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Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Students studying abroad

Learning Spanish and Portuguese opens doors to the global community.

There are more than 700 million Spanish and Portuguese speakers worldwide. The Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies immerses you in intensive language study, cultivating the critical thinking, creativity and language skills needed in our interconnected world. With deep ties to Seattle’s Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities, we offer you unique opportunities for real-world engagement and impact. Many students pursue double majors in Spanish and another discipline — a reflection of the growing importance of Spanish both locally and nationally.

The department also offers minors in Spanish, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian studies.

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When you study Spanish or Portuguese, you learn in-demand skills that employers value, such as critical thinking, research, and interpersonal communication. The department prepares you for advanced degrees in language, education and other fields, as well as careers in business, law, medicine, NGO leadership and more.

Career Paths

Put your Spanish & Portuguese Studies major to use as a:  

  • Language educator
  • Foreign service officer
  • Translator/interpreter 
  • Journalist 
  • Entrepreneur
  • Union organizer
  • NGO project manager
  • Attorney
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Continuing to Grow

Over the past few years, the Spanish & Portuguese Studies program has introduced courses specifically tailored to students from Washington state’s large Spanish-speaking community. The department’s Center for Heritage Learning builds partnerships among UW’s heritage students and educators, administrators and the community at large.

More About the Center

Find Yourself in Spanish & Portuguese Studies

Learn from an internationally recognized and diverse faculty, engage in service-learning opportunities with local communities, and take advantage of an impressive selection of study abroad options.

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Stories

Faculty and student organizers of Hispanic Film Festival

A Spanish Language Film Festival, Curated for Teens

Spanish Studies graduate students are planning a Spanish-language film festival for Chief Sealth High School. 

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Knighthood and Other Honors for A&S Faculty

Knighthood, a Woman of Courage award, and more honors for faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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An Ambassador for Language Learning

"Learning another language is discovering another avenue for self-expression," says Joy Maa (Spanish, Japanese, 2014), who is fluent in four languages.