Students participating in the Discovery Madrid program will enjoy a rich and varied introduction to Spain through a challenging semester-long curriculum. The program fulfills the same curricular requirements as those pursued by freshmen studying on Syracuse University’s main campus, while providing a course schedule unique to the Madrid experience. Upon return to Syracuse in the spring semester, Discovery Madrid participants will be on equal footing academically with their main campus peers.


Required Courses:

Mapping Madrid

This four day seminar prior to orientation will help you become familiar with Madrid and provide the foundation for living and thriving in another country.

CAS 101: First Year Forum (1 credit)

This seminar welcomes new students to Syracuse University. The course helps you develop closer relationships with peers and an instructor and eases the entrance into University life. Special topics will introduce and orient you to Madrid and Spain and discuss adjusting to a new culture.

WRT 105: Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing (3 credits)

In WRT 105, you will focus on critical analysis and argument, practices that are central to the academic work in universities and in professional careers. The course will involve you in a shared topic of inquiry—an urgent issue that requires multiple points of view and kinds of knowledge— that you will engage with through readings, a range of informal and formal writing assignments, a modest amount of database and web research, and a lot of conversation with your classmates. You will compose for different audiences and experiment with a range of rhetorical approaches. You will learn to revise and refine your ideas with the feedback and suggestions of peers and the instructor. You will deepen your reading practices as you read both popular and academic essays. The course is structured on a studio model so that each and every day in class you and your peers will collaborate on, discuss, and share texts and ideas, and you will invent, compose, and revise in and outside of class. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for writing.

Spanish 101 (3-4 credits, depending on level)

Introductory proficiency-based course that prepares you to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. Activities are conducted in Spanish. Other levels of Spanish language instruction are available for students with some degree of proficiency. Your placement in a Spanish class will be determined upon arrival in Madrid.

FIL/LIT 200.1: Hollywood Models, Spanish Films (3 credits)

Taught in English, this course discusses the impact of three American film genres in Spanish cinema: Film Noir, Melodrama, and Gothic. Specifically, it studies the main characteristics of these genres, explores their influence on a selection of Spanish movies, and examines how they were adapted and/or transformed to advance specific political agendas and portray social realities. Concurrently, the course investigates the representation of women in these three film genres, and studies their counterparts in Spanish cinema, in an effort to explore the history and evolution of women’s roles in contemporary Spain.

(Film and Literature department)


Optional Courses:

ANT 381: Ancient Rituals and Beliefs in Modern Spain (3 credits)

Modern Spain is a complex mixture of traditions and cultures, many of them ancient. It is not an easy culture to understand, and it is the aim of this course to introduce students to the field of physical, archaeological, and cultural anthropology by using Spain as a laboratory. The course has a chronological historic structure and aims to detect the ancestral origins of actual Spanish beliefs and traditions. It starts by explaining the first appearance of humans on the Iberian Peninsula and ends with considerations on modern Spain. But, rather than a strictly historical approach, we are interested in syncretism, the complex layering of ancient belief systems inside a modern country.

HOA 209: Arts of Spain (3 credits)

Introduction to the art of Spain, through the analysis of the history of Spanish painting from the late Gothic (15th century) to Goya (19th century), and its relation to other European schools including the Flemish and Venetian Schools (Raphael, Titian, Rubens, etc). Concentration on El Greco painting in Toledo, the Spanish Baroque and the importance of Velazquez, and the modernity of Goya. Illustrated lectures given in class and at the Prado and other museums.

SOC 300.1: Spanish Pop Culture (3 credits)

This course will introduce you to contemporary Spanish popular culture from a sociological perspective. You will study popular culture as it changed over time, and also explore different aspects of it such as traditions and customs. You will also learn about popular culture as it pertains to youth groups, rural and urban contexts or, for example, religion. Furthermore, the course will examine how popular culture is produced and consumed, and how it is transmitted through cinema, literature, music and the media.

HST 412/PSC 422: Understanding 20th Century Spain (3 credits)

The course begins with an overview of the history of Spain, focusing later on the 19th and 20th centuries. It also concentrates on how the country was transformed from an Absolute Monarchy to a modern Parliamentary Monarchy, covering the Civil War and the 40-year-long dictatorship of Franco. It also analyzes the historical and present role of Spain in the world, as a member of the EU, NATO and UN.