Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world with nearly half a billion speakers spread across dozens of countries. The impact of Hispanic culture is found throughout the Americas, Europe and beyond.

Why Choose Spanish?

Spanish is the most common language in the U.S. after English, and it’s the official language in more than 20 countries worldwide. Majoring in Spanish allows you to develop practical language and critical thinking skills that are applicable to any career field.


The Spanish major is interdisciplinary and includes study of the culture, history and geography of the countries where Spanish is spoken. In addition to courses focusing on grammar, composition and conversation, Spanish classes examine topics including:

  • Hispanic musical heritage
  • Spanish culture through film
  • Spanish civilization
  • Caribbean culture
  • Women in Hispanic literature
  • Masterpieces of Hispanic literature

Our Faculty

Our small class sizes (usually no more than 15 students, and never more than 20) allow you to develop language fluency as well as establish a close relationship with your professor. The faculty in this department are teachers and mentors who pride themselves on the deep relationships they create with students.

Nueva York

Spanish speakers are everywhere in New York City. As a Spanish major at Manhattan College, you’ll have a variety of experiential opportunities that take you out of the classroom and into the world including:

  • A themed residence community on campus, Casa Nuestra
  • Trips to museums in New York City
  • Plays, concerts and lectures, both on campus and throughout NYC
  • International study abroad programs
  • Internships at magazines, museums, film companies, hospitals and schools
  • Language conversation tables
  • Meet a Spanish Major: Paulina Ochoa - Figueroa
    Spanish major Paulina Ochoa - Figueroa

    "I grew up in Mexico, but came to the United States when I was 16 years old. Even though I’m a native Spanish speaker, I chose to major in Spanish because I love Spanish literature. Since I was young, I remember my mother reading my stories in Spanish. When I moved to the U.S. and went to high school, I was put in a native Spanish speaking class. We were reading Spanish plays by Federico Garcia Lorca, and I began to become comfortable in that space with literature.

    "I was in AP Spanish Lit. class, where my teacher told me about a scholarship being offered at Manhattan College for Spanish language. I won the scholarship and decided to come to Manhattan College because I like the location and the size of the campus because I didn’t want to get lost. It had been only two years since I arrived from Mexico to the U.S. and I didn’t want to be out my comfort zone. But at the same time, I wanted to have a nice experience and that’s what Manhattan College offered to me.

    "The faculty in this department are great. Dr.Gottlieb, she is so amazing. When I was taking the test for the scholarship, she was the one monitoring it. I remember her and perceived her to be a very strict and stern professor, but then I got to one of her classes two years ago and I remember having so much fun and learning so much, it was a really nice class.

    "All the faculty at Manhattan College, not just the Spanish professors, in general are the best. I studied abroad in Madrid and I could see the difference. Sometimes we take for granted the professors here who are so passionate and care so much about their work. Not to say there’s anything wrong with the education in Madrid but I feel like it is much better in the United States especially Manhattan College.

    "The hardest thing about starting college for me was time management. I really didn’t know what to expect for my first semester for my freshmen year. I was really scared; I would care about my subjects but would leave things for the last minute and it was really hard not to procrastinate.

    "One professor told me that in order to get everything done by the deadlines it would be good to set deadlines for a few days before things were actually due. For example, if a paper was due on the 12th, you would put it on the 9th so you can have a reasonable amount of time to proofread it; make sure everything you wanted to say was right and even go to the professor’s office. That really helped me a lot."

What Will You Learn?

The Spanish major combines practical language skills with literary and cultural studies. As a Spanish major, you will:

  • Become fluent in reading, writing and speaking Spanish
  • Understand how this language works in comparison to English
  • Learn about the history, literature, film, art, and music of the countries where Spanish is spoken
  • Gain a critical understanding of and appreciation for the culture of the people who speak the language

Spanish is also offered as a minor.

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

Because Spanish is the fastest-growing language in the United States, there is a high demand for proficient Spanish speakers in the workforce. A major in Spanish can lead to a career in many fields ranging from education to business.