The Spanish program, now part of the University's Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is one of the oldest and most highly respected in the country. The program has a standing faculty of seven and enrolls approximately 15 candidates in the doctoral program. In the very recent past, there were as many as 10 students admitted to the program each year, but due to the pandemic and employment realities, admissions are likely to be reduced to between three and five. The program typically awards 10 undergraduate majors and 50 minors every year, while over 1,600 students take Spanish courses. Spanish also employs about 20 lecturers and visiting faculty. The program's reputation was built on excellence in Peninsular literature — historically, Latin America was less prominent — and particularly on the literature of the Middle Ages and the Golden Age. Today, all areas and time periods are covered in the curriculum. The concept of literature has been broadened, too, to include significant interest in history, film, women's studies, and cultural studies.
The university has offered introductory instruction in the Portuguese language fairly consistently over time, but instruction and research at higher levels have been intermittent. There is some scholarly interest in other languages and literatures, such as Catalan, Galician, and Valencian, though little formal instruction. Basque is of linguistic interest.
There is graduate and faculty focus on Iberian history, primarily in the early modern and modern period, while medieval history continues to be important.