Spanish and Portuguese

Spanish is spoken by 400 million people worldwide and is an official language in 21 countries and a number of international organizations. Spanish is among the three most spoken languages in the world and, by some estimates, has more native speakers than English. Fluency in Spanish opens countless career opportunities for students.

A Spanish major provides exceptional preparation for students interested in a career in business, international affairs, social services, government, health care, communication, translation, marketing, teaching or any profession that requires bilingual written or oral communication skills and cultural understanding. Whether you already have some Spanish communication skills or are starting at the beginning, you will develop both your language capabilities as well as your cultural competence as part of our major. Classes focus on not only language, but literature, linguistics, customs, values, and culture so that students leave UWM ready to speak, read, write and understand Spanish in business and social contexts. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize our Center for International Education to take advantage of study abroad experiences available in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Spain. Some students go short-term such as a week or two while others choose to stay abroad for a summer program, a semester or a year.

A Spanish minor and a Business Spanish minor are also available. The Spanish minor can be completed with most Spanish courses at the 300-level and above, while the curriculum for the Business Spanish minor is more structured, with required courses in Business and Legal Spanish. In addition, students who plan to pursue healthcare careers will find value in our Certificate in Spanish for Health Professionals. The certificate is similar to a minor in terms of the number of credits required and can enhance a student's resume. This certificate can be structured with a health focus for students who already have a high level of proficiency in Spanish but want to expand their knowledge of different areas of healthcare, (more classes in health care delivery policy; pharmaceuticals, medicine, and drugs; and health communication) or with a language focus for students who already have a background in healthcare but want to develop their language proficiency in Spanish (more classes in advanced Spanish).

Download our fact sheet to the right to learn more about the Spanish major, including our coursework, scholarships, and student organizations.