Michael Schnepf, Ph. D.
Phone (205) 348-4238
BB Comer 242
Office hours: Fall 2008 Tue & Thu 10:00 - 2:00
Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers an exciting major
and minor in SPANISH: both are extremely popular as evidenced by the
ever-increasing student interest. As of December 2001, for example,
SPANISH had almost 150 registered minors.
SPANISH MAJOR requires 27 hours on the 300-400 level; a total that includes
a mixture of required courses and electives. The curriculum also provides
students with an attractive mixture of classes with both a Latin-American
and a Spanish Peninsular grounding. Most students begin their 300-level
course work with SP 353, Conversation (required). This course is taught
by a native speaker and introduces students to total linguistic immersion
in the target language. Please note that native or near native speakers
are not permitted in this class. SP 356, Grammar and Composition (required),
is a rigorous study of grammatical concepts such as the subjunctive.
There are two civilization courses: SP 364 and SP 366 (one is required).
SP 364 deals with Spanish Peninsular culture and history while SP 366
focuses on similar areas in Latin-America.
Students are also required to select TWO of the four literary survey
courses offered: SP 371 and 372 in Spanish Peninsular literature and
SP 375 and SP 376 in Latin-American Literature. In these courses, students
are introduced to selections taken from important literary works from
Spain and Latin-America. Students need not follow any sequence and they
may mix and match courses. Please see the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate
Catalogue for the prerequisites for these and other classes (web site
All students are required to take SP 491, Cervantes and Don Quijote.
This course focuses on the renowned Spanish novelist and provides students
with an in-depth study of a world masterpiece. Please note that SP 491
is offered periodically (usually in the fall) and students should plan
their schedules accordingly.
Students are also required to choose a second 400-level course from
the wide variety offered by the Spanish faculty. Possibilities are SP
484 (Linguistics); SP 488 (Senior Seminar in Peninsular where topics
may range from the Spanish Civil War to Galdós); SP 489 (Senior
Seminar in Latin-American) and a series of popular literature classes
(SP 421, 422, 425, 426, 434, 436, 441, 493, 494 and the 498 Honors Seminar).
The Spanish faculty is also quite proud of its specialty courses, some
of which are offered virtually every semester. These include “senior
seminars” in both Latin-American and Spanish Peninsular topics.
Past areas of study have been: Spanish cinema, Galdós, the Spanish
Civil War, and many others. Similar to these are the SP 490 courses
(Open Topics) which may focus on anything from Cuba to Peruvian history
to Hispanic women writers.
Spanish Business Courses:
For the remaining six hours of electives, students may select anything
on the 300-400 level from Romance Linguistics (SP 361) to SP 421 (19th-century
Spanish Peninsular literature). Many students, however, have found the
three Spanish Business Courses especially attractive. A native speaker
of Spanish trained in both business and pedagogy teaches all three.
SP 360 (Commercial Business) serves as an introductory course while
SP 390 (Technical Writing) trains the student in the intricacies of
business correspondence and jargon. SP 390 (Economics, Politics, and
Media) moves even deeper into the subtleties of business and economy.
***With the success of these business courses the Spanish program now
offers a new type of major. Students may major in Spanish (College of
Arts and Sciences) and international business (Culverhouse College of
Commerce and Business Administration). Requirements for the double major
are multiple and vary slightly from the standard major. Interested students
are encouraged to see their advisers, either in A&S or in C&BA,
at the beginning of their college careers.***
Requirements for the major in Spanish. The Spanish major requires 27
semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above, including SP 353; SP
356; SP 364 or SP 366; 6 hours selected from SP 371, SP 372, SP 375,
and SP 376; SP 491 and one additional course at the 400-level. A minimum
of 12 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.
Click to download the checklist for the Spanish major (.doc)
27 hrs 300/400 level
SP 356 Grammar & Composition
SP 364/366 Civilization (Peninsular or Latin American)
ANY TWO of the SURVEY Courses
SP 371 Survey of Span. Peninsular Lit. Pt I
SP 372 Survey of Span. Peninsular Lit. Pt II
SP 375 Survey of LA Lit. Pt. I
SP 376 Survey of LA Lit. Pt. II
SP 491 Cervantes and Don Quijote
SP 400 ELECTIVE (in addition to SP 491)
SP 300-400 ELECTIVE
SP 300-400 ELECTIVE
SPANISH MINOR has emerged over the last few years as one of the most
enticing options for students in business, criminal justice, political
science and many other areas of study. To complete this minor students
must take 15 hours on the 300-400 level where there are three required
courses: SP 353 (Conversation), SP 356 (Grammar and Composition), and
SP 364 or SP 366 (Civilization). The remaining six hours must come from
courses on the 300-400 level. Students in business have found that the
Spanish business courses (Commercial, Technical Writing, Economics,
Politics, and Media) enhance their marketability significantly.
Requirements for the minor in Spanish. The Spanish minor requires 15
semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above, including SP 353, SP
356, and SP 364 or SP 366. A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level
must be earned on this campus.
15 HOURS on 300 or 400 LEVEL
1. SP 353 CONVERSATION
2. SP 356 GRAM. & COMP.
3. SP 364 or 366 Civiliz. (Penin./LA)
4. SP 300-400 ELECTIVE
5. SP 300-400 ELECTIVE
How many literary survey courses must I take for the major?
A: There are four literary survey courses offered (SP 3171, 371 and
375, 376), but the student must take only two. These may be from either
the Latin-American or the Spanish Peninsular offerings. Courses are
not sequential, that is, you may take SP 372 before you take SP 371.
Q: What is meant by “Home Hours.”
A: “Home hours” refer to hours taken on the Tuscaloosa campus
as opposed to transfer hours or hours taken abroad with another institution.
For the major, twelve hours on the 300-400 level must be taken on this
campus. For the minor, six hours on the 300-400 level must be taken
on this campus.
Q: Someone told me that I can take SP 353 (Conversation)
and SP 356 (Grammar and Composition) a second time in Spain with the
University of Alabama Summer Program in Spain. Is this correct?
A: The answer is yes. SP 353 becomes SP 352 when taken in Spain
and SP 356 becomes SP 354 when taken in Spain. It is important to note,
however, that this opportunity applies only to the University of Alabama
Summer Program. The same does not apply to courses taken with different
Q: Is it important that I declare my major or minor in Spanish as early
as possible in my career?
A: Once you make a decision about your major or minor it is important
that you obtain the correct forms (from the major headquarters) and
have them signed by the major/minor advisor in Spanish (Dr. Michael
Schnepf). If you major in Spanish your registration packets will then
be sent to the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.
Q: Do I need to be advised by Dr. Schnepf each
A: Yes! If you are a major you need Dr. Schnepf’s signature to
have your computer registration time released. Furthermore, Dr. Schnepf
will talk to about what you should be taking in Spanish and in other
areas. He will provide with a “check sheet” that will help
guide you through the selection of classes. He might also have information
about new or rarely offered courses.
Q: What exactly are “W” courses and
how do they impact my choice of classes?
A: In Arts and Sciences each student must take two “W” or
Writing Courses in which there are certain requirements concerning the
amount of writing asked of the student. The “W” courses in
Spanish at the present time are SP 491, SP 493, and SP 494. SP 491 (Cervantes)
is a required course. Both “W” courses do not have to be in
Spanish. Students should consult with Dr. Schnepf about other possibilities.
Q: Why does it state in the catalogue that a student
may take the Open Topics courses for from 1 to 6 hours of credit?
A: The 1 to 6 hour range is there for highly special or unique situations
ONLY! As a general rule, virtually all courses in Spanish carry 3 hours
of credit. Students should verified any exceptional situtation with
Q: I know that the University of Alabama has an
excellent summer program in Alcalá de Henares. How can I get
information about that program and how many how hours can I take in
A: José A. Cano directs this fine program. Questions should
be directed to him at the enclosed web site and e-mail address.
ALABAMA IN SPAIN (www.spain.ua.edu)
Q: How do I proceed if I am going abroad with
A: It is very important that you speak with Dr. Schnepf before you make
the trip. Transfer credit is sometimes difficult to determine. The best
option is to decide if and how a course will transfer before you make
your travel plans.
Q: I have heard of “Independent Study”
courses where a student works individually with a professor on a certain
topic. How do I go about arranging a study program of this sort.
A: “Independent Study” courses are available only under special
circumstances. When a professor agrees to this sort of project he/she
voluntarily accepts an increased teaching load. Students should consult
their professors beforehand about the possibility of any such project.
If an agreement is reached the major/minor advisor should be appraised
Q: How do I register as a Spanish major?
A: Go to Clark Hall 200 or your first major headquarters (if you are
a double major) and ask for a major/minor form for Spanish. Make an
appointment to see Dr. Schnepf in BB Comer 219. He will sign your sheet,
which you must then have the chair of Modern Languages and Classics
sign. It is your responsibility to see that this sheet is handed in
at your headquarters. Dr. Schnepf will explain the various requirements
and give you a checklist of the required courses in Spanish. He will
also ask you to fill out and sign a form that he will keep and which
shows that you have spoken with him.
Graduate Adviser of Spanish
B.B. Comer, office 237
GRADUATE STUDIES INFORMATION (.doc)
requirements for admission to the Graduate School are set forth in the
"Academic Policies" section of the Graduate Catalog 2001-03.
All applicants to graduate degree programs in the Department of Modern
Languages and Classics must submit test results from either the Graduate
Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test in support of the application.
For students with deficiencies in undergraduate preparation, admission
may be contingent upon completion of designated undergraduate requirements.
Qualified students who are holders of an appropriate undergraduate degree
may be admitted directly to the doctoral program in Romance languages.
However, in such circumstances completion of all requirements for the
appropriate master of arts program, including comprehensive testing
and subsequent awarding of the master of arts degree, will be a prerequisite
for completion of the doctoral degree.
Qualified students can seek dual admission to the School of Law and
to any master of arts program offered in the Department of Modern Languages
and Classics. If admitted to both, the student will be exempted from
at least 6 hours of coursework for the juris doctor degree.
of Arts in Romance Languages
A single degree program incorporates a variety of options and tracks:
There are three options: the French Option, the Spanish Option, and
the Romance languages Option (which combines languages). All three options
have thesis and nonthesis tracks. The French and Spanish options also
allow for an applied linguistics track (thesis or nonthesis). Regardless
of the option or track, all new graduate teaching assistants must enroll
for the Practicum in Applied Linguistics (either FR 512 or SP 502).
Nonthesis track of the master of arts in Romance languages (Plan II).
The nonthesis track for the French, Spanish, and Romance languages options
incorporates 30 hours of coursework (or 36 hours of coursework for the
applied linguistics version). Included in all nonthesis tracks of the
master of arts in Romance languages is a core of five courses in the
five areas listed below (approximately 50 percent of the major). Twenty-one
hours of the coursework must be language specific.
1. Teaching Practicum/Topics in Linguistics
2. Proseminar: Research Methodology/Critical Theory
3. Topics in Culture and Civilization
4. Graduate Seminar
5. Special Topics/Directed Readings
All nonthesis tracks require success on comprehensive exams before granting
of the degree.
Thesis track of the master of arts in Romance languages (Plan I). A
description of the typical configuration for the various thesis tracks
of the master of arts in Romance languages follows.
* Spanish Option, standard version with thesis (Plan I). Curriculum
requirements: 24 hours of coursework and a thesis. The curriculum centers
on Peninsular and Spanish-American literature. Requirements include
success on comprehensive written and oral examinations before granting
of the degree. The written examination is based on the coursework. The
oral examination is based on the coursework and on a pre-established
* Spanish Option, applied linguistics track with thesis (Plan I). Curriculum
requirements: 30 hours of coursework and a thesis. In addition to the
thesis, the applied linguistics track involves three components: language,
linguistics, and applied linguistics. The language component consists
of 15 hours of course credit in Spanish language, literature, and culture
(a minimum of 6 hours must be in Peninsular literature and 6 hours in
Spanish-American literature). The linguistics component is comprised
of a 3-hour descriptive linguistics course (SP 556). The applied linguistics
component consists of 12 hours of coursework in second language acquisition
and pedagogy (SP 502, EN 613, and two of the following: SP 581, EN 610,
EN 612, CIE 577, or other approved courses; for descriptions of courses
bearing the EN prefix, see the Department of English section of this
catalog; for a description of CIE 577, see "Curriculum and Instruction
Course Descriptions" in the College of Education section). Requirements
include success on comprehensive written and oral examinations before
granting of the degree. All examinations are based on the coursework.
* Romance Languages Option, with thesis (Plan I). Curriculum requirements:
24-30 hours of coursework and a thesis. The curriculum requires study
of French and Spanish, one as the major and one as the minor. The major
includes a minimum of 18 hours. The minor includes a minimum of 12 hours.
More than the minimum is recommended for both the major and the minor.
Graduate courses in Italian studies are also available (see the RL prefix
in course listings below). Requirements include success on comprehensive
written and oral examinations before granting of the degree. All exams
are based on the coursework.
Click here for the Masters READING LIST
of Philosophy in Romance Languages
options are available:
Spanish option. The curriculum is centered on Spanish, though up to
12 hours of coursework in a related discipline is admissible. All new
graduate teaching assistants must take SP 502. At the conclusion of
the coursework, a qualifying examination must take place before work
on the dissertation can begin. The qualifying examination includes written
and oral components. The written examination is comprised of seven sections,
all pertaining to the standard periods of Peninsular and Spanish-American
literature. Prior to the written examination, the candidate will determine
two periods to be of primary interest, and these will figure more prominently
in the exam structure.
Romance languages option. Candidates for the Romance languages track
will be allowed to tailor their programs individually, with the advice
of a graduate faculty committee. The goal will be to meet the interests
and career requirements of the candidate by utilizing the full resources
of the department and of cognate graduate programs offered by the University.
Normally, students choosing this option major in French or Spanish,
with a minor in the other language. However, both the major and the
minor are understood to be flexible and possibly interdisciplinary.
For example, a variety of alternative minors are possible, depending
upon the student's needs, and limited only by his or her qualifications
and the cooperation of other faculties. Some pre-approved minors for
qualified students include German, TESOL (Teaching English as a Second
Language), and Latin American studies. Other customized programs can
be made to incorporate combinations of coursework in linguistics, applied
linguistics, Italian studies, history, art history, women studies, English,
anthropology, etc. All new graduate teaching assistants must take SP
502. The qualifying examination for the Romance languages option takes
the following form. The written examination is formulated by a graduate
faculty committee and is based on the candidate's fields and coursework.
It has as its goal the cognitive and conceptual understanding of the
material actually studied, including the synthesis of possibly disparate
fields in the student's curriculum. It is conceived of as a "defense
and illustration" of the student's program. The oral examination
coincides with the presentation of the dissertation proposal and focuses
on the coursework and the preliminary research for the proposed dissertation.
General Departmental Requirements for the Ph.D.
In addition to the program-specific requirements presented above, all
doctoral candidates, regardless of the option selected, must adhere
to the following. The minimal formal coursework required is 60 semester
hours, which may include up to 30 hours of transferred credits earned
at another institution. Students who have completed a master's thesis,
however, need accumulate only 54 hours of coursework. Once all coursework
is completed, an additional 24 hours of dissertation research are required.
All doctoral candidates must possess reading knowledge of one language
in addition to English, their native language, and their language of
specialization. It is strongly recommended that, before the termination
of studies, all doctoral candidates reside for a period in a country
or location requiring constant interaction in the language of specialization.
Examination Format for the Degree of Master of Arts in Spanish
Languages and Classics
The University of Alabama
The Master of Arts degree in Spanish consists of 30 hours of graduate
coursework, of which, 27 hours must be taken in the Spanish section.
The students must take a minimum of three (3) courses in Peninsular
literature, three (3) courses in Latin American literature and two (2)
courses in Spanish linguistics; they must add one more course, taken
as well in the Spanish section in any area of their choice, in order
to obtain 27 credits, divided in the following areas of study:
Latin America before 1900
Golden Age Peninsular
student who has already completed the requirement of 27 credits may
take the remaining three credits outside the Spanish section in order
to complete the 30 required credits. The student must ascertain that
he/she has taken at least one course with each professor in his/her
area of specialization.
Requirements for the Comprehensive Examinations of theMaster
of Arts in Spanish.
examination is based on the courses the student has taken during his/her
course of study; thus, it is important that the student keep an archive
of the course syllabi of every course taken. Should the student for
some reason, not take a course in one of the assigned areas, he/she
will have to make up for this omission by supplying readings from the
existing Reading List for the Master of Arts in Spanish.
Comprehensive Examination in Spanish contains no oral examination. There
is only the written examination.
examinations are administered only in the Spring and Fall terms. In
the Fall, the exam is taken in October. In the Spring, the exam is taken
in March. The students must make a request in writing (via electronic
mail or written letter) to the Graduate Advisor. A student must do this
in the semester prior to taking the examination. For example, should
one wish to take the exam in the Fall semester, he/she should inform
the Graduate Advisor in the Spring semester.
comprehensive examination in each area will run for one hour in each
area. Because students are taking exams in six subject areas, they will
have an hour to prepare for the exam followed by an hour to write it.
The examination is taken over a period of three days, with a day of
rest between each day. A typical sequence for taking the exam would
follow this schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (2 hours each morning
and 2 hours each afternoon).
professor in the area of specialization decides if the student passes
his/her examination. In order to pass the exam, a student must pass
in five of the six areas.
the student fail in more than one area, he/she must repeat the TWO AREAS
two weeks later. In this case, the questions will be the same with one
or two modifications that the professor may deem necessary for better
understanding. Should the student fail in one of these two exams, then
number four as mentioned above is applied again. Should the student
fail both sections, then he/she has one more opportunity to retake the
failed exams. IN THIS CASE, THE STUDENT MUST WAIT TO RETAKE THE EXAMINATION
UNTIL THE FOLLOWING SEMESTER.
the student fail more than two areas, he/she must repeat the failed
areas in the following semester. In this case, it is up to the professor
to decide if the examination questions will remain the same or be changed.
The student may retake the failed areas twice.
REQUIREMENTS ARE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UPON APPEARING ON THE ELECTRONIC
PAGE OF THE SPANISH SECTION AND APPLY TO THE STUDENTS WHO ARE CURRENTLY
ENROLLED IN THE MASTER OF ARTS PROGRAM AND FOR THE STUDENTS WHO WILL
BEGIN STUDIES IN THE FALL OF 2004.
Five (5) sections: 20 Century Peninsular, 19 Century Peninsular, Golden
Age, 20th Century Latin America, Latin America before 1900.
One major area to be chosen from the above five. Two-hour exam.
Four (4) minor areas. One-hour exams for each.
All professors vote on each written section, pass or fail, majority
All written sections must be passed before the student passes on to
the oral exam. Students may retake a section twice. There must be at
least three weeks between first and second retakes. The third attempt
may not be made in the same semester as the first two.
The student has successfully passed the written section once all sections
Each professor constructs the oral exam (pass/fail) based on the possible
need to rehabilitate questions answered on the written, questions asked
but not answered on the written, and the Ph.D. reading list.
All professors vote on whether the student passes each section of the
oral exam, pass or fail, majority rules.
Student passes the oral exam if a) he/she passes the exam in the major
area, and b) he/she passes three (3) of four (4) oral sections.
Sections of the oral exam may be retaken twice. There must be at least
two weeks between the first and second retakes. If a third attempt is
necessary, it must not occur in the same semester as the first two tries.
The student is deemed to have passed the Ph.D. qualifying exams after
successfully passing both the written and oral exams.
The Ph.D. Reading List will be a base, upon which in consultation with
the professor in each area, works may be added according to student's
Ph.D. course work will be taken in the following ratio:
15 hours of Penninsular Literature
9 hours of Latin American Literature
3 discretionary hours to be used to complement the major area (Peninsular
3 hours - SP 502. If student does not need 502, these hours must be
used to complement the major area.
15 hours of Latin American Literature
9 hours of Peninsular Literature
3 discretionary hours to be used to complement the major area (LA lit)
3 hours - SP 502. If student does not need 502, these hours must be
used to complement the major area.
- MODERN LANGUAGES
AND CLASSICS DEPARTMENT