Spanish for Health Professions Certificate program

Undergrad certificate

Add Spanish skills to your future healthcare career

Earning a Spanish for the Health Professions certificate will help you become an advocate for healthcare access for all, particularly patients who do not speak English. Spanish is the second most common language in the U.S. and the fastest growing language worldwide.

While most students who complete the certificate are enrolled in a pre-professional program, it also benefits students who will work in any profession that is public-facing, including public health and mental health.

How does the certificate help with applications?

The Spanish for the Health Professions certificate gives students the opportunity to practice interpersonal skills such as cultural competence, oral communication, teamwork, and social skills, which are all important for graduate school applications in the health professions, as well as landing careers in healthcare after graduation.

Alumni have used skills to

  • Implement language concordant services for emergency responders
  • Create patient information pamphlets in Spanish at local healthcare facilities
  • Improve communication with Spanish-speaking patients during healthcare visits

What distinguishes UWL's Spanish for Health Professions certificate?

Improve access to healthcare for all

In the Spanish for the Health Professions program, we believe that healthcare is a right for all. This program empowers future healthcare providers to promote fair, ethical, and humane treatment of all patients in multilingual and multicultural settings.

Broaden your cultural understanding

By studying Spanish, you will develop not only language skills to interact, but also intercultural competency. These skills help you to work with people from other cultures more effectively and appropriately.

Student involvement

Meet other students while growing your language skills and appreciation of Spanish speaking cultures though the Spanish Club. Students can also connect with a conversation partner to practice speaking and share cultural experiences with international students and native speakers.

Sample courses

SPA 325 Spanish for Professional Communication This course enhances a student's ability to function effectively in an increasingly important commercial language locally, in the United States, and abroad. A variety of adapted readings and videos provide a solid foundation in the vocabulary and written discourse used in Spanish in a variety of professions such as business and marketing, sports sciences, psychology, and human resources, among others. This course also develops a cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world, which is key to being able to successfully conduct formal conversations with native professionals. The course, to be conducted primarily in Spanish, includes various activities, grammar topics, and assignments that provide preparation for the final task: writing a cover letter in Spanish for a job in the student's knowledge area where knowledge and/or proficiency of Spanish is required. This intermediate-level course has a strong written-proficiency focus. Prerequisite: SPA 202 or SPA 221 or placement based on UW System Placement Test scores. Offered Annually.

SPA 332 Spanish Speakers in the U.S.: Language, Community, (In)justice In this course students develop and refine their listening comprehension and speaking skills by listening to and discussing the experiences of Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Students will learn about language and identity by exploring Spanish across the generations and Spanish dialects in context; language ideology by reflecting on Mock Spanish and Spanglish; and language in society by understanding language access in places like schools, healthcare, and other public services. Prerequisite: SPA 202 or SPA 221 or placement based on UW System Placement Test scores. Offered Occasionally.

SPA 322 Spanish for Mental Health Professionals This intermediate-level Spanish course is specifically designed to prepare students to work with Latinx populations in the United States and abroad. Hispanics in the United States are expected to comprise nearly a quarter of the future workforce, and they are affected by mental health morbidity e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD, alcohol and drug abuse, and family conflict, to cite a few, in part due to the lack of linguistically and culturally accessible services. In this oral proficiency course, to be conducted primarily in Spanish, students will not only learn the appropriate vocabulary and jargon associated with the discipline, they will also develop awareness of the strengths, resilience, and protective factors that emanate from Latina/o culture through a selection of adapted videos and readings, grammar exercises, in-class simulations, and a mock video consultation. At the end of the course students will be better positioned to deliver more linguistically and culturally congruent interventions. Prerequisite: SPA 202 or SPA 221 or placement based on UW System Placement Test scores. Offered Occasionally.