thinking and close reading. Upon completion of the program in Romance languages, students should be able to:

  • Participate in conversations on concrete, social, academic, and professional topics
  • Speak in detail about experiences and events in a variety of time frames and moods
  • Represent points of view in discussions, both oral and written
  • Deliver well-organized presentations on concrete, academic and professional topics
  • Write on a wide variety of general interest, professional, and academic topics
  • Follow narrative, informational, and descriptive speech on concrete, academic and professional topics
  • Understand and discuss texts representing a variety of topics and genres

Requirements 

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Gateway Course
SPAN 261Advanced Spanish in Context3
or SPAN 267 Advanced Spanish in Context for Heritage Learners
Core Requirements
SPAN 300Spanish Composition and Grammar Review H3
Two introductory Hispanic linguistics courses:
SPAN/LING 360Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics3
SPAN/LING 376Phonetics and Phonology3
Two specialized Hispanic linguistics courses chosen from: 16
Spanish of the United States
Afro-Hispanic Language Contacts
Undergraduate Seminar in Language and Linguistics
Spanish Syntax
History of the Spanish Language
Spanish Pragmatics
First- and Second-Language Acquisition of Spanish
Spanish Sociolinguistics
Guaraní Linguistics
One course in a language relevant to Spanish chosen from:3
Languages of Spain I
Languages of the Americas I
Beginning Accelerated Brazilian Portuguese I
Two additional courses chosen from the following:6
Specialized linguistics courses:
Spanish of the United States
Afro-Hispanic Language Contacts
Undergraduate Seminar in Language and Linguistics
Advanced Spanish Phonology
Spanish Syntax
History of the Spanish Language
First- and Second-Language Acquisition of Spanish
Spanish Sociolinguistics
Guaraní Linguistics
A second course in a relevant language:
Languages of Spain II
Languages of the Americas II
Intermediate Accelerated Brazilian Portuguese II
Introductory courses in culture, literature, or film:
Trans-Atlantic Cultural Topics
Iberian Cultural Topics
Latin@ American Cultural Topics
Hispanic Film
Studies in Spanish Literature
Studies in Latin American Literature
Total Hours27
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

LING 101 is highly recommended preparation for the emphasis in Hispanic linguistics.

Prospective majors should complete the foreign language requirement by the end of their sophomore year.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Sample Plan One

This plan assumes a placement of SPAN 105 on the Foreign Language placement test. Student placement (and plans) may vary. Although it is possible to complete the Hispanic linguistics concentration if a student begins with SPAN 101 , summer school, study abroad, or doubling up on courses in the final year may be necessary in order to complete it in a timely manner.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
SPAN 105 Spanish for High Beginners 4
SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish I H 3
Hours 7
Sophomore Year
SPAN 204 Intermediate Spanish II H 3
SPAN 261
Advanced Spanish in Context
or Advanced Spanish in Context for Heritage Learners
3
Hours 6
Junior Year
SPAN 300 Spanish Composition and Grammar Review H 3
SPAN 360
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
or Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
3
SPAN ---Specialized Hispanic linguistic course #1 3
SPAN ---Elective course #1 (see requirement list) 3
Hours 12
Senior Year
SPAN 376
Phonetics and Phonology
or Phonetics and Phonology
3
SPAN 414
Languages of Spain I
or Languages of the Americas I
or Beginning Accelerated Brazilian Portuguese I
3
SPAN ---Specialized Hispanic linguistic course #2 3
SPAN ---Elective course #2 (see requirement list) 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 37
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Sample Plan Two

This plan assumes a placement of SPAN 203 on the Foreign Language placement test. Student placement (and plans) may vary.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish I H 3
SPAN 204 Intermediate Spanish II H 3
Hours 6
Sophomore Year
SPAN 261
Advanced Spanish in Context
or Advanced Spanish in Context for Heritage Learners
3
SPAN 300 Spanish Composition and Grammar Review H 3
Hours 6
Junior Year
SPAN 360
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
or Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
3
SPAN ---Specialized Hispanic linguistic course #1 3
SPAN ---Elective course #1 (see requirement list) 3
Hours 9
Senior Year
SPAN 376
Phonetics and Phonology
or Phonetics and Phonology
3
SPAN 414
Languages of Spain I
or Languages of the Americas I
or Beginning Accelerated Brazilian Portuguese I
3
SPAN ---Specialized Hispanic linguistic course #2 3
SPAN ---Elective course #2 (see requirement list) 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 33
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Special Opportunities in Romance Studies

Honors

The departmental honors program is open to any qualified major with a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher and 3.5 or higher in their major courses. Eligible honors candidates will formulate a topic and select an appropriate faculty member to supervise the writing of an honors thesis. Specific coursework for the major with honors consists of enrollment in the honors thesis courses in the language of the major emphasis.

FREN 691H
FREN 692H
Honors Thesis in French
and Honors Thesis in French
6
ITAL 691H
ITAL 692H
Honors Thesis
and Honors Thesis in Italian
6
PORT 691H
PORT 692H
Honors Thesis
and Honors Thesis in Portuguese
6
SPAN 691H
SPAN 692H
Honors Thesis
and Honors Thesis in Spanish
6

691H is taken in the fall semester of the senior year and 692H is taken in the spring semester. FREN, ITAL, PORT, SPAN 398 Undergraduate Seminar may be substituted for the research course if the subject of the seminar is central to the research project chosen. In the 692H course the thesis will be completed and the student examined by the supervisor and two additional faculty members, to be agreed upon by the student and supervisor. The director of honors, in consultation with the examiners, will recommend that the student who has defended the thesis graduate with honors, highest honors, or with course credit. Courses numbered 691H or 398 may count toward the eight courses for the major, but 692H may not. Students who intend to graduate in December should adjust the scheduling of these courses in order to allow for completion of the honors project in December. Students meeting the required grade point averages should contact the undergraduate advisor for their language. For detailed information on the B.A. with honors, visit the department's Web site.

Out-of-Class Language Experience

The department offers credit-bearing internship opportunities through ROML 293 and service-learning opportunities through ROML 194. Both courses satisfy the experiential education (EE) General Education requirement. While ROML 293 is a stand-alone course, ROML 194 is always connected to a specific course. 

Students may enrich their cultural and language experience by applying to the Spanish House, a section of Craige North residence hall. Equipped with a lounge and a kitchen, the house has space for eight male and 16 female students. Students make an effort to speak only Spanish while in residence.

Students also find opportunities to speak Spanish and meet native Spanish speakers in an informal weekly tertulia (gathering). Additional activities involving Spanish include publishing and editorial involvement in the student journals Mezcla and Aguas del pozo; attending lectures, receptions, and films organized by the department and student organizations such as CHispA (Carolina Hispanic Association); and serving the community through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

For further opportunities to speak French, students are encouraged to participate in the weekly meeting of the Table Française and become members of the French club, les Francophiles. Departmental lectures and film series are also offered.

Students wishing to speak Italian may participate in a weekly conversation table, La Tavola Italiana. They may also attend departmental lectures and film series and participate in the Italian Literary Contest.

Students who wish to practice Portuguese can meet weekly for the bate-papo (chat). Students of Portuguese also engage in editorial work and publish in the student journal Aguas del pozo.

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Office sponsors many year-long, semester-long, and summer programs appropriate for students of the Romance languages and has special arrangements with the Department of Romance Studies for the UNC in Montpellier, UNC in Seville, and Florence programs. Students from UNC–Chapel Hill and from other institutions may earn up to 30 semester hours of undergraduate credit in these programs, which are open to qualified undergraduates regardless of academic major. While, in general, students may satisfy up to 50 percent of major or minor coursework abroad, courses that are taught by Romance studies faculty may count differently. For example, students completing the Spanish minor for the professions in health and business may complete all or most of the minor in faculty-led programs abroad.

Students who participate in Study Abroad during the semester have the opportunity to work as course correspondents for a course in Romance studies. Course correspondents report back to the class they serve throughout the semester via online tools, and may receive one hour of credit for their informative work.

General inquiries concerning any of these programs should be addressed to the Study Abroad Office, CB# 3130, FedEx Global Education Center, (919) 962-7002.

Undergraduate Awards

French

Students have the opportunity to be inducted into Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. Those with outstanding records in French are recommended as candidates for the Jacques Hardré Award, which is given to the best graduating senior in French; it includes a cash award.

Italian

Students are nominated for membership in Gamma Kappa Alpha, the Italian honor society, by undergraduate instructors. The society recognizes “outstanding scholastic performance in the fields of Italian language and literature” and encourages students “to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Italian culture.” The Kimberly Kyser Award for Excellence in Italian is awarded to the most outstanding student in Italian and includes a cash prize.

Portuguese

Each year the department awards the Camões Prize to the outstanding student in Portuguese during that year. The prize carries a monetary award made possible by a donation from the Gulbenkian Foundation.

Spanish

Students have the opportunity to be inducted into Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honor society. Those with outstanding performance in the Hispanic literatures and cultures or the Hispanic linguistics majors are eligible for several prizes including the Chancellor’s Award, given to the top graduating senior, the Stoudemire Awards, and the Larry D. King Fellowship. The Thomas Henry Wilson Sr. Award provides support for an undergraduate with a major or minor to conduct research during the summer in a Spanish-speaking country.