Master of Arts - Hispanic Studies

The M.A. program in Hispanic Studies is a flexible program, allowing students to concentrate on culture, linguistics, literature and translation. The program aims to meet the need of students interested in a wide variety of professions, including teaching.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. program in Spanish is flexible, allowing students to concentrate on language, literature, and culture. The program aims at meeting the needs of students interested in teaching and the professions. Before acceptance into the program, students will take a pre-qualifying examination that will test their Spanish language skills. With the help of the graduate coordinator, students will design a program of studies to meet their individual needs.

The 33-hour program includes 9 hours of required graduate coursework in Spanish encompassing three areas: Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition (WLC 714) or Seminar in Spanish Linguistics (SPAN 717), Textual Analysis (SPAN 720), and Writing Workshop (SPAN 709). A variety of courses in language, linguistics, literature, culture, and translation will be offered to allow students to complete an additional 24 hours of instruction. Students may apply a maximum of 9 credits at the 600 level to their graduate program.

Final Examination Options

Written Examination

After completing twenty-one credits, students, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, will choose for their examination three of the following six areas of concentration: Peninsular culture, Latin American culture, linguistics, Peninsular literature, Latin American literature, and translation theory. Once these areas are chosen they may not be changed. The exam will be based on the courses taken as well as on a supplementary list of readings for each area available in the department. The exam will include three ninety-minute written sections. Grammatical accuracy will also be a graded component of the exam. After passing all three parts of the exam, students will take an oral examination covering these chosen areas. Students who do not pass any part(s) of the exam will be allowed to retake the failed part(s) only once. Students who do not pass all three parts will be separated from the program.

Final Project Option

Students with at least a 3.8 GPA may (upon the approval of the Spanish graduate coordinator) substitute a final project (six credits of SPAN 797) for the written examination. Before initiating the project, students will establish a three-member faculty examination committee and secure their approval of the project proposal. If the proposal is rejected twice, the student must take the written examination option. When accepted projects are completed, students will take the Final Examination, an oral examination covering the final project. The committee shall consist of the project director, two other members of the graduate faculty, and the graduate faculty representative. Students whose projects are not acceptable for defense will be allowed to resubmit their project the following semester. Students who do not secure approval the second time will be separated from the program. More detailed guidelines will be distributed to enrolled students.

For accreditation information, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Objectives

  • Write grammatically and lexically accurate Spanish and demonstrate an ability to write spontaneously in Spanish with a fair degree of accuracy and clarity.
  • Discuss academic topics, read on an advanced level, and write analytically on literary and cultural topics.
  • Be familiar with basic concepts of Hispanic linguistics.
  • Be familiar with major literary movements and the history of Spanish or Latin American literature along with the primary author.
  • Understand the nature and development of the culture of Spain or Latin America.
  • Learn the process of basic scholarly research.
  • Acquire broad linguistic, cultural or literary knowledge and acquire substantial knowledge in three sub-areas of Hispanic Studies based on a reading list provided by the department. Students must not only show a broad yet detailed knowledge of their subject on a comprehensive written examination, but also be able to discuss their chosen fields in an oral examination.
  • Students qualifying and choosing the project option are expected to familiarize themselves with relevant theories and bibliographical material on their chosen topic. They must be able to develop a theme or thesis based on appropriate methodology, sound arguments, and insightful discussion. Finally they need to demonstrate their ability to write correct and polished Spanish and to defend their project in an oral examination.
  • Be familiar with the history, theory, and application of translation.

Career Possibilities

The M.A. in Hispanic Studies offers further development in Spanish language skills, preparation for further graduate study toward the Ph.D., for other professional fields, such as law, medicine, business and government and for the teaching of Spanish in high school.

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