Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures


Master of Arts Degree in Spanish

The Master of Arts degree in Spanish offers the student the opportunity for an in-depth view of Hispanic studies in three specialized areas: literature, culture, and language, underscoring the unity of the Hispanic world rather than its national components. Elective courses in Linguistics (LNG) and Foreign Languages (FL) offer an opportunity to further the student’s grasp of the Spanish language in its geographical, cultural, and social variations.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to satisfying the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have 12 or more upper-division hours in Hispanic culture, literature, or linguistics and a mastery of oral and written skills in Spanish in an academic register. Upper-division grammar, oral communication, and language skills courses may not be included in this requirement. Students will have written and oral proficiencies assessed via performance in coursework during their first semester of study.

A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required in undergraduate coursework in Spanish. These requirements may be waived in unusual circumstances upon the approval of the Graduate Program Committee.

Admission determinations are based on the grade point average, undergraduate coursework, fluency in Spanish, the personal statement, and the letter(s) of recommendation.

Application Materials. In addition to filing the regular University application for admission, all applicants must submit to the Spanish Graduate Committee, for evaluation, a one- to two-page statement written in Spanish describing the objectives of proposed graduate study and at least one letter of recommendation from a prior teacher or professional colleague.

Degree Requirements. The number of semester credit hours required for this degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies, is 36. A maximum of one grade of “C” shall be applicable toward coursework for the Master of Arts degree.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

  1. 3 semester credit hours of SPN 5373 Introduction to Graduate Spanish Studies. This course must be taken within the first 18 hours of graduate work.

  2. 18 semester credit hours distributed as follows:

    6 hours in culture (SPN)
    6 hours in Spanish language and linguistics (SPN and LNG)
    6 hours in literature (SPN)

  3. 15 semester credit hours of electives in Spanish (SPN), Linguistics (LNG), Foreign Languages (FL) or other courses as approved by the Graduate Advisor of Record.

  4. Thesis Option

    SPN 6983 Master’s Thesis. The satisfactory completion of a thesis in accordance with University regulations as stated under Options for Master’s Degrees in Chapter 4, Master’s Degree Regulations. If this option is chosen, up to 6 semester credit hours of thesis credit may be used in place of the electives in item C.

  5. The satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination, to be taken toward the end of a student’s 36-hour program. Students are advised to speak with the Graduate Advisor of Record when close to 27 hours.


Graduate Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies

The Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies is a 15-hour option in Spanish graduate studies with its primary focus on the language skills necessary to perform translation. Translation is defined as the rendering of a written text from a source language into another, while interpretation is the rendering of spoken language from a source language into another. Although this program will concentrate on the former rather than on the latter, both draw on the same type of general linguistic skills as those gained by studies in literature, language, and culture. This certificate focuses closely on practical applications in modern day life.

Entrance and Exit Requirements

In addition to meeting University-wide admission requirements either as a special graduate student or a degree-seeking student in a graduate program, all prospective students must pass a written entrance examination in Spanish and English to determine linguistic competence and general cultural preparation.

Entrance- and exit-level skills in both languages will be no lower than Level 3 and Level 4, respectively, according to the U.S. Government’s Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Skill Level Descriptions for Translation Performance.

Program Requirements

The Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies consists of 15 semester credit hours to include an introduction to theory and practice and the terminology of translation, with supplementary training to include areas such as computer applications, translation workshops and individualized, practical coursework. Courses in Spanish linguistics, literature, and culture strengthen the interdisciplinary underpinnings of the Certificate. The capstone course, FL 6013, provides training in and reinforcement of written translation skills by means of a translation case study.

Students must complete the following requirements:

  1. 3 semester credit hours from the following:

    FL   5043   Principles of Translation
    SPN 6083   Theory and Practice of Translation

  2. 6 semester credit hours from the following:

    SPN 5023   Writing and Editing in Spanish
    SPN 5843   History of the Spanish Language
    SPN 5853   Spanish of the Southwest
    SPN 5883   Spanish Morphology and Syntax
    SPN 5893   Spanish Dialects
    SPN 6973   Special Problems

  3. 3 semester credit hours of any SPN 5000-level course or above with a focus on language, literature, or culture

  4. FL 6013   Practicum in Translation

    Students will take this course during their last semester of enrollment in the Certificate Program. In consultation with the instructor, they will select an area of interest and define a task within that area. Project translation work will normally be exclusively into the student’s dominant language.

Back to Top