Who We Are

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is a research-oriented unit made up of a diverse, multidisciplinary faculty specializing in language, literary and cultural studies, creative writing, linguistics, and Spanish for the professions. We provide students with diverse cultural perspectives, critical thinking skills, and awareness of contemporary and historical issues to prepare them to be multilingual global citizens.

Our Student Populations

The Department offers an undergraduate major and minor in Spanish and a minor in Portuguese. Our high-impact programs foster student success and post-graduate skill development, while our small class sizes create a strong sense of belonging. We support student learning through conversation groups and tutoring services. Additionally, we mentor students through the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU). Our strong commitment to community outreach empowers students to engage in service projects related to translation, Spanish in the Community, and the Iowa Women's Archive. Many of our students study abroad and are awarded Fulbright scholarships in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers courses leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy in Spanish, with emphases on literature or linguistics, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing. The literature track allows students to specialize in various scholarly areas, from medieval Iberian literature to postmodern cultural studies. Linguistics students can specialize in formal syntax, acquisition, phonology, and sociolinguistics. The M.F.A. program is unique because it trains all students to write both poetry and prose, principally fiction, through writing workshops and literary studies courses. Graduates from our Ph.D. program have obtained positions at colleges and universities while M.F.A. graduates have successfully published their creative works.