Please note: The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.
Spanish majors of exceptional ability and dedication are encouraged to enroll in the Distinguished Major Program (DMP). This program enables qualified students to explore at a higher level their interests in Hispanic literature, language, and culture.
In the fall semester of their fourth year, DMP students enroll in the DMP Colloquium (a 3-credit credit/no credit course), meeting regularly with the DMP Coordinator to discuss research strategies and set intermediate goals. In the second semester of their fourth year, DMPs meet regularly with a faculty adviser to receive guidance on advanced research techniques, critical thinking skills, and effective writing strategies. Distinguished Major Program students receive three (3) additional credits upon the successful completion of a thesis. At the end of this year they present their research results to faculty, graduate students, and invited guests.
The DMP will give you the opportunity to:
- Matriculate with priority in fourth-year seminars.
- Research a topic of interest in depth over the course of a year.
- Meet with a professor on an individual basis and receive guidance on advanced research techniques, critical thinking skills, and effective writing strategies.
- Share your ideas and enthusiasm with other exceptional undergraduates in Spanish in a monthly colloquium.
- Present your research results to faculty, graduate students, and DMPs in Spanish at the end of your fourth year.
For more information, please consult the pages below.
Spanish Majors possessing a GPA close to a 3.4 are eligible, but GPA alone will not bring automatic admission. Interest, dedication and past record will be taken into account. The last semester of the fourth year, a 3.4 cumulative GPA in all courses is an unconditional requirement in order to graduate with any level distinction.
When to Apply
Students should apply to the program by the end of the first semester of their third year. Admission will be granted by the DMP Coordinator.
How to Apply
Students must fill out an application form plus secure a written recommendation from a departmental faculty member, and present both to the DMP Coordinator. Application deadline for 2018 graduates: February 15, 2017. To download the Distinguished Major application form, please click here.
Distinguished Major Program students must take at least nine (9) hours of undergraduate seminars in Spanish. A seminar is defined as a student-centered course (i.e., more discussion than lecture) with 25 or fewer students and with a total writing requirement of at least 3,000 words. Please consult the DMP Coordinator to find out which courses qualify.
With the approval of the DMP Coordinator, students may substitute a master’s level linguistics or literature course or a 4000/5000-level culture and civilization course for one of these seminars. These seminars and courses will be included in the 30 credits for the Spanish major.
At the end of the second semester of their third year, students will select a thesis topic in coordination with the member of the faculty who will become their thesis advisor. (Students who are studying abroad in the spring semester of the third year should select their thesis topic before the end of the summer before their fourth year.)
In the first semester of their fourth year, students will take Span 4980, “Distinguished Majors Colloquium,” for three credits [credit/no credit], meeting periodically with the DMP Coordinator and other DMPs to develop research strategies and goals. It is expected that significant work on the thesis will be completed in this semester. During their final semester, students will take Span 4989, “Distinguished Major in Spanish Thesis,” for three credits [grade option] and complete work on their thesis. DMPs will present their research at a departmental colloquium in the spring of their final year.
Theses will be read by the thesis director, a second reader, and the DMP Coordinator, who together will decide on levels of distinction. Details about the format of the final project should be discussed with the DMP Coordinator. A bound copy of the thesis will remain on file in the department’s Del Greco Library.
Levels of Distinction
A departmental committee determines different levels of distinction -- Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction -- based on the quality of the student’s thesis, the student’s overall work in the major field of study, and the student’s overall college record. Please note that the minimum GPA is a 3.4.
Wyatt Family Summer Fellowship for Distinguished Majors in Spanish
This award provides support up to $4,000 for Distinguished Majors in Spanish to conduct research in a Spanish-speaking country during the summer between their third and fourth years. The funds may be used for field research, archival research, interviews, museum study, or other activities related to the student’s proposed thesis topic.
To dowload the application form for the Wyatt Family Summer Fellowship for DMPs, please click here.
Past DMP Projects (2006-present)
Distinguished Majors in Spanish 2006-2017