The Master of Arts Program

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Application Process
Areas and Fields
Purpose of the M.A.
Special Information for International Students
Course Requirements
M.A. Thesis Procedures
Required M.A. Comprehensive Examinations
Incompletes
Application for Diploma
Approved Program of Study
Certification of Completion
Time Limit
Procedures for MA Comprehensive Examinations
 

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Areas and Fields

The M.A.  in Spanish is divided into three areas: Spanish literature, Latin American literature, and Hispanic applied linguistics

Students in Spanish literature and Latin American literature must choose either option as their main area. The student will also select three sub-fields in that area. For example, a student specializing in Latin American literature may choose Colonial literature, Contemporary literature, and Indigenous Cultures. From these three sub-fields, the student will elect one as his/her focus. The student will also choose an additional (4th) sub-field from his/her secondary area. For instance, the above mentioned student could choose The Golden Age as the fourth field. 

Students in Hispanic applied linguistics will take required courses in Hispanic applied linguistics and Latin American/Spanish/US Latino(a) literatures, as well as elective courses in several areas.

Spanish Literature

  • The Medieval Period
  • The Golden Age
  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
  • Contemporary (Twentieth & Twenty-First Centuries)

Spanish Reading List 

Latin-American Literatures

  • Colonial and Early Modern Studies
  • Emancipation and Nation Building (Nineteenth Century)
  • Modernismo and Avant-garde
  • Contemporary (Twentieth & Twenty-First Centuries)

Latin American Reading List 

Hispanic applied linguistics

  • Advanced Composition and Stylistics
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics: Basic Concepts
  • Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics: Language in Use
  • Hispanic Applied Linguistics reading list (in construction)

Purpose of the M.A.

To provide the opportunity for the candidate to acquire knowledge and skills in Hispanic languages and literatures to:

  • Prepare for admission to a doctoral research program leading to the specialized degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
  • Teach in secondary schools or community or junior colleges (note that certification from the State is necessary to teach in the public schools);
  • Work in fields which require knowledge of Spanish language and cultures such as community outreach, translation, diplomacy, etc;
  • Utilize these abilities in such other fields that the candidate may elect;

Course Requirements

M.A. candidates specializing in literature are required to take a total of thirty credits and to pass four comprehensive examinations in the sub-fields chosen by the student as noted earlier.

M.A. students specializing in Hispanic applied linguistics are required to pass comprehensive exams in the fields of Hispanic applied linguistics and their chosen literature option, as well as complete a final project (Non-Thesis M.A.) or a thesis (M.A. with Thesis). 

All students have two options for obtaining a Master's degree: a Non-Thesis M.A. or an M.A. with Thesis.

Course requirements for the Non-Thesis Option in literature are (30 credit hours total):

  • 3 credit hours in History of the Spanish Language
  • 3 credit hours in literary theory and/or criticism
  • 15-18 credit hours in the main area (Spanish or Latin American Literatures)
  • 6-9 credit hours in the secondary area

Course requirements for the Thesis Option in literature are (30 credit hours total):

  • 3 credit hours in History of the Spanish Language
  • 3 credit hours in literary theory and/or criticism
  • 12 credit hours in the main area (Spanish or Latin American Literatures)
  • 6 credit hours in the secondary area
  • 6 credit hours of thesis research (Spanish 799)

No more than six credits (two courses) can be earned from 400 level courses. With the approval of the Graduate Director, students who have passed courses equivalent to the Department's offerings in History of the Spanish Language and Literary Theory may replace these credits with other classes. Note that all courses in the M.A. degree must be taken in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Course requirements for the Non-Thesis Option in Hispanic applied linguistics are (30 credit hours total):

  • 12 credit hours in Hispanic applied linguistics
  • 9 credit hours in Latin American/Spanish/Latino(a) literatures
  • 6 credit hours in elective courses (to be determined by the student and advisor) *
  • 3 credit hours in a final project **

*3 credit hours may be obtained through an internship under the supervision of the academic advisor.
** Final project:

  • At least a semester prior to the written examinations, the student will meet with his or her advisor or professor supervising the project to determine the theme of the final project. A revised version of a paper (written for a class) is required as proof of research quality in the field of specialization chosen by the student.
  • The final project consists of an original study in Spanish of a linguistics topic or author within a selected theoretical, historical, or cultural framework. The major area essay (15 to 20 pages, plus notes and bibliography) can be an extended and substantially revised version of a seminar or course paper.
  • The student must present the research essay fourteen (14) days after the last written M.A. examination is submitted.

Course requirements for the Thesis Option in Hispanic applied linguistics are (30 credit hours total):

  • 12 credit hours in Hispanic applied linguistics
  • 9 credit hours in Latin American/Spanish/Latino(a) literatures
  • 3 credit hours in elective courses (to be determined by the student and advisor) *
  • 6 credit hours of thesis research (Spanish 799) which substitute for the 6 elective credits.

*3 credit hours may be obtained through an internship under the supervision of the academic advisor.

M.A. Thesis Procedures

The Graduate School has established criteria for eligibility to present an M.A. Thesis as well as deadlines for presentation of the thesis. Information is detailed in the General Forms and Publication Guidlines for Graduate Students.

A student interested in writing an MA thesis must seek approval from the graduate committee, ideally in the first half of the second semester. To seek approval, it is advised that the student first approach the DGS.

The MA thesis should be about 50 or 60 pages long, not including bibliography.

Required M.A. Comprehensive Examinations

The M.A. examination is given three times a year: in January, May and August and is based on reading lists for the Spanish, Latin American, and Hispanic applied linguistics areas. These lists are periodically revised by the faculty, and copies are available online.

Sixty days prior to an examination date, the candidate must inform the Director of Graduate Studies as well as the professor assigned to adminster the exam of his/her intention to take the M.A. examination. This notification should be submitted in writing, specifying the main area of the examination as well as the secondary fields.

Incompletes

The grade "I" (Incomplete) is given only if the student has experienced an unexpected hardship during the course (e.g., accident, illness, death in the family).

Students who hold a grade of "I" (Incomplete) in two courses may be prevented from enrolling in the following semester or from holding a teaching assistantship. Students have a maximum period of one year to complete pending courses; thereafter, the Department will change the "I" to an "F." Students who have an incomplete cannot take the Comprehensive Examinations.

Application for Diploma

Students are responsible for filing an Application for Graduation with the Registrar at the beginning of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred. Please consult the Graduate School for deadlines. The Department is not responsible for late applications.

Approved Program of Study

Students must meet with the Graduate Director to approve their program of study for the following semester and must register immediately.

Certification of Completion

The Certification of Completion for the degree is signed by the student's advisor and the Graduate Director or by the Chair of the Department after the student presents the Approved Program Form. The Certification is then sent to The Graduate School by the published deadlines for the semester in which the degree is to be conferred.

Time Limit

The student must obtain the M.A. within two years from the beginning of his/her graduate study.

Procedures for MA Comprehensive Examinations

Masters Examination - Spanish and Latin American Literature

This examination is given three times per year, on designated days in, January, May and August. The examination is based on reading lists (one for each area), which are prepared and periodically revised by the faculty. Copies may be obtained from the departmental website.

The candidate must notify the Director of Graduate Studies, at least 60 days in advance of the examination date, that he/she will take the examination. This notification should be submitted in writing and outline the areas in which the student will be examined (three in the major area and the fourth in the minor area).

Should a student fail, he/she may repeat it once.

In conjunction with an advisor, the MA student selects four fields of examination; three in the major and one in the minor, or secondary, field.

  1. Students are examined in all four areas at one of the three scheduled examination dates (January, May and August). The exam will consist of questions submitted to the DGS by the professors who correspond to each area.
  2. Students who hold a TA appointment and plan to pursue doctoral studies in this Department must take the examination in their third semester. Exceptionally, a delay to the fourth semester might be considered.
  3. Main area of specialization: Students are required to develop a critically informed essay on a question submitted in the main area of specialization.
  4. Sub-areas of specialization (three): Students are required to develop a critically informed essay on each of the three selected sub-fields (two in the main area of specialization and one in the secondary area of specialization) on questions by corresponding professors.
  5. Students will take the four exams spanning roughly ten days (on Friday, Monday, Wednesday and a subsequent Friday) during the dates close to the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters and immediately prior to the beginning of the first summer session. The student will work together with the DGS to determine the exact dates.
  6. Students will receive each question on the same day in which examination will take place at 9:00 am. Professors will provide students with two questions from which students will pick one and then students will have four hours before the exam to brain-storm, prepare, gather quotes, organize thoughts, etc. Each exam will last four hours from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. The student will write the answer in Spanish in a room provided by the Department staff. No notes or bibliography may be consulted, although the use of a language dictionary is permitted.
  7. Secondary field of specialization: It will be based on a comprehensive list of texts for either Latin American (from the Colonial period to the 20th Century) or Spanish (Medieval period to the 20th Century) literature.
  8. Students will take exams in field/areas explored in previous classes and with professors who have supervised the students work in such fields. It is required that students meet with the professor responsible for each field/area prior to the exam (a) to review the list of required texts for the specific field, and (b) to confirm the date of examination.
  9. Evaluation:
  • After reading the written examinations a committee of departmental faculty members will evaluate the student's progress toward the granting of the M.A. degree.
  • The Director of Graduate Studies will notify the student of the results, in writing, within two months of taking the first examination.
  • Students who fail the examination(s) will have the option of re-taking the failed examination(s) only once.


MA Exam for Students Who Write a Thesis

Students whose option to write a thesis has been approved by the graduate committee will take a modified form of the exam. It will consist of two questions, to be distributed and answered in the same fashion as the normal, non-thesis exam. The exam will take place during one week, on a Monday and a Wednesday, the dates to be determined in the same fashion as the normal, non-thesis exam. One question will be from the major field, but from a different sub-field from the sub-field corresponding with the thesis topic. For example, if a thesis is about twentieth-century Latin America, the MA exam question will be from a sub-field that is not twentieth-century, for example colonial or nineteenth-century. The second question will be from the secondary, or minor, field. In the case of a student who writes a thesis about Latin America, for example, the second question would be about Peninsular literature.

Hispanic Applied Linguistics

This examination is given three times per year, on designated days in, January, May and August. The examination is based on reading lists (one for each area), which are prepared and periodically revised by the faculty. Copies may be obtained from the departmental website.

The candidate must notify the Director of Graduate Studies, at least 60 days in advance of the examination date, that he/she will take the examination. This notification should be submitted in writing and outline the areas in which the student will be examined (three in the major area and the fourth in the minor area).

Should a student fail, he/she may repeat it once.

In conjunction with an advisor, the M.A. student selects two fields of examination, one for Hispanic applied linguistics and one for Latin American/Spanish/Latino(a) literatures and cultures.

  1. Students are examined in the two areas at one of the three scheduled examination dates (January, May and August).
  2. Sub-areas of specialization (three):
  3. Students will take the exams in only one week (on Monday and Friday) during the dates close to the beginning of the fall and spring semesters or immediately prior to the beginning of the first summer session. The professor in charge will determine the exact dates.
  4. Students will receive each question on the same day in which examination will take place at 9:00 am. Professors will provide students with two questions from which students will pick one and then students will have four hours before the exam to brain-storm, prepare, gather quotes, organize thoughts, etc. Each exam will last four hours from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. The student will write the answer in Spanish in a room provided by the Department staff. No notes or bibliography may be consulted, although the use of a language dictionary is permitted.
  5. Students will take exams in fields/areas explored in previous classes and with professors who have supervised the students’ work in such fields. It is required that students meet with the professor responsible for each field/area prior to the exam (a) to review the list of required texts for the specific field, and (b) to confirm the date of examination.
  6. Evaluation:
  • After reading the written examinations and the main area essay, a committee of departmental faculty members will evaluate the student's progress toward the granting of the M.A. degree.
  • The Director of Graduate Studies will notify the student of the results, in writing, within two months of taking the first sub-field examination.
  • Students who fail the examination(s) will have the option of re-taking the failed examination(s) only once.