Spanish, Ph.D.


To be admitted to the Ph.D. program in Spanish, candidates typically have an M.A. in Spanish or related fields. A total of 30 credit hours may be approved toward the doctoral program. The Graduate Advisor in Spanish is responsible for the approval of the credit hours and for designing individual programs of study.

Students with an M.A. in a related field may need to take a Proficiency Test to show verbal, written and reading skills in Spanish. Exceptions may be considered when the student’s first language is Spanish.

Students who desire to pursue the Ph.D. in Spanish may enroll concurrently in the M.A. program in Spanish. In order to be admitted to the doctoral program, they must pass a Qualifying Examination during their third semester of M.A. work.

Degree Requirements (36 Post-Masters Hours)

Beyond the B.A., candidates for the Ph.D. are required to take 66-69 graduate hours (69 hours if the student needs to satisfy the FORL 776 requirement for Graduate Teaching Assistants. They will take 66 hours if they do not take FORL 776, 69 hours if they do. They must demonstrate a reading knowledge in a language other than Spanish and English. This requirement may be satisfied by coursework in another program of the DLLC (with such courses not included in the total number of required credit hours of approved doctoral work). 

Beyond the M.A., each doctoral candidate must take 24 credit hours of approved coursework, and 12 hours of Dissertation preparation. With the approval of the Graduate (Academic) Advisor, student may substitute 6 credit hours of graduate course work in another area related to their field of study. 

Each student will pass the Comprehensive Examination. A Comprehensive Examination Committee will design questions based upon reading lists pertinent to all parts of the Examination. There will be an oral exam (to be given within two weeks after successfully passing the written exams). 

Each student will write a dissertation on a topic which will be chosen in consultation with the Dissertation Committee and the Graduate Advisor in Spanish.

Course requirements for all PhD students

Course Title Credits
As part of their coursework, each doctoral candidate must successfully complete the following courses:
SPAN 711Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism3
SPAN 715History of the Spanish Language 13

or an equivalent seminar in Spanish linguistics approved by the Graduate Advisor

Students Admitted with a B.A.

Students with a B.A. and who are admitted to the doctoral program should complete 54 hours of graduate coursework, and 12 additional credit hours of the following:

Course Title Credits
SPAN 899Dissertation Preparation12
Total Credit Hours12

Students Admitted with an M.A.

Students with a M.A. and who are admitted to the doctoral program should complete 24 hours of graduate coursework (including the required courses listed above). Students who have taken SPAN 711 as part of their M.A. program in the Department of LLC are excepted from this requirement.  Beyond the 24 hours of course work, 12 additional credit hours of the following are required:

Course Title Credits
SPAN 899Dissertation Preparation1-12
Total Credit Hours1-12

Graduate Teaching Assistants

The following is required of all graduate teaching assistants, but this course is NOT counted as part of the required 24 hours of post MA coursework: 

Course Title Credits
FORL 776The Teaching of Foreign Languages in College3
Total Credit Hours3

Note: Students who have completed similar courses during their M.A. training at another institution will be exempt from this course.

Dissertation Requirement

In order to obtain the Ph.D. in Spanish, candidates should write a Dissertation that makes a relevant contribution to current scholarship in their chosen field. The candidate must designate as Doctoral Advisor a Graduate Faculty member of the Spanish program.

The proposal for the Dissertation and the composition of the Dissertation Committee should be endorsed by the Doctoral Advisor and approved by the Graduate Advisor in Spanish. A Prospectus will be presented and defended (after passing the Comprehensive Examination and no later than two semesters thereafter).