Spanish Major Resources

The Spanish major is designed to be flexible, creative, and meet a host of different goals, allowing you to develop the advanced linguistic skills and cultural competence so frequently sought in today’s competitive and interconnected world. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a number of jobs in government, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector, as well as for entry into graduate and professional schools. You will choose between two concentrations within the Spanish Major: Translation and Interpretation (Concentration A) and Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures (Concentration B).

Here you will find:

  • Key information about your major
  • How and when to meet with your major advisor
  • Planning tools that will help you track your progress in the major
  • Ways to explore career opportunities related to the Spanish major

Take a few moments to look at the information below. It will help you plan effectively and avoid surprises during your studies at John Jay. Please visit the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures website for information, resources, and opportunities!


Concentration A (Translation and Interpretation) equips students with the necessary knowledge, tools and abilities to become competent interpreters and translators.

Concentration B (Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures) is designed for students who wish to pursue a more general course of study of the varied cultural and literary histories of the Spanish-speaking world.

SPA Requirements

You are responsible for the major requirements that were in effect when you declared the major. To confirm the requirements you should be following, go to the Undergraduate Bulletin for that academic year. For example, if you declared the Spanish major in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, you would click on the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin. If you declared the major and then left the College for more than one full semester, you’re responsible for the major requirements in effect when you return, if they have changed. Not sure when you declared the major? Find out here.

Below, find the Undergraduate Bulletin that was in effect when you declared the major.

Each of the following courses can count toward your major requirements and toward your General Education requirements:
World Cultures College Option 300-Level Justice Communications
FRE 201 SPA 309 SPA 202
POR 201 SPA 336 SPA 212
SPA 201 SPA 230
SPA 211 SPA 231
Note that some of the above courses have prerequisites.

Major Advising

Please take the Spanish placement test at 7.64 New Building before contacting your advisors. (See the Placement Test and Prerequisites section of this page for more information. If you have Spanish AP credit or Spanish transfer credit posted on your John Jay transcript, you do not need to take the placement test.) Then contact the advisor of your desired concentration with questions about declaring the major, schedules, etc.

All students must complete a learning plan with their advisor before they start the program. Transfer students should contact the relevant advisor as soon as they are admitted to John Jay.

Major Advising in Summer session (June 3- August 27) 2024: Spanish majors who need advising can reach out to Professor Vicente Lecuna (

Major Advising in Fall 2024

For Spanish BA (concentration A: translation & interpreting) & Certificate Programs: 

Spanish Minor Advising:

Major Advising in Summer session (June 3- August 27) 2024: Spanish majors who need advising can reach out to Professor Vicente Lecuna (

Major Advising in Fall 2024:

For Spanish BA (concentration B: literature & culture): 

Spanish Minor Advising:

John Jay places major holds on registration for all upper-sophomore students (45-59 credits). The goal for this hold is that you get advisement for the major. If you are in this situation, please make an appointment to meet with your major advisor. We will make sure that you are on track to complete the major and remove the stop so that you can register. How do you know if you have a major hold? Go to CUNYfirst and complete the following steps:

  1. Check the Holds box of your CUNYfirst Student Center. If "Advisement Required" appears, click on “details.”
  1. Click on “Advisement Required.”
  1. See which type of advisement you need. If you must see a major advisor, then make a major advising appointment following the steps preferred by this department.

Plan Ahead: Graduate on Time

The Spanish major requires successful completion of the beginning Spanish course sequence or placement test results indicating an equivalent level of Spanish language competence. The Spanish placement test will enable us to place you in the course that matches your current level. If you have taken SPA courses with us or if you have SPA courses on your transcript that have been transferred from another school or exam (e.g. CLEP), you do not need to take the test. If that is the case, bring a copy of your unofficial transcript when you come to see a major advisor.

To take the placement test:

  • You'll need to take a survey first. Find all necessary information here.


Depending on your placement test results, you may be required to complete the beginning Spanish sequence (either SPA 101SPA 102 or SPA 111SPA 112). Note that both of these pairs can also be used to fulfill language general education requirements.

The number of semesters that it will take you to complete the program will depend on the Spanish courses you’ve already taken or your placement test results - hence the importance of taking the test if necessary and contacting your major advisor as soon as possible.

The foundational language courses follow a strict sequence. They can only be taken one per semester and in the following order:


Translation and Interpretation (Concentration A) courses also follow a strict sequence. Only courses in the same level (200-level, 300-level, 400-level) can be taken in the same semester. Note that this sequence only starts in fall semesters:


Not all courses are offered every semester. For this reason, it is very important to make a learning plan with your advisor at the beginning of the program. The plan will indicate the courses you need to take each semester.

Remember that you will need at least a 2.0 GPA in the major and at least an overall 2.0 GPA to graduate.

  • DegreeWorks degree audit - Use this online planning tool to track your overall progress toward graduation. You will see which of your general education and major requirements are completed, in progress, or still needed.  Refer to the DegreeWorks FAQs to better understand how to use this helpful tool. Note: be sure to confirm the accuracy of your degree audit with a general advisor and major advisor.
  • Spanish Major Checklist - Fill out this printable worksheet to keep track of which major requirements you have completed and which ones you still need.
  • Sample Four Year Plan - See our Concentration A Sample Four Year Plan and our Concentration B Sample Four Year Plan for an example of how you could complete all your degree requirements (major, general education, electives) and graduate in four years! Remember that this sample plan shows just one possible way to combine your requirements. Transfer students in particular should work with advisors to determine a plan that works best for them.

Study abroad can be an excellent way to develop your Spanish language skills, deepen your cultural knowledge, earn credit towards your degree, and broaden your perspective. If you plan to study abroad, it is important to discuss the possibility with a major advisor. For information about programs, see the International Studies and Programs Office webpage.

A General Academic Advisor will confirm what general academic requirements you still need, make suggestions about smart course planning that will help you graduate without delays, discuss your interest in adding a minor or second major, inform you about opportunities such as study abroad, discuss general questions and concerns, and make helpful referrals. Visit the Academic Advisement Center's webpage for more information.

Spanish and Careers

  • Enhanced career opportunities
  • Higher pay
  • More flexibility in employment opportunities
  • Internships
  • Study abroad courses in a Spanish-speaking country. A semester of study abroad in a Spanish-speaking university, approved by the student’s major advisor and department chair, may substitute for up to fifteen (15) credit hours toward the major.
  • Sigma Delta Pi honor society
  • The Juan A. Soto Scholarship

Listen to Professor Aida Martinez-Gomez talk about the Spanish major and all the interesting doors it can open for students professionally!


This major can be a great foundation for a wide range of jobs, and some possibilities to consider are:

Arts, Media & Entertainment:

  • Advertiser for Spanish-Speaking Markets
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Journalist
  • Publishing Editor or Specialist
  • TV/ Radio Reporter
  • TV/radio/web writer or editor


  • College Professor
  • Elementary and Secondary Teacher


  • Foreign Exchange Trader
  • Importer/Exporter
  • International Account Manager
  • International Banking Officer
  • International Marketing
  • International Relations Consultant
  • Personnel Manager
  • Translator/Interpreter


  • Court Interpreter
  • Cultural Attaché
  • Foreign Service Diplomat
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Intelligence specialist (FBI, CIA, DEA)
  • Translator/interpreter

Social Services:

  • Attorney
  • Human Rights Worker
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Law Enforcement Specialist
  • Medical Professions
  • Social Worker

The Center for Career and Professional Development is a great resource for all questions related to job searches, internships, and career preparation. CCPD staff are available to meet individually with students and alumni in L72.00 New Building. To request a 45-minute counseling appointment, log on to John Jay Careers Online. 15-minute drop-in sessions are available all day Mon-Fri. (Stop by in person earlier the same day to schedule a drop-in session.)