The Department of Spanish and Portuguese has developed a Ph.D. to address the needs of a new generation of doctoral students in the humanities. The program provides a rigorous and comprehensive education in the traditional disciplines of Iberian and Latin American literary studies, while also allowing for engagement with larger issues relating to the role of the humanities in the contemporary world. Students admitted to the doctoral program will have the opportunity to develop research interests under the guidance of diverse faculty and to acquire the skills to teach successfully at the University level.

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.


  1. The applicant must hold (or anticipate completing by the time of admission) an M.A. or M.S. degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or the equivalent degree from a foreign university; must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, both in Spanish and overall; and must meet general requirements.
  2. Strong consideration is given to letters of recommendation, breadth and depth of preparation, and Graduate Record Examination scores, if available.

Submit your application online. Send all other requested application materials to

The University of Kansas
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 2650
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is offered with emphasis on Spanish or Spanish-American literature.


Once admitted, the aspirant must

  1. Present a reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages, other than Spanish, appropriate to the specialization;
  2. Complete all course work prescribed by the advisory committee (this course work is to include a minimum of 5 seminars, at least 4 at KU, and a guideline of a minimum of 24 hours in Hispanic literatures at KU beyond the 30 hours required for the M.A. degree);
  3. Present a minor in a field other than Spanish or Spanish-American literature;
  4. Complete a minimum of 2 semesters of quarter-time teaching or 1 semester of half-time teaching in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese;
  5. Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship Requirement. The university requires that every doctoral student have training in responsible scholarship and research skills pertinent to the field of research and appropriate to the doctoral level. This requirement must be met before taking the comprehensive oral exam. Please contact your advisor or the director of graduate studies for specific requirements.
  6. Pass a comprehensive examination, partly written and partly oral; and
  7. Write and defend a dissertation.

Note: Contact your department or program for more information about research skills and responsible scholarship, and the current requirements for doctoral students. Current policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.

See also the general requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and in the KU Policy Library.

Study Abroad

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.