The Spanish program at Illinois State University takes pride in offering small classes where students receive individualized attention and training in all aspects of language proficiency. Just as important, our undergraduates develop critical thinking skills and appreciation for diversity as they take courses in Hispanic cultures and literatures, as well as Spanish linguistics.
Our slate of offerings includes a sturdy base of fundamentals, on which students build their own program from a selection of electives of most interest to them. We also provide community-based service learning experiences and opportunities to participate in award-winning student organizations like our Spanish Club and Sigma Delta Pi, Illinois State's chapter of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
Finally, our flexible study-abroad programs in Latin America and Spain—students can participate for as little as a week over spring break or for a full year—supply great opportunities for language development, cultural immersion, broadening perspectives, and friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime.
Why Study Spanish?
Everyone is speaking Spanish, across the country and around the world. Hispanics are already 17 percent of the U.S. population, and that's projected to grow to nearly 30 percent by 2060. Not only is Spanish the second most widely spoken native language in the world after Chinese, it is the third most commonly used language online.
A major in Spanish develops valuable skills, such as analytical reasoning, organized communication, and problem solving. These proficiencies position graduates to compete in an array of careers. Employers in all fields recognize that the experience, discipline, and motivation acquired through language study, along with the ability to work individually and in teams, are signs of future success. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that the best-paid liberal arts majors are graduates in foreign languages and literature with an average starting salary of $46,900.
Speaking, listening to, reading, and writing Spanish is simply enjoyable. It enriches our lives by giving us the gift of exchanging informed ideas about books, movies, customs, and so much more, while connecting us with people everywhere.
Point of Pride
Illinois State's National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society chapter, Sigma Delta Pi - Eta Upsilon, was co-recipient of the prestigious Ignacio and Sophie Galbis Award in 2015. Only 12 chapters in the U.S. earned that honor.