Welcome to the Spanish and Portuguese Undergraduate Program
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. In the first stage of the major students become fluent speakers and writers of Spanish or Portuguese. At the advanced level, the major requires completion of courses in history of the language, linguistics, and the literatures and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Students can choose to emphasize language, literature, culture, or a combination of all of them. Many students combine a major Spanish or Portuguese with a second major in a field/discipline in the humanities, the social sciences, or the natural sciences.
As our societies become more global the need to learn about other places and peoples is more important than ever. The Spanish language is vital for understanding the cultures of Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Hispanics in the United States. Spanish is the second most-used language in the U.S., and the second most prevalent native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese. Spanish is also the second most studied language in the world, after English. Portuguese is also one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world with about 200 million speakers spread through five continents. Qualified students majoring in Spanish or Portuguese may spend their junior year at one of the University of California Education Abroad centers in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Mexico City, Costa Rica, Santiago de Chile, or Rio de Janeiro.