Spanish : Overview

Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Contact Information

College of Arts and Sciences
910 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4620

Phone: 716.645.2191
Fax: 716.645.5981
Web Address:
David Castillo
Colleen Culleton
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Barbara Avila-Shah
Language Program Director


Spanish, with approximately 320 million speakers, is the fourth most spoken language on the planet. It is the official language, not only of Spain, but also of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, most of the countries of South America, and Equatorial Guinea. In the United States, Spanish is spoken by approximately 10 percent of the total population of the United States (nearly 25,000,000 people), making the U.S. the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Spanish is a major international language of banking, commerce, cultural production, diplomacy, and science.

The undergraduate program in Spanish is intended to introduce students to a wide range of disciplines within the area of Hispanic language and civilization. The implicit goal of the program is to build students' proficiency in the Spanish language. Students may focus on literature, linguistics, language teaching, or other related areas. To this end, the program offers a broad selection of courses, as well as opportunity for independent study, directed work in allied fields, and a summer program in Salamanca, Spain.

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:02:16 EST