Spanish and Latin American Studies
Location: Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building
6135 University Avenue
Room 3025
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-1082


Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world after Chinese and English. In 2015 there were nearly 470 million native speakers of Spanish living in 22 countries. If you add 21 million foreign language students world wide, and those with limited knowledge of Spanish, the number rises to 559 million. In fact, 6.7% of the world’s population already speaks Spanish and it is expected that this figure will reach 7.5% by 2030. Within four generations it is expected that 10% of the population will understand Spanish. Furthermore, Spanish is the third most commonly used language online, with 7.9% of Internet users communicating in Spanish.

A degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Dalhousie University will allow you to engage with this growing global community. Our courses provide a solid foundation for anyone wanting to experience the diversity of the Hispanic world. We offer language course that cater from beginners to the most advanced, as well as classes in translation, Spanish and Latin American civilization, history, culture, politics, literature and film.

You do not need to major in Spanish in order to take advantage of our program. Many students take out classes to complement degrees in other disciplines. Spanish language skills and knowledge of Latin America’s social and political history and culture can be tremendous assets to anyone studying international business or development, as well as anyone interested in working with government agencies or non-profit organizations.

For general information on Bachelor of Arts program requirements, see the College of Arts and Science section of the Academic Calendar.

Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELEs)

The Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) is the official accreditation of the degree of fluency of the Spanish language, issued and recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

The Instituto Cervantes is in charge of organizing the exams, while the University of Salamanca is in charge of the preparation, correction and final evaluation of all the tests. The exam tests your ability to read, write, speak and understand Spanish. There are six levels of DELEs offered that match the divisions determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages:

Diploma de Español A1

Beginner level: You can understand and use daily expressions frequently used in any part of the Spanish-speaking world, aimed at satisfying immediate needs; asking and giving basic personal information about yourself and daily life, and interacting on a basic level with speakers, whenever they are speaking slowly and clearly and are willing to cooperate.

Diploma de Español A2

Elementary level: You are capable of understanding daily phrases and expressions frequently used related to areas of experience that are particularly relevant to you; basic information about yourself and your family, shopping, places of interest, occupations, etc.

Diploma de Español B1

Pre-intermediate/threshold level: You have sufficient knowledge of the language to allow control in situations which require a basic use of the language.

Diploma de Español B2

Intermediate level: You have the necessary knowledge of the language to allow communication in everyday situations which do not require specialized terms.

Diploma de Español C1

Upper intermediate/proficiency level: You have the ability to cope in common situations of daily life which require a specialized use of the language.

Diploma de Español C2

Mastery/advanced level: You are able to communicate in all situations requiring advanced use of the language and knowledge of cultural background.

The exams are offered in November and May in more than 50 countries around the world. The Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies organizes the examinations at Dalhousie every spring.

For more information about the format of the exam, dates and application deadlines, contact the Spanish Department DELE coordinator.