Tradition, romance, and enlightenment

Today, Spanish is said to be the fastest growing language in the world. Over 360 million people speak Spanish. In the U.S., it has been the second language, and in Canada, it is becoming increasingly important and popular as NAFTA and other commercial links are established with Latin America. This creates a need for translators, interpreters and teachers, as Spanish speaking persons are needed in tourism, management, corporations, etc.

As Spanish is not presently taught in P.E.I.'s high schools, UPEI presents the only opportunity for learning this language. This means that students wishing to study Spanish start with 1010 which demands no prior background in the language. Those who have had some contact with the language either through exchanges, family background, or travel may enter at a higher level (1020, 2010, 2020, etc.).

Courses designated 1001-1020 or 2010-2020 are basically language courses, while courses above these levels focus mainly on cultural studies. Students may do a so-called minor in Spanish (7 courses) and even a major. In the latter case, however, two of the 14 semester courses must be taken elsewhere, preferably abroad.

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Course Structure


Under the supervision of the Department, a student is allowed to major in Spanish if he/she shows a high level of interest and competency in the subject and intends to cover the minimum requirement of 42 semester hours.

This would be done under the approval of a Departmental Committee and the Dean of Arts after all courses taken or intended to be taken, at UPEI or another Canadian or foreign institution, have been considered. It is highly recommended that students take part of the exchange programs available with the University of Salamanca (Spain) and/or the University of la Republica (Uruguay).

A major consists of a minimum of 42 semester hours of Spanish.


Students must include at least 12 semester hours in a modern language or modern languages other than Spanish.

Students should discuss these courses or other alternatives with the Chair of Modern Languages as early as possible.

Requirements for a Certificate of Proficiency in Conversational Spanish

Studies leading to a Certificate of Proficiency in Conversational Spanish are designed for individuals with no background in Spanish. The program accommodates people wanting to learn Spanish so that they can communicate proficiently with people in another culture, increase professional qualifications, or gain new skills and expertise. Courses at the 1000- and 2000-level focus on basic language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Courses at the 3000-level emphasize oral linguistic competence through discussion of cultural and socio-political issues in the Hispanic world.

A Certificate of Proficiency in Conversational Spanish consists of:

  • 18 semester hours of courses in the following sequence:
    • 1010-1020 Introductory Spanish
    • 2010-2020 Intermediate Spanish
    • 3030-3040 Advanced Spanish
  • After completion of the required course work, success in an oral examination of linguistic competence in Spanish and knowledge of civilization and culture pertaining to the Hispanic world.




A minor in Spanish consists of 21 semester hours of courses in the following sequence:

  • Spanish 1010/1020 Introductory
  • Spanish 2010/2020 Intermediate
  • At least 9 semester hours at the 3000 or 4000 level in Spanish, at least 6 semester hours must be taken at UPEI at the upper level.
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