Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos!

Whether you are considering a career in law, international business, government, film, public relations, advertising, health care, journalism, teaching, etc., a major or minor in Spanish will positively enhance your career options when you graduate. Across the nation, thousands of graduates compete for jobs in the above-mentioned fields and admission to these graduate programs, and there is no better way of catching the eye of an employer or admissions counselor than by having a degree or advanced coursework in another language!

The Spanish Program offers a major and minor in Spanish. A major in Spanish not only prepares you for linguistic fluency in the world’s second-most spoken native language (first is Mandarin), but also cultural fluency that will allow you to navigate the Hispanic world, whether it be through travel, business, law, health care, or any number of possible interactions in our increasingly globalized world.

The Spanish minor also provides you with linguistic fluency, as well as some advanced coursework in Hispanic culture that serve as the perfect compliment to any major.

Students in the Spanish Program an also take advantage of an array of study abroad opportunities with semester long programs and E-Term courses in Mexico, Peru, Spain, and other Spanish-speaking nations. Our study abroad programs provide students with exciting professional opportunities and connections that allow students to not only further their language study, but also become globally competent citizens who truly embody the Ferrum College mission of “Not Self, But Others.”

Why Study Spanish? Here are a few reasons:

  1. You will be competitive on the job market – Being fluent in another language not only stands out on a resume, but also opens doors to employment opportunities that require some skill with foreign language. Businesses and government agencies will value your international expertise, and the number of jobs to which you can apply will easily triple.
  2. You can get a job in another country – Do you like to travel? Many of our graduates teach English or Spanish abroad after graduation for international organizations such as the Peace Corps. Why not combine a passion for travel with work?
  3. You will be better prepared for graduate school – Some graduate programs require a higher level of proficiency in a foreign language in order to be admitted into certain programs such as those in the humanities (literature, music, philosophy).
  4. Personal enjoyment – Being able to converse with someone in their native language will provide you with immense satisfaction and a huge sense of achievement. Building relationships with people different from yourself, learning about a new culture and its traditions, and experiencing new places and customs is exciting and fun. Studying a new language also provides cognitive benefits that will last a lifetime and it will open your mind to new ideas and broader points of view.

So, what can a BA in Spanish from Ferrum College do for you? Listen to one of our alumna talk about her experience below!

Want more information?

Read the Panther Blogs by current and recent Spanish students to learn their perspective on the program:

Follow Ferrum College Spanish on Facebook.

@FerrumSpanish on Twitter

@ferrumcollegespanish on Instagram

For more information about our programs, contact Dr. Jennifer Irish, the Program Coordinator,

The language classroom is so much more than just memorizing vocabulary!

Spanish at Ferrum College is a growing, evolving program with dynamic courses, involved students, and motivated professors. We work together to create a meaningful learning environment in which language is a vehicle for learning about ourselves and other peoples. Our courses focus on language, but also art, history, literature, and geography, in an interactive, fun way.


Communication is key!

Current and diverse methodologies are employed to engage students and to give them opportunities to use what they learn outside of the classroom setting. Through campus programs, the use of technology, community outreach, and travel abroad courses, the Spanish program seeks to impress upon the students the vast diversity of life in the Spanish speaking world. Learning Spanish at Ferrum College implies active learning and real-life applications of traditional course contents.


We are empowering students.

Our classes empower students by allowing them to take charge of their own learning. Students review grammar concepts at home prior to class by completing online activities that provide instant feedback, while the classroom itself is dedicated to speaking the language. The Spanish classroom at Ferrum College is an immersion opportunity in which students are constantly interacting with each other, their instructor, and guest Spanish-speakers from the community and abroad.


Our dedicated faculty in the Spanish Program at Ferrum College have been trained in current language teaching methodologies and have extensive experience living and working abroad. Their knowledge of both the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures throughout the world permeate into every class and provide students with the skills that they need to be both linguistically and culturally fluent in an increasingly globalized world.

Dr. Patricia Sagasti Suppes | Richeson Hall #4

A.B., Sweet Briar College

M.A. and Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Dr. Sagasti Suppes is Director of International Programs and Associate Professor of Spanish, and has taught at Ferrum College for the past eight years. She earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Jessie Ball Dupont foundation, and Fulbright. Dr. Sagasti Suppes has done work on ethical practices in service learning abroad, based on her own experiences as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and as the faculty member responsible for several travel courses abroad. Her research is on Peruvian theater and on contemporary feminist works. Her recent writing has focused on ecofeminist works by contemporary Latin American and Spanish writers and she is working on a book on the representation of feminine violence in modern literature. | Richeson Hall #2

B.A., Georgia College

M.A., West Virginia University

Ph.D., Florida State University

Dr. Irish is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and the Coordinator of the Spanish Program at Ferrum College. She earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies from Florida State University. Her dissertation centers on the representation of intersectional identity in contemporary Hispanic Caribbean narratives written by women of Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican heritage in the United States. At Florida State, she served as a Program Assistant for International Programs, leading a service-learning trip to the Peruvian Amazon that focused on sustainability, environmental philosophies, and the study of indigenous Amazonian cultures. Dr. Irish’s current research expands upon her dissertation work, examining narratives that re-think constructions of memory, identity, and belonging within the U.S. Latino community.

Spanish Major

The Spanish major provides a program of study designed to develop fluency in oral and written communication, the ability to read, understand, and analyze Hispanic literatures, and an appreciation of the cultures of Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America.  The Spanish major also prepares the student for travel and study abroad, for careers in international business and in government, for professions involving foreign language, and for graduate work.  With a major in Spanish, students will acquire a foreign language proficiency of value not only in career pursuits but also in the broader experience of today’s world.

The Experiential Component (requirement of the major) can be met by successfully completing one of the following:

An approved study abroad program

An E-Term in Spanish

SPA  499


Required Major Courses (9 hours):

SPA 301 Advanced Grammar and Composition 3
SPA 302 Advanced Speaking and Comprehension (Speaking Intensive) 3
SPA 498 Senior Thesis (to be done in the senior year) 3



Major Electives (Any 21 hours from the following):

SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish I 3
SPA 202 Intermediate Spanish II 3
SPA 320 Introduction to Literature in Spanish 3
SPA 325 Spanish Culture 3
SPA 326 Latin American Culture 3
SPA 351, 352, 353, 354 Conversation Circle 1 each
SPA 403 Latin American and Spanish Short Story 3
SPA 404 Selected Topics in Hispanic Literatures 3
SPA 411 Professional Spanish 3
SPA 451 Directed Study 3
SPA 452 Directed Study 3
SPA 499 Internship 3

Spanish Education Endorsement

Ferrum College offers teaching licensure in Spanish (grades PK-12) through the selection of a minor in Teacher Education with specialization in All-Level Education.  This licensure requires passing state mandated testing prior to enrollment in EDU 402 – The Profession of Teaching: Student Teaching Field Experience and EDU 403 – The Profession of Teaching: Student Teaching Synthesis.  Students pursuing licensure must complete all components of the Teacher Education Minor.

Spanish Minor

12 hours from the following:

SPA 301 Advanced Spanish 6
SPA 302 Advanced Speaking and Comprehension 3
SPA 320 Introduction to Literature  in Spanish 3
SPA 325 Spanish Culture 3
SPA 326 Latin American Culture 3
SPA 351, 352, 353, 354 Conversation Circle I, II, III IV 1 each
SPA 403 Latin American and Spanish Short Story (Taught in Spanish) 3
SPA 404 Selected Topics in Hispanic Literature (Taught in Spanish) 3
SPA 411 Professional Spanish 3
SPA 451, 452 Directed Study 6









Did you take Spanish in high school, at another institution, or grow up in a household that spoke Spanish? If so, please contact Dr. Irish ( about taking a Placement Test.

The Placement Test is a computer-based test that takes approximately 30 minutes, followed by a one-on-one conversation with a professor. This assessment will determine at what level you should start your language learning. By taking the Placement Test, many students are able to bypass the SPA 101-102 (Elementary) level and begin studies at the 201-202 (Intermediate) or 301-302 (Advanced) level.

The Placement Test is not a CLEP exam, and you will not earn credit for the levels that you are able to bypass. However, it may allow you fulfill major requirements in a more timely fashion, allowing you the flexibility to take different courses in place of the levels that you are able to bypass.

If you have questions, please contact

¡Panteras en el extranjero!

In Taxco, Mexico

E-Term Students in Xochimilco, Mexico

All Spanish majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad for an E-Term, a summer, or a full semester. This not only immerses our students in the target language, but also provides them with a rich cultural experience that will change their lives forever. For our faculty-led E-Term courses that take place during the month of May each year, Spanish teams up with faculty from other areas in order to provide an interdisciplinary perspective.

Recently, some of our faculty-led E-Term programs have gone to:

  • 2012, Honduras, Spanish, focused on service-learning
  • 2013, Peru, Spanish and Recreational Leadership
  • 2014, Mexico, Spanish and Religion, focused on service-learning and cultural studies
  • 2015, Northern Spain, Spanish and Religion, focused on the tradition of religious pilgrimage as we walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
  • 2017, Mexico, Spanish and Art, focused on Mexican culture and history through a study of ancient and contemporary art
  • 2018, Peru, Spanish and Religion
  • 2019, Dominican Republic, Ecotourism and Environmental Sustainability

The main program through which we send students abroad on their own is Spanish Studies Abroad, with programs in three cities in Spain, as well as in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Argentina. Students who study abroad for longer periods not only develop their language and cultural competency, but they can also take complementary courses in subjects such as History, Political Science, Art History, Religion, and various sciences.  The programs are customizable and internships are available for more advanced Spanish speakers.

Visit our International Programs page to begin planning your study abroad trip today!

¡Aquí se habla español!

El Club de Español, or The Spanish Club, participates in a variety of activities involving Spanish language and Hispanic and Latino culture. We host conversation tables, film nights, and other cultural events on campus. Historically, we have attended Hispanic heritage festivals in the Southwest Virginia area, including Roanoke, Martinsville, and Greensboro (NC). We also attend Salsa Noke in Roanoke, where we take salsa lessons and dance the night away on the rooftop at the Center in the Square!

If you are interested in joining our club, come to one of our meetings or speak to a club member today!

Club Officers: Derek Thomas – President, Brandon Mullins – Vice President

El Club de Español en el Festival Folklórico de Greensboro

Our alumni work in a variety of professional settings, including:

  • Education
  • Mass Media and Journalism
  • Law Enforcement
  • Government Policy
  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • Health Care

Read about some of our alumni here!

Vanessa Torres, Class of 2012

Norma Velez, Class of 2015

Jessa King, Class of 2016

Caitlin Fournier, Class of 2012

Delana Smith, Class of 2015

Chris Miller, Class of 2013 

If you would like to know more about how your professional goals can align with a Spanish major or minor, contact