In the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WOLC) we offer a wide array of language and culture courses in Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies, American Sign Language, French, German, and Spanish. No prior language knowledge is required for the elementary language and culture courses. Students continue their coursework in intermediate and advanced courses by signing up for a minor or a full Bachelor's program. In addition, we offer graduate courses in Spanish. 

"Why should I study a second language?", "Will I be successful?" - if you ask these or similar questions, read about language learning benefits and language learning facts here

Basic Language Program

Many SHSU majors require four semesters of second language study. Students with a language requirement are strongly advised to begin their language studies as soon as possible and to take language classes consecutively. 

Lower-level Curriculum 

The lower-level course sequence includes four semesters of language acquisition (1411, 1412, 2311, and 2312). The goal of these courses is to establish a linguistic and intercultural foundation that our students are able to build upon in higher-level courses, in study abroad programs and internships, and on their own. Lower-level students are introduced to the target language and culture(s) and begin to develop both communicative and intercultural competences that are essential for active and successful participation in today’s globalized world. Instruction is organized around the four modes of communication proposed by ACTFL:

  • The Interpersonal Mode (speaking and informal writing between individuals)
  • The Interpretive Mode (listening and reading comprehension)
  • The Presentational Mode (formal presentational speaking and writing)
  • The Intercultural Communication Mode (investigation and interaction)

The lower-level program is geared towards proficiency development and outcomes for each course are based on ACTFL scale*:

  • 1411 Novice-Low - Novice-Mid
  • 1412 Novice-Mid - Novice-High
  • 2311 Novice-High - Intermediate-Low
  • 2312 Intermediate-Low - Intermediate-Mid

*Individual learners will vary in their achievement. Performance in the Interpretive and Presentational modes is expected to be better than in the Interpersonal mode. 

For more information on our Basic Language Program, including WOLC policies and course outcomes (benchmarks) for individual languages, click here.


Advanced proficiency in a language is known to augment marketability on the job market. Our language and culture minors cater to this demand through advanced study in language, literature, and culture. The minor is designed to expose students to a myriad of options in language and cultural studies.

Students hone their skills in conversation, composition, and cultural studies in a plethora of courses in media, film, criminal justice, business, linguistics, literature, and culture. Students may also pursue a minor in more than one language to refine their skills in world languages and cultures. Courses in the minor may be taken abroad through one of the department’s study abroad programs in Canada, Costa Rica, or Germany.

We offer the following:

Check out the following video outlining the Minor fields of study in our department:

B.A. in Spanish

An undergraduate degree in a foreign language opens innumerable opportunities in a variety of professional fields such as law enforcement, international business, teaching, translation, and health sciences. The B.A. in Spanish is an undergraduate degree offering students the opportunity to hone their skills in language, literature and Hispanic cultures. It is specifically designed to broaden cultural and professional expertise. Students may also study in Costa Rica to gain valuable international exposure to Hispanic cultures while pursuing the B.A. in Spanish.

A concentration in teaching/pedagogy is also offered as part of the B.A. in Spanish degree.

While pursuing a B.A. in Spanish degree, students may also consider minoring in another language, including Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies, America Sign Language, French/Francophone Studies, or German.

M.A. in Spanish

The M.A. in Spanish is a 36 credit-hour graduate degree. It offers a broad range of core and elective courses in literature, linguistics, pedagogy, and translation to prepare students for a host of professionally competitive careers. Our program provides flexible options for students to take classes on our campuses in Huntsville and in The Woodlands and online. An intellectually and professionally stimulating training and experience, the M.A. in Spanish at SHSU is not to be missed.