Cultural Awareness and Diversified Thought

¡Abre tu mundo! ¡Diversifica tu futuro!

The Center for Hispanic Studies introduces you to the study of Hispanic cultures and the Spanish language and prepares you to live and work in a competitive, interdependent world. Developing and refining your Spanish skills, studying Hispanic culture and living in a Spanish-speaking country offer you life-changing experiences with another culture in a way that very few other disciplines can.

The United States is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. It is projected to become the largest Spanish-speaking country by 2050. A command of Spanish and knowledge of Spanish culture will be an asset to you in most disciplines and virtually a requirement in some.

In our Center, you will find yourself in small classes with individualized attention where we foster critical thinking, intellectual and emotional growth, as well as respect for diversity and inclusion. You will learn to respect different cultural traditions as well as the dignity of all women and men.

Some courses include a community engagement approach to learning, providing you with firsthand opportunities to work and interact with diverse Hispanic populations. At the same time, we help enhance your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills and augment your appreciation of varied literatures and civilizations. In these ways, the curriculum and programs of the department contribute to building moral character.

Currently, the Center offers you study abroad opportunities through residence programs in Salamanca, Spain; Pamplona, Spain; and San José, Costa Rica.

As a Center, we fully support the Standards for Foreign Language Learning developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).

Program Tracks

Scholarships & Grants


  • Undergraduate or graduate student; enrolled in Spanish language courses, and have demonstrated need.
  • Preference will be given to those with a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • The student can be any SO, JR, SR, or GR with a GPA over 3.5
  • Applications are not required (as long as the student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the University Financial Aid Application.


  • Pursue a degree or studies in: foreign language
  • Applicant must have studied a foreign language for at least two years and have graduated from a high school in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
  • Complete an application.
  • Have a declared major in a foreign language.
  • Maintain a GPA of: 3.00
  • Write and submit an essay: One-page essay explaining student's interest in pursuing a major in a foreign language(s).

How to apply:

  • Provide a high school transcript.
  • Provide a college transcript.
  • Provide a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Provide one letter of reference.
  • Write and submit an essay: One-page essay explaining student's interest in pursuing a major in a foreign language(s).

In addition, small grants to faculty and students are available to support research involving undergraduate students.


Opportunities for Engagement

The department hosts a number of societies to allow students make connections:

  • Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society
  • Society of Modern Language Scholars Departmental Student Organization
  • Sigma Delta Pi International Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society

Thinking about studying a foreign language in another part of the world? The department currently offers two supervised study abroad programs in Europe, directed by department faculty members.

  • Pamplona, Spain
  • Salamanca, Spain
  • San Jose, Costa Rica

Additional study abroad programs are available through the University's Center for Global Engagement.

Meet Our Faculty

Dr. Mark Frisch

Dr. Mark Frisch

Associate Professor, Center for Hispanic Studies

Dr. Lucia Osa-Melero

Dr. Lucia Osa-Melero

Director & Associate Professor, Center for Hispanic Studies

Dr. Eduardo Ruiz

Dr. Eduardo Ruiz

Teaching Assistant Professor, Spanish

Dr. Carla Lucente

Dr. Carla Lucente

Professor, Modern Languages & Literatures

Contact for more info

Dr. Lucía Osa-Melero

Director, Center for Hispanic Studies