Master of Arts in Spanish
The master’s degree program provides students with the opportunity to study the major movements and writers in Iberia and Latin America, acquire the critical and theoretical tools necessary to engage literary and cultural analysis with sophistication, and develop communicative competence through pedagogical and scholarly formation.
Admission to Graduate Studies
An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
- In addition to the general admission requirements from the Office of Graduate Studies, which includes holding (or anticipate completing by the time of admission) a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or the equivalent degree from a foreign university, the applicant must have 15 semester hours of literature courses at the survey level or above in Spanish or the equivalent of the undergraduate major in Spanish at KU.
- The selection committee gives strong consideration to letters of recommendation, the breadth and depth of preparation, and Graduate Record Examination scores, if available. Deficiencies in preparation specified by the selection committee may be made up early in the graduate program, although the time required to complete the degree is correspondingly greater.
Submit your graduate application online. Send all other requested application materials to the department:
The University of Kansas
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 2650
Lawrence, KS 66045
M.A. Degree Requirements
At least 50% of coursework for the master’s degree must be taken at the 700 level or above.
- A minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit in literature, including one seminar in Peninsular literature or in Spanish-American literature.
- A minimum of one course with a focus on each of the following:
- Medieval/Early Modern Peninsular
- Colonial Latin America (prior to 19th Century)
- Modern/Contemporary Peninsular (19th-21st Century)
- Modern/Contemporary Latin/o America
- Students in the MA considering pursuing a Ph.D. should enroll in SPAN 795, or an alternative course with a focus in literary theory.
- It is highly recommended that students take at least one course with a focus on film studies or/and cultural studies.
- Two of the required 30 hours of coursework may be taken outside of the department with the approval of the graduate advisor.
- SPAN 801: Teaching Spanish in Institutions of Higher Learning- required of all GTAs during their first semester of teaching.
- Reading knowledge of another foreign language as approved by the department.
- A portfolio defense or general qualifying examination based on the appropriate department reading lists, partly written and partly oral.
- Introduction to the Portfolio and Personal Statement
- Teaching Statement
- Three Sample Works in Spanish
- Culminating Project
- Oral Defense Exam
- MA Qualify Exam
- The examination includes a written exam over a two-day period, which evaluates your knowledge and understanding of the Master’s Reading list. Once grades are submitted, the advisor will hold a general conversation with the student on the strengths and weaknesses of the exam, and offers general guidance on students’ professional or academic plans following the MA. During this conversation, the student also has the opportunity to comment on their own answers to the written exam.
- Those who do not pass one section of the written exam may retake that section, but only if completed before the end of the current semester. Those who do not pass two or more sections will be asked to retake the entire exam. Students who fail the exam may take it a second time. If the student fails that section a second time, the Graduate Studies Committee will discuss if the student will be offered an alternative exam. At least 90 days must elapse between exams and a second attempt must be completed within six months of the failure. After a failed exam, students must meet with their faculty advisor/s and, when appropriate, with the faculty members responsible for administering those sections of the exam that must be retaken. A second failed attempt will prevent degree completion and will prompt a meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss future plans, which may include withdrawal or dismissal from the program.
For additional information and a list of SPAN & PORT elective courses, please see our Graduate Handbook.
The department offers summer programs in Barcelona, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina, Salvador (Bahia), Brazil. KU offers semester/academic year programs in San José, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Salamanca, Spain. More information is available from the Office of Study Abroad.
Graduate students have the opportunity to teach and conduct research during summer sessions in Buenos Aires, Argentina; or Barcelona, Spain. The department also has a graduate exchange agreement with the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain.