Understanding the Spanish language and culture is essential, not only to maintain and improve our cultural and economic ties with the 20 countries in which Spanish is the official language, but also to learn about and appreciate the culture of several million Hispanics in the United States. The Spanish department offers a broad and diverse experience in the language, literature, and culture of Spanish-speaking people, including the diversity of Hispanic populations in the United States. In consultation with the advisers, students elect courses that explore various social, political, literary, cultural, and linguistic topics. A communicative, proficiency-oriented approach is used in conjunction with multimedia technology in the Language Resource Center (LRC) to provide opportunities for original language practice in context. A period of study in a Spanish-speaking country as well as residence in our Casa Hispanica is highly encouraged.