Study Abroad: Planning and Valid Courses

The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures recommends strongly that all majors and concentrators in Hispanic or Portuguese Studies engage in study abroad if their other academic commitments allow it. Studying abroad represents a unique opportunity to provide substance and linguistic depth to the department’s academic program.

Study Abroad Options in Latin America

Study Abroad Options in Spain

Most courses related to Latin American and Iberian issues and taught in Spanish, Portuguese or Catalan can be used to fulfill the requirements for the majors and concentrations in the Department. Other general or methodological courses, also taught in Spanish, Portuguese or Catalan, may fulfill the requirements provided that a paper or research project is developed around the Latin American or Iberian contexts.

Actual or potential majors and concentrators in Hispanic or Portuguese Studies should seek tentative approval of their program of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) before their departure, or before registering for the classes abroad. Students should submit materials for validation immediately after returning to campus.

Valid Courses and Credit Count

A maximum of four courses taken abroad may be applied to the Major in Hispanic Studies (counting as “electives”). A maximum of three courses my count toward the Concentration in Hispanic or Portuguese Studies (counting as “electives”).

Credit will be generally awarded only for courses that have contact hour and workload scales equivalent to Columbia University courses. Language courses taken abroad will not count toward the major or concentration even if they are required by the program you attend.


The following materials should be provided to the department’s DUS immediately upon returning to campus when applying for credit for the major or concentration for work done abroad:

  1. the actual course syllabus
  2. a list of assigned readings and texts used
  3. corrected and graded tests, examinations, and papers used for evaluating the student’s work. If work was not returned by the professor, please provide a copy of the original work handed in
  4. filled form with brief report (for each one of the courses taken abroad)

These materials should be gathered in an envelop and left in the mailbox of the DUS.

Some of the classes that you take abroad may count towards other majors but you should always keep in mind that a course cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major.

Advisers in the Office of Global Programs and Fellowships are eager to meet with you to discuss your study abroad interests and options further.  Please review the Office of Global Programs and Fellowships website for advising information, a list of program options as well as steps to study abroad. In addition, review the Columbia College’s requirements for receiving departmental credit or credit toward a major or concentration.