Undergraduate Contacts

Patricia Moore-Martinez
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, Majors
426 Anderson Hall

Joshua Pongan
Advisor for Certificate Students 
420 Anderson Hall

Adam Shellhorse
Director of Latin American Studies
Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Advisor
440 Anderson Hall

Undergraduate Program Overview

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Temple University prepares students for the pluralistic, globalized society of the twenty-first century not only through rigorous language training, but also by providing undergraduates with a liberal arts education. Through instruction in the languages, cultures, and literatures of Spain, Spanish America, and the Luso-Brazilian world, students acquire bilingual competency in the quintessential liberal arts skills: clear written and oral communication, problem solving competencies and real-world experience. Specialized courses in Business, Legal, Medical Spanish and Translation Skills complement the robust array of language and literature course offerings that allow both majors and non-majors to tailor their learning towards their professional and intellectual goals.  In addition to on-campus instruction, the Department facilitates student connections with local and global communities through participation in one of our special programs. These programs include: an intensive immersion program in Spanish and Latin American Studies (LASS); diverse programs abroad, including our Temple Spain Programs; and service learning and internships in areas of business, social service, and education in Philadelphia. Students studying in Spanish and Portuguese are well positioned for life after Temple University. Our students attend graduate, law and medical schools; they enter public service through careers in public policy, international relations and education; and they utilize their language skills in the business and health sectors.


Degrees and Programs of Study

Our department offers 3 different major tracks, allowing students to select courses from each track in order to meet their personal and professional language goals.

Language, Literature, Linguistics: The major in Language, Literature and Linguistics embodies the curriculum of a foundational liberal arts program. Skills in research, information literacy, analysis, cultural competencies and written and oral discourse are honed, along with language proficiency through direct language instruction, and courses in literature and linguistics.

Language and Professional Studies: The major in Language and Professional Studies is designed for the student whose career interests focus upon the professional world.  Courses in Translation, Medical, Business and Legal Spanish form the foundation for this track.

Spanish for Education: The major in Spanish for Education not only prepares students linguistically for their future careers as educators, but also fulfills the Spanish requirements for certification in Spanish for Secondary Education in the College of Education

In addition to the three major tracks, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers minors and certificates for students from all backgrounds and disciplines.


Students may begin their courses in Spanish and Portuguese at the elemental level where the instruction targets communication skills allowing students to use their second language even after one semester whilst preparing them for the demands of upper level courses. At the low intermediate level, dedicated courses in reading, writing and conversation enhance proficiency as students explore more deeply Hispanic culture. The diversity of courses at the intermediate level allows students to use their language skills to pursue particular interests. Survey courses cover topics such as Spanish or Spanish-American literature, film or culture while professional courses introduce students to relevant cultural practices and vocabulary in sectors such as health care or business. Students majoring in Spanish will polish their written and oral discourse in the writing intensive courses and the advanced level courses. In advanced level courses such as Spanish-English Contrasts, Hispanic Women Writers and Spanish Internship, students delve into their subject producing extended oral and written discourse thus preparing them for graduate study in any discipline and for their future careers.



Students graduating with a major in Spanish enter careers in diverse fields.  Recent alumni have found employment in local and federal government positions, social work, healthcare, education, human resources, insurance, tourism and hospitality, journalism and NGOs. In addition, majors have begun post-secondary studies in medical schools, law schools, physical therapy, anthropology, sociology, Spanish, linguistics and education.


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese maintains relationships with a variety of organizations throughout the city of Philadelphia offering students ample volunteer, community service, research and internship opportunities.  These experiential learning experiences provide students with real world language and work experience, increasing their skills and confidence.

Throughout the academic year, students of any level may volunteer with educational and neighborhood organizations, such as mentoring primary and high school students, teaching seniors or contributing to the greening of the city infrastructure.  In the summer, advanced students may receive credit by taking an Internship course for which they invest significant time in an organization. Students have been engaged in service opportunities in journalism, social services, law, heath care, educational development and immigrant rights. By using their language skills to fulfill their responsibilities, students maximize their classroom learning and attain poise in a professional setting.


Exceptional students may apply to become members of the prestigious Spanish Honor Society: Sigma Delta Pi. A graduating senior is awarded the Sigma Delta Pi prize each year. The Department also offers the Kristina Joanne Chelius award.  Established in 2009 by Thomas and Joanne Chelius in memory of their daughter Kristina, CLA ’91, this award is given to outstanding junior or senior students majoring in Spanish who have financial need.