Rice University has stopped offering professional Spanish classes, which previously included Commercial Spanish, Spanish for Engineers and Medical Spanish, according to a petition on the Student Association website.

Duncan College junior Nimish Mittal, who started a petition to bring back the classes, said the removal of the courses is a loss to students.

"These classes are some of the most practical classes offered in almost any discipline at Rice," Mittal, a bioengineering major, said. "They help prepare us on how to properly use Spanish in the context of the profession we plan on entering, and having that kind of background and experience gives Rice students an edge when competing for jobs in the real world."

According to the Student Senate, over 300 students have signed the petition so far. Mittal said the amount of support received since he created the petition shortly before winter break indicates students are passionate about the effort to restore the courses to the curriculum.

Director of the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication Rafael Salaberry declined to comment at this time.