Undergraduate Programs in Spanish


Learn to speak Spanish.  Read about the New World.  Minor, major or even specialize in Spanish.  There are so many great ways to be involved in one of the most active and exciting undergraduate programs in Spanish in the country!


Hispanic culture offers a variety probably unrivalled by any other modern Western culture. In the Middle Ages, Spain was the vital point of contact of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic civilizations. In the early modern period it led the way in the exploration and settlement of the New World, contributing significantly to the evolution of a flourishing Latin American culture. Today it is estimated that Spanish is one of three most widely-spoken languages in the world.

Spanish studies at the University of Toronto are mainly, but by no means exclusively, concerned with the language and literature of the Spanish-speaking peoples. Courses in Hispanic linguistics, in business Spanish, in the history and structure of the Spanish language and literature are complemented by studies of the socio-political, artistic, and intellectual history of both Spain and Spanish America. Spanish and Portuguese form part of the interdisciplinary programs in European Studies and Latin American Studies. To learn about Spanish programs, please go the “Program” tab on this webpage.

Following an introduction to the methodologies of critical analysis as applied to Hispanic texts (SPA258), students have a wide selection of courses on the literatures of Spain and Spanish America: medieval Spanish literature; early modern prose, verse and drama; the modern novel, short story, poetry, drama, film and much more. In all years, the works are read and discussed not only in terms of their individual artistic value but also as illustrations of the outlook and the intellectual climate of their age. Students can also select from a variety of courses in Hispanic linguistics, from an introduction to Hispanic linguistics (SPA322) to courses on Spanish varieties, bilingualism, sociolinguistics, phonetics and structure of Spanish. Visit the “Courses” tab on this webpage to learn about the courses that the department offers beyond the language sequence.

For information about Spanish language courses offered in the department, click the “Language Sequence” tab. You can find out how to choose the course that best corresponds to your level of language knowledge by going to the “Placement test” tab.

In conjunction with Woodsworth College, the department makes two summer courses available in Seville, Spain (SPA100Y and SPA255Y). With the city of Seville serving as the classroom, this program offers courses designed to introduce students to Hispanic culture and the Spanish language. Interested students should contact the Summer Abroad Office at:

Professional & International Programs
Woodsworth College
119 St. George Street, 3rd Floor

For the most current description of specialist, major and minor program in Spanish, please use the link to the Faculty of Arts and Science calendar:


The progression of courses in the language sequence is designed to accommodate a wide range of previous language experience. Students are placed in the appropriate language course based on their proficiency, as determined by the on-line placement test and departmental assessment.

Students with little or no previous knowledge of Spanish should enroll in SPA100Y1.

Students with previous knowledge of Spanish should have their level of language assessed to receive recommendation for proper placement. Please go to the “Placement test” tab on this webpage for further instructions.

Depending on the assessment of their level of language fluency, students who have studied Spanish before joining the department may enroll in several courses –beginners’, intermediate or advanced. This includes those students who have travelled or lived briefly in the Spanish-speaking world.

Those students who have native fluency in Spanish because they have had a life-long exposure to spoken Spanish in an informal context (i.e., those who have lived in a Spanish-speaking country for an extended period of time, or those who live in a Spanish-speaking family) – should enroll in SPA219Y1. Students who qualify for this course have distinctly different learning needs than those students who learned Spanish as a foreign language. They can speak and understand spoken Spanish, but need help with reading, writing and grammar.

What to expect in your language courses?

In SPA100, SPA220 and SPA320, all meetings with the instructors are divided into larger lecture classes, and smaller tutorial sessions. For best results in language courses, students are expected to invest 2 hours of study per every 1 hour of class contact time.  For best results, students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials. They are expected to come to classes prepared – having thoroughly studied the material assigned for every class meeting – so that they can be familiar with the lecture topics and use language actively in the classroom.

Language learning consists in the acquisition of five skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency. This is the reason why lectures and tutorials are structured differently – they concentrate on practice and acquisition of different language skills. Although they do not do so exclusively, lectures focus on grammar review and practice through analysis of grammar points and exercises. Students acquire language fluency beyond such mechanical knowledge of language through readings, writing exercises, and conversation – activities that are programmed for the smaller tutorial meetings.

All language instruction provides a level of basic cultural information that is later expanded upon in the specialized literature, culture and linguistics courses.

Listening comprehension is an integral part of all class meetings. Instructors introduce more Spanish in the class as one progresses through language sequence from the beginner’s to the advanced level. In SPA100 instructors will use English to communicate administrative issues and some points of instruction, as needed. In SPA220 and in SPA320 Spanish is used as exclusive language of communication in the classroom.

Contact the Associate Chair, Undergraduate, at spanport.undergraduate@utoronto.ca for advice.
For the most up-to-date listing of courses offered this year,
Click here to view the online Faculty of Arts and Science Registration Handbook and Timetable.

Enrolment in courses

Details of the procedures by which students of the Faculty of Arts & Science register -- enroll in courses for which they are eligible, and pay or make arrangements to pay fees -- are found in the Registration Instructions online: www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/course/timetable.

Winter Session enrollment will be completed in July of the previous year. Observation of rules about pre-requisites and exclusions is the responsibility of the student.


For information on texts to be used, consult the Course Instructor or the Course Coordinator. Prescribed texts and readings are included in the course outline material distributed by instructors during the first week of classes. It is not advisable to purchase any text before the instructor has confirmed the reading list.

Assignments and evaluations

The definitive workload and marking scheme for each course will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course. The Department is governed by the University Grading Practices Policy.

Handing in term work

Departmental policy with regard to late submission of term work applies to all courses: For work received after the date set by the instructor, one mark out of 100 will be deducted per day (excluding weekends and holidays) up to a maximum of ten days. After these ten days work will not be accepted except on compassionate grounds. It is Faculty policy that all term work without exception must be submitted by the last day of classes in all courses.


In accordance with university policy, the final determination of whether or not auditors can be accepted in a course will be made by the instructor, except when the course has been formally filled. Auditors who are students registered in the university or employees of the university will not be charged an auditing fee except in cases where certificates of attendance are requested. All other must pay an audit fee as established by the university's Policy on Auditing of Courses.


Counseling on general undergraduate matters is available through your College Registrar's office. To discuss specific courses that you are taking or intend to take in Spanish or Portuguese, speak with your instructor or the course coordinator. For advice on your Spanish or Portuguese program (specialist, major or minor), speak with the Associate Chair, Undergraduate. A composite list of instructors' regular weekly office hours will be available in the department office. If these regular drop-in hours are not convenient, instructors are also available for consultation by appointment.

Course rotation

This three-year course rotation is meant to help students tentatively plant their studies:

Year A (2019-2020) Year B (2020-2021)

Year C (2021-2022)

SPA 348H1

Galdós and the Realist Novel

SPA 425H1

History of the Spanish Language

SPA 354H1

Parody & Comedy

SPA 354H1

Parody & Comedy

SPA 454H1

Don Quixote

SPA 439H1

Topics in Spanish Studies

SPA 456H1

Transatlantic Hispanic Baroque: Crisis and Disenchantment

SPA 352H1

Court and Country in Early Modern Spain

SPA 368H1

Spanish and the Empire: Migration in Language and Literatue

SPA 439H1

Topics in Spanish Studies

SPA 327H1


SPA 345H1

Spanish Cinema

SPA 381H1

Nation, Identity and Modernity in Spanish-America

SPA 387H1

Latin American Performative Expression

SPA 386H1

Literary Landscapes of the Mexican Revolution

SPA 389H1

Central American Literature: Narratives of War

SPA 385H1

Literature and Social Change in Spanish America

SPA 486H

Contemporary Caribbean Literatures and Identities

SPA 489H1

Latin American Transculturations

SPA 488H1

Central America Postwar Narrative

SPA 389H1

Central American Literature: Narratives of War

SPA 384H1

Avant-Garde Movements in Spanish America


21st Century Latin American Culture

SPA 489H1

Latin American Transculturations

SPA 385H1

Literature and Social Change in Spanish America

SPA 467H1

Topics in Spanish-American Literature and Culture

SPA 420H1

Advanced Grammar

SPA 420H1

Advanced Grammar

SPA 420H1

Advanced Grammar

SPA 322H1

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

SPA 322H1

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

SPA 322H1

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

SPA 421H1

The Structure of Spanish

SPA 324H1

Spanish Bilingualism


The Structure of Spanish

SPA 422H1

Sociolinguistics of Spanish

SPA 326H1

Latin American Varieties of Spanish Through the Media

SPA 423H1

Spanish Phonology

SPA 470H1

Acquisition of Portuguese as a Second Language

This is a tentative listing of courses that the department plans to offer in the upcoming academic years. While the department intends to respect this rotation as much as possible, the department is not bound by this scheduling, which may change without further notice. Students must consult the official listing of courses in the FAS timetable offering for each year, and consult the FAS calendar for the full title, description of, and pre-requisites and exclusions for the courses they intend to take.

The FAS calendar (https://fas.calendar.utoronto.ca/section/Spanish) and the official sessional timetable listings (http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/course/timetable) take absolute precedence over this tentative rotating schedule.

A student may take up to any 2.0 FCEs in cognate courses towards a specialist degree, and up to any 1.0 FCE  in cognate courses towards a major in Spanish or Portuguese. 

Students pursuing a minor in Portuguese or Spanish can only take 1.0 FCE in Spanish or Portuguese language courses as cognates. This means that students minoring in Portuguese may take 1.0 FCE in Spanish language courses, and students minoring in Spanish may take 1.0 FCE in Portuguese language courses. 

Language Cognate Courses for Specialist/Major/Minor in PRT: SPA 100Y/219Y/220Y/320Y

Language Cognate Courses for Specialist/Major/Minor in SPA: PRT 100Y/120Y/220Y/320Y

For more information please use the link to the Faculty of Arts and Science calendar: https://fas.calendar.utoronto.ca/section/Spanish


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese participates in the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Language Citation initiative for Spanish. For a full description of the Language Citation requirements, see the Calendar in the “Degree Requirements” section.

To complete the language citation in Spanish students will normally complete the two language-sequence courses that follow the introductory level:


Native and bilingual speakers should complete SPA219Y1 and two additional half-courses in Spanish in the 300- or 400-series.

If the students have an advanced level of language and start with advanced language classes, or do not need to take courses in the language sequence, they need to take the equivalent of 2.0 FCE in the 300 or 400-series of courses. Students need to obtain a minimum of B- in order to obtain the citation.

Students should note that, as explained in this Calendar, the Language Citation is not equivalent to an academic program and that enrolment in a program is not necessary in order to earn the recognition bestowed by the Citation.

To request the citation, e-mail your request with your student ID number to: spanport@chass.utoronto.ca