Spanish Undergraduate Minor

About the Spanish Minor

Learn Spanish, the second most widely spoken language in the world.

Enhance your ability to communicate with the 400 million people who speak Spanish around the world. With a minor in Spanish at PennWest California, you'll learn to speak, read, write and comprehend this global language.

The 18-credit minor includes four semesters of language learning, plus two elective courses in Spanish culture or applied language skills. Courses are taught both on campus and online, giving students access to native speakers and opportunities for practice. Faculty are readily accessible, student tutoring is available seven days a week, and students are encouraged to strengthen their Spanish using mobile apps.

Learn a second language and enhance your PennWest California degree.

The Spanish minor can be combined with any major program of study or used to satisfy the language requirement of PennWest California's international studies program.

Students who study Spanish are encouraged to think globally and explore various aspects of Hispanic culture. A second language may be especially valuable for students considering careers in:

  • Banking and international finance.
  • Business, industry and e-commerce.
  • Government and military service.
  • Import/export and international trade.
  • Nonprofit organizations and agencies.
  • Teaching
  • Translation/interpretation.
  • Travel and tourism.


Active learning: This minor program gives PennWest California students access to native Spanish speakers and opportunities to practice reading, writing, oral comprehension and speaking skills. Students can join Alpha Mu Gamma, the language honor society, or put their language skills into practice with internships, study abroad opportunities and faculty-led travel. Field experiences may include visits to Spanish restaurants or relevant cultural events.

Practical value: Students can choose elective courses such as Spanish for Business and Spanish for Law Enforcement. Learn to use Spanish within the context of business and international trade, with practice in business scenarios and discussions of issues of particular concern in Hispanic markets. Or focus on using Spanish within a law enforcement context, including arrest situations, assisting victims of crimes, conducting searches and undertaking criminal interviews.

Learn about applying

Average pay boost (above the base rate per hour) for Spanish-speaking employees in positions that offer a bilingual pay differential. SOURCE:
Projected increase in demand for bilingual professionals by 2018, especially in education and healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Benefits of the Minor

The Spanish-speaking population of the United States is projected to exceed 100 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The ability to communicate effectively with this burgeoning population is a benefit in almost any career field. A foreign-language minor enhances your degree, and the Spanish program's online courses make this minor a flexible option that combines well with any academic major.

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Graduate Outcomes

The Spanish program helps students meet certain language requirements when applying to graduate schools. Graduates who have studied Spanish have found careers in government, social services, education, arts and media, travel and tourism, business, and communication. Rosa Valenzuela Gonzalez '16, for example, has combined her language skills with a career as a social worker; Yenny Chaves '14, '17 and Laura Wagner '15, '17 are both Spanish teachers.

Spanish Minor in Spanish
A Spanish language book.


The ability to speak and understand Spanish can facilitate travel or study abroad - and there is no better way to become fluent than to spend time in a setting where Spanish is used every day. PennWest California's Office of International Programming helps you find study abroad or faculty-led travel experiences that suit your schedule, fit your budget and put your language skills into practice.

Wood letters spelling Spanish.

Language proficiency

Learning a second language offers personal and professional benefits that can last a lifetime. Students in PennWest California's Spanish program learn to communicate based on the guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for speaking, reading, listening, writing and cultural proficiency.

Spanish Courses


Course Credits
SPN 101  Elementary Spanish I  3
SPN 102  Elementary Spanish II 3
SPN 203  Intermediate Spanish I  3
SPN 204  Intermediate Spanish II 3
SPN 311  Spanish Conv/Comp/Phonetics I  3
SPN 312  Spanish Conv/Comp/Phonetics II  3
Total 18

Spanish Undergraduate Certificate Programs

  • Spanish for Business

    This certificate program is designed for business majors, business professionals, and others seeking to pursue business opportunities in Spanish-speaking countries or U.S. communities with Spanish-speaking customers and clients. Coursework builds language proficiency and addresses business situations such as serving Spanish-speaking customers and understanding the economic realities in relevant countries. Emphasis is placed on everyday spoken Spanish and business terminology.

  • Spanish for Law Enforcement

    This certificate program is designed for law enforcement officers, correctional officers, public and private security personnel, and for students seeking employment in a relevant field. Students learn practical language skills that will assist them in giving law enforcement commands and dealing with suspects, victims and witnesses; working with prison populations; and addressing border and immigration issues. Students also learn about Hispanic culture and customs so they can better understand the needs of Spanish-speaking communities.