Why Study Spanish?

The United States has the second largest Spanish-speaking community in the world, ahead of Spain itself. In fact, by the year 2050, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the US will speak Spanish. Increasingly, companies and organizations throughout our country are working to make sure that they hire Spanish-speaking employees.

Studying Spanish is essential to relate to these vibrant and growing communities of Spanish-speakers, whether you are traveling or studying abroad or interacting with your neighbors in the United States.

Why Study Spanish at Wheaton College?

Average Spanish Class Size
Years of Combined Faculty Teaching Experience
Ratio of Spanish Faculty to Students

A Spanish major at Wheaton College will not only equip you with the linguistic skills necessary to use Spanish in your career but will also challenge you to create profound intercultural connections through cultural immersion experiences and the study of the diverse literatures, cultures, and histories of the Hispanic world.

Students of Spanish at Wheaton benefit from a tight-knit community of learners who are passionate about language learning, intercultural competence and connection, and Christian ministry, whether domestically or abroad. You will have opportunities to engage in regular discussion in Spanish through our tertulias and conversation groups, join the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and apply for competitive scholarships related to language study.

We also provide our students with various leadership opportunities, such as teaching and research assistantships, tutoring, conversation aides, web marketing, as well as internships to teach in high schools or obtain work experience in other professional contexts.

Finally, the unique Christian liberal arts education setting at Wheaton encourages students to interact with all of God's world from a Christian perspective. No matter your background or future plans, the Spanish major will challenge you to communicate effectively in Spanish, grasp profound concepts, ask significant questions and seek answers, develop original ideas, and ultimately become an intellectually self-motivated, life-long learner and servant of Christ.

As a student in the Wheaton College Spanish program, you will benefit from

  • A premiere Spanish program focused on linguistic and intercultural skill-building in a distinctly Christian liberal arts framework.
  • A wide offering of class sessions: we provide courses on conversation, grammar, literature, film, history, health professions, teaching methods, and more.
  • A globally minded community of learners: over the last five years, our Spanish majors have come from over 30 different countries and states.
  • Immersion study abroad programs in Mexico, Latin America, and Spain.
  • The opportunity to use your bilingualism in contexts like healthcare, education, ministry, business, social services, and government and legal settings.
  • Opportunities to connect with the Latin American and Latino/a Studies program on campus.

How to Find Us

For general inquiries on the Spanish program, please reach out to Dr. Stephanie Gates, the section coordinator.

What Will I Learn?

As a Spanish major at Wheaton, you will learn the forms and functions of the Spanish language, understand native speech and writing, and learn to communicate creatively and comprehensively in Spanish. From grammar, composition, and conversation courses to courses on history, culture, literature, and teaching, the Spanish curriculum will allow you to fully grasp the Spanish language and culture.

The Spanish major requires 32 hours of coursework at the 300 level or above. As part of the major, students are required to complete at least one term of study abroad in a Spanish speaking country.

From grammar, composition, and conversation courses to courses on history, culture, literature, and teaching, the Spanish curriculum will allow you to fully grasp the Spanish language and culture, all within a distinctly Christian liberal arts framework.

Opportunities for Spanish Majors

Wheaton Students at Wheaton in Mexico

While classroom instruction significantly contributes to the acquisition of a second language, everyday, meaningful interaction with the target culture and people amounts to more effective learning. For this reason, the Spanish major requires academic study, normally 8-10 credit hours, in a Spanish-speaking country of the student’s choice. Students may choose to study for a semester or year abroad or they may participate in a summer with approved programs that Wheaton does not offer. 

The Spanish program at Wheaton College features several options for studying abroad such as: Wheaton in Latin America, Wheaton in Mexico, Wheaton in Spain, and the Pilgrimage to Santiago.

Wheaton offers a PK-12 Professional Educator License (PEL) in teaching a modern language (Spanish, French, or German). Other endorsements, such as ESL/Bilingual or Special Education can be added to this initial license, which can be earned as an undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.

The Violet-Bergquist Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding Junior or Senior student who is a French or Spanish major preparing either to teach or to use French or Spanish in Christian Service. For further information please see either the French or Spanish section leader.

Both through direct communication and by way of the Center for Vocation and Career, the Spanish Section is often made aware of internship or employment opportunities that require proficiency of varying degrees in Spanish. A number of Wheaton students also find occasion to use their Spanish skills in volunteer and ministry positions both in the area and in short-term trips out of the country, such as the annual Spring Break Honduras Trip.

Led by a student with advanced skills, students meet in the cafeteria for casual conversation and language practice over dinner at least once a week. Any member of the campus community who is interested in using or improving language skills is welcome to join the group.

Sigma-Delta-Pi-group-shotSigma Delta Pi

Established in August of 2017, Wheaton College's Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi has honored many exemplary students of Spanish into the society, as well as faculty as honorary members. We look forward to promoting the study and scholarship of the Spanish language, always acknowledging Christ as our center and helper in the process.

Spanish News

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Graduate Opportunities for Spanish Majors

Our graduates use their bilingualism in contexts like healthcare, education, ministry, business, social services, and government and legal settings. Many of our alumni go on to graduate school upon graduation or after gaining experience in the marketplace. 


  • Arcadia University
  • Rush University
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Wheaton College Graduate School
  • Harvard University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Indiana School of Medicine
  • University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine
  • University of Colorado’s Physician Assistant Program
  • University of Chicago MAT Urban Teacher Education Program
  • Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico/Ponce
  • Universidad de Salamanca
  • Columbia Theological Seminary
  • MAT
  • MS Nursing or Physician’s Assistant
  • MD
  • JD
  • MSW
  • PsyD
  • PhD
  • MDiv
  • MA
My Spanish professors were wonderful! They shaped me not only academically but also personally and spiritually and are a large part of why I loved my time at Wheaton. — Christa De Jager '20, Spanish Read More