Doctor of Philosophy in Spanish
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.
- 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 and must meet the general admission requirements from the Office of Graduate Studies.
- 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
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
- Present a reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages, other than Spanish, appropriate to the specialization;
- 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, one literary theory course, and a guideline of a minimum of 24 hours in Hispanic literatures at KU beyond the 30 hours required for the M.A. degree);
- Present a minor in a field other than Spanish or Spanish-American literature. Minimum of one minor (9 credits), either through courses outside the department, or a minor in Lusophone Studies that includes courses in our department. Please see our Graduate Student Handbook for more information;
- Complete a minimum of 2 semesters of quarter-time teaching or 1 semester of half-time teaching in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese;
- 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.
- Pass the Ph.D. Qualifying/Comprehensive Examinations. These exams require completion of three areas: a research paper (Area A), written qualifying examinations (Areas B and C), and an oral defense of the dissertation proposal. All areas must be completed after having passed or registered for the 24 hours of required coursework in the department (typically the third year of the program).
- Paper (Area A): the student will submit a paper that shows critical engagement with a genre (novel, poetry, essay, drama, etc.) or critical / theoretical area (e.g. poetics; performance studies; narrative and narratology; cultural studies; romanticism). This paper can be the continuation / finished form of a project initiated in any of the Ph.D. seminars.
- Examination (Area B): Based on a bibliography put together by the student on a specific field, understood as a focus on a specific region (i.g., Caribbean literature) and temporal framework (e.g., Colonial Latin America).
- Examination (Area C): Based on a bibliography put together by the student on a theoretical framework as it relates to a specific corpus of literary and cultural expression from the Latin American and Peninsular contexts (e.g., transatlantic studies, circum- Caribbean studies, border studies, reading and readership, etc.).
- After the student has passed all three written components of the examination (Areas A, B, and C), the Director of Graduate Studies will request the College Office of Graduate Affairs to schedule the defense of the dissertation prospectus. This requirement must take place during the same semester as the written portions of the Comprehensive Examination, and at least two weeks following notification to the Office of Graduate Affairs. Failure to complete the oral defense within that time period could require repetition and successful completion of all components of the written examination.
- Write and defend a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to be an original contribution to knowledge, demonstrating in-depth mastery of the latest scholarship in the field of study. The dissertation committee shall comply with graduate studies policy. The student should send the final draft of their dissertation to each committee member at least four weeks prior to the scheduled date of the dissertation defense to enable committee members to examine it fully as each member of the committee must read and approve the written dissertation before the degree can be awarded. The grade (satisfactory, honors, or unsatisfactory) for the defense is determined by majority vote of the five-member 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.
A list of SPAN & PORT elective courses can be found in our Graduate Student Handbook.
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.
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.