The Major in Spanish for International Service (SIS) is a pre-professional career-oriented program designed for service in government, private agencies, or business in Spanish-language and culture related fields. In addition to providing a solid background in the cultural history of Latin America, Spain, and the Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States, the major emphasizes the development of practical skills to prepare students for careers in a wide range of professions in international service. Students combine their course work in the Spanish program with elective courses offered by other related programs at Catholic University. They also add a practical immersion experience by studying in a Spanish-speaking country, and completing an internship. Students are encouraged to supplement their studies with courses dealing with the Spanish-speaking world in areas such as Anthropology, Art, Drama, History, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Theology and Religious Studies.

Students interested in the major in Hispanic Studies Studies should contact the academic advisor, Dr. Charmaine McMahon to devise a study plan.


The SIS major entails 12 courses:

  • 3 intermediate and advanced language courses:
    SPAN104 or 111, 203 or 210, 204 or 211 (203 and 204 can be taken out of sequence)
  • 3 gateway seminars:
    SPAN 300, 301, 302 (can be taken out of sequence)
  • 2 practical skills course, such as:
    SPAN 303: Spanish for the Professions
    SPAN 401: Spanish for Business
    SPAN 402: Spanish Translation
    SPAN 485: Legal Translation and Interpretation
  • 1 content research seminar, such as
    SPAN 407, 412, 435, 436
  • 1 senior thesis seminar: SPAN 489
  • 1 internship: MLL 495
  • 1 elective course that is pre-approved by the advisor. This course can be taught in English

Please note that students who place out of one of the language courses (104, 111, 203, 204, 210, 211) will enroll in additional elective courses.

Education Abroad

SIS Majors are required to spend a semester studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. All credits earned abroad are eligible for transfer if the student is enrolled in affiliated programs.

SPAN 489 must be taken at Catholic University.

Under special circumstances may students petition that the study abroad requirement be waived.

Interdisciplinary Course Work

SIS Majors are strongly advised to complete the course work for the Certificate in European Studies, the Certificate in Latin American and Latino Studies, or to consider a minor or a second major in a related discipline, such as Art, Drama, History, International Business, Media and Communication Studies, Philosophy, or Politics.