Are you curious about other cultures? Feel like you can help people by using your language skills? Interested in taking your career goals to the next level by getting a degree in Spanish?

Through this interdisciplinary study of language, literature, culture, history and contemporary issues, you’ll gain a significant global understanding that will make you a sought-after candidate in many career fields. Consider combining Spanish with another major or minor to give you an additional edge in the workplace.

of Spanish majors participate in off-campus study
Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world
of Central students complete a Spanish minor

The Central Difference

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

In addition, Spanish majors can immerse themselves in Spanish-speaking countries to learn the culture, dialects and history.

Becoming Madolyn

The Central College experience looks different for everyone, but Madolyn Clark Johnson ’22 couldn’t help but grow here.

Live and Learn in Multilingual Facilities

Consider staying in the Language Houses in the Wing International Center. They offer a unique living alternative for language majors, those returning from a semester off-campus or anyone who wants a chance to use French, German or Spanish on a daily basis, celebrate native holidays, share experiences and sample diverse foods. International language assistants from Mexico, Spain, Austria and France also live in these townhouses along with Central College students.


The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the modern language departments. The $3.9-million building completed in 1999 includes an interactive computer language lab to supplement traditional methods of language learning through phone exchanges, chat groups, recording and listening activities.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Program officer, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Special Agent, Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Spanish teacher, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Spanish teacher, Taejon Christian International School in South Korea
  • Legislative staff, Illinois Capitol Building
  • Auxiliar de Conversacion, Junta de Extremadura, Zafra, Spain
  • Product cost accountant, John Deere Power Systems
  • Child/dependent adult protective assessment worker, Iowa Dept. of Human Services

Two Central College Students Named Gilman Scholars

Lily Bardwell ’25 and Veronica Johnson ’26 received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study in Murcia, Spain, during Spring 2024.


  • Spanish Club
  • Spanish language house

Graduate Placement

  • American University, Washington, D.C.
  • University of Arizona, Tucson
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Bowling Green State University


Spanish students often serve in the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA following graduation, and complete a number of different internships while at Central, including:

  • Department of Latino Affairs, Des Moines
  • Iowa Refugee Support Project
  • U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, Des Moines
  • John Deere Power Systems
  • Atlantic Council
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Central's Spanish major is designed to provide students with a variety of ways to improve their language skills. On-campus courses include laboratory sessions with native or advanced Spanish speakers, and students can choose to live in the Spanish language house. All courses aim to increase language proficiency and cultural awareness. Students are also required to study internationally in Spain or Mexico.

First-year students who have studied Spanish in high school take a placement exam to determine the appropriate course level for them to begin their Spanish studies at Central. Students can earn “credit by placement” for testing in beyond the first semester and completing the appropriate course with a C or better.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Kathy Korcheck, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Spanish
  • Ally Krogstad, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Spanish
  • Linda Laine, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Communication Studies
  • Sam Mate-Kodjo, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Spanish
  • Oscar Reynaga, B.A., M.A., Senior Lecturer of Spanish
  • Mary Stark, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., John and Anna Poole Professor of Humanities and Professor of English

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Begin at highest level of proficiency based on placement test score
  • Core courses and/or electives

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to the next highest level
  • Core courses and/or electives

Junior Year

  • Advanced Spanish: Grammar, Composition and Conversation I and II
  • Introduction to Hispanic Literature
  • Core courses and/or electives
  • Off-campus experience

Senior Year

  • Off-campus experience and/or senior capstone course
  • Core courses and/or electives


Learn More

Want to find out more about Spanish at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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