Spanish and Spanish Translation and Interpreting at USC Upstate

Spanish and Spanish Translation and Interpreting

The USC Upstate Spanish program opens news worlds of opportunity. Students in USC Upstate's Spanish program learn to communicate in Spanish and to understand Hispanic and Latino cultures at home and abroad. Our students prepare to bridge English and Spanish cultures and speakers in business, healthcare, education, politics, community leadership and more. Students who complete the Spanish major, Spanish minor, or minor in Spanish Translation and Interpreting  gain cultural competence, leadership skills, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to communicate with speakers of Spanish in their own language. 

Hispanic and Latinx Students working collaborative at a computer in a computer lab. ¿Hablas español en casa? ¿Te gustaría aprender más sobre tu cultura y el mundo hispánico? ¿Buscas perfeccionar tu español oral o escrito? ¿Quieres estudiar en el extranjero? ¿O tal vez te interesa aprender sobre la traducción y la interpretación para carreras médicas o legales? ¿Te gustaría participar en actividades sin fin de lucro con líderes comunitarios? Aprovecha de muchas oportunidades para desarrollar liderazgo.

What do Spanish students do? 
  • Speak, Listen, Interpret
  • Read, Write, Translate
  • Engage in service learning in education, nursing, child advocacy, criminal justice, non-profit administration, and business
  • Participate in long-term and short-term study abroad in Spain and throughout Latin America

Alumni of the USC Upstate Spanish program have worked with local, national, and international community organizations, such as the Peace Corps, and made a difference in the lives of people around the world, become certified teachers in South Carolina, moved to Spain or Latin America to teach English, or earned positions in training, human resources, communications, management, and other areas within international corporations both locally and in global markets. Students who earn a double-major in Spanish and business, criminal justice, nursing, psychology, non-profit administration, child advocacy studies, informatics, education, or engineering technology management make themselves more competitive and better prepared to become future leaders in any career they choose.

Translation and Interpreting

Spanish majors and minors are prepared for a competitive global marketplace, particularly in view of the international nature of the Upstate community and the growing Hispanic population in the United States, home of the world's second largest Spanish-speaking population. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the number of job openings for interpreters and translators is projected to increase by an incredible 46 percent by the year 2022. Our minors in Spanish Translation and Interpreting learn theories of translation and interpreting, study ethical guidelines for working as a translator or interpreter, and apply their skills in service learning projects for area non-profit organizations. Service learning and internship opportunities help minors gain valuable experience working with instructors who are certified translators and interpreters. Students may choose courses in Spanish for the professions focused on business, healthcare, legal professions, or education, and prepare to be a bridge for communication in multilingual communities near and far.

Formal training in translation and interpreting matters. Visit the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters information on working with translators and interpreters and the American Translators Association Getting It Right guides for working with professional translators and interpreters. If you are a working professional interested in continuing education opportunities to build your interpreting skills, check out our programs for professional Spanish interpreting

Get Involved

Students can make connections by participating in the Hispanic Awareness Association student organization or by joining the Alpha Mu Gamma National Honor Society. Follow us on Twitter at #traducciónuscupstate to find out more about news and events related to Spanish at USC Upstate. 

Participate in the Annual Translation and Interpreting Panel, hosted at USC Upstate every March. The program brings together students, faculty, and community members with international experts in translation and interpreting. There is a huge demand for trained and certified translators and interpreters in business, education, healthcare, and legal settings. Each year panelists share information and experience about how to apply translation and interpreting skills in a range of professions. See USC Upstate Translation in the News for more information about the event.

  • Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students graduating in Spanish at USC Upstate will be able to demonstrate speaking and listening proficiency in Spanish.

    1.Students will demonstrate competence in syntax and rules of discourse in varying linguistic tasks as measured by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines— Speaking.

     2. Students graduating in Spanish at USC Upstate will be able to demonstrate the ability to write in different styles.

    2.1 Students will write with clarity and precision on assigned texts.

    2.2 Students will demonstrate an ability to write for various audiences.

    3. Students graduating in Spanish at USC Upstate will be able to demonstrate an adequate command of grammar and linguistics.

    3.1 Students will demonstrate competence in syntax and rules of discourse, as measured by the ACTFL Written Proficiency Scale.

    3.2 Students will demonstrate understanding of the principles of Spanish phonetics and how they compare with English phonetics.

    4. Students graduating in Spanish at USC Upstate will be able to read, understand and analyze popular and literary texts in Spanish.

    4.1 Students will demonstrate an ability to situate and interpret texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

    4.2 Make connections between texts written in Spanish.

    5. Students graduating in Spanish at USC Upstate will be able to demonstrate an ability to compare the products, practices and perspectives of the cultures of Spanish speakers with others.

    5. Students will demonstrate an ability to compare the culture of a particular Hispanic group with the students' own cultures.

  • Spanish majors not only acquire skills in reading, writing and speaking the language, but they also explore and develop an appreciation for literature and broader cultures of Spanish-speaking lands and people around the globe. The Spanish program offers students the opportunity to study the language, literature, and culture of the Hispanic world, including both European and Latin American contexts.

    Course offerings focus on language (written and spoken), culture (Latin American and Spanish), and literature. Our faculty are committed to active learning teaching strategies and hands-on learning opportunities. Students also enjoy service learning opportunities translating and interpreting for non-profit organizations in the Upstate and complete internships with area schools, healthcare organizations, businesses, and service organizations. These experiences prepare students with not only the courses but the professional experiences that make them ready for meaningful careers. 

    Students beginning the major at the 101-102 level complete introductory and intermediate courses (201-202) in their first two years at the university, then complete intensive study in their junior and senior years. Students who place into intermediate or advanced levels may begin upper-level work immediately. 

    All students are encouraged to participate in study abroad experiences with our university partners in Spain, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and other Spanish-speaking countries. 

    A minor in Spanish and minor in Spanish translation/interpreting are also offered. 

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the number of job openings for interpreters and translators is projected to increase by an incredible 46 percent by the year 2022. Our alumni work globally in multinational businesses, international and American-based nonprofit organizations, the Peace Corps and in schools and universities around the world. 

    Our majors find careers in a variety of fields:

    • Interpreting in Business, Criminal Justice and Law, Education, Government, and Health care Professions
    • International Business Communications, Bilingual Marketing, and Training
    • Military and Intelligence Services
    • Non-Profit Administration and Programming for Hispanic-Serving Organizations
    • Peace Corps
    • Publishing/Editing/Digital Media in Spanish
    • Relocation Services Language and Cultural Training for Speakers of Other Languages
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Worldwide
    • Teaching in K12-College
    • Translation and Interpreting


  • Students in the Spanish program have completed internships with many businesses and organizations in Spartanburg and throughout the Upstate. Some examples include the following:

    • Arcadia Elementary
    • Chinese Culture and Education Center in China
    • Inman City Fire Department
    • Lone Oak Elementary
    • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System