The Program of Spanish offers a Master of Arts (MA) and a PhD in Spanish.
For the master's, students may choose either a thesis-type program or a course-type program. For both thesis and course-type MA in Spanish, students may choose from three concentrations: Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures, Linguistics, or Linguistics & Literature. At the MA level, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding and make use of the core knowledge needed to function in their professional field. MA level students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the research process, and/or creative or problem-solving activity or application of the knowledge appropriate to literary and cultural studies or linguistics.
The PhD program normally requires a minimum of 30 hours beyond the MA degree. Candidates can choose from concentrations in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures, or Hispanic Linguistics.
Admission requires a BA in Spanish for the MA program or MA in Spanish for the Ph.D. program. Applicants with no prior Spanish BA but with equivalent background and/or experience must petition the Spanish and Portuguese program in writing explaining why they feel prepared to undertake an MA in Spanish; GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale as an upper-division student or 3.0 or higher as an MA student; Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended and/or from which you received a degree; GRE scores; Statement of purpose (in English) indicating your background, areas of academic interest, teaching experience (if any), and why you are applying to our program; Writing sample in Spanish. The writing sample should be your original work. Ideally, your writing sample will be consistent with your academic interest in our program (linguistics and/or literature/culture studies); International students whose native language is not English: TOEFL scores of 80 or higher in internet-based test (IBTOEFL) or 550 or higher on paper-based test.
Completed applications need to be approved by the Spanish faculty and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. For additional information and instructions on how to submit an online departmental application to the Spanish MA or PhD program, please see the Graduate Studies Information Page.
Graduate students in the Spanish MA and PhD programs are eligible for teaching assistantships as well as for funding from the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Memorial Fund, which offers a large range of graduate awards and funding. These include funding for summer study, conference, and research funds, such as the Winthrop-King Summer Graduate Scholarship in Spanish. This award is open to graduate students majoring in Spanish who are seeking support for a research project or for language development in a Spanish-speaking country during the summer semester. For the most recent information, please see the Graduate Studies Information Page.
Ma Degrees And Requirements
The program of Spanish & Portuguese offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Spanish. At the MA level, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding and make use of the core knowledge needed to function in their professional field. MA level students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the research process, and/or creative or problem-solving activity or application of the knowledge appropriate to literary and cultural studies or linguistics.
Learn More About the MA Requirements
For the MA degree in Spanish, students may choose either a thesis-type program or a course-type program. For the thesis-type program, the student must complete a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of credit including thesis credit. At least eighteen (18) of these hours must be taken on a letter-grade basis (A, B, C). The minimum/maximum number of thesis hours for completion of an MA degree shall be six (6) hours and a minimum of two (2) of these must be in the final semester. For the course-type program, the student must complete a minimum of thirty-two (32) semester hours of course work. At least twenty-one (21) of these hours must be taken on a letter-grade basis (A, B, C). For both thesis and course-type MA in Spanish, students may choose from three tracks for specialization:
1. Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures
3. Linguistics & Literature
Regardless of specialization, all students must complete FOL 5934 Research and Practice in Second Language Instruction (3 hours) during the Fall semester of their first year. The sections below describe the required courses for each specialization. Required courses should be taken as early in the student’s program as possible. Furthermore, upon recommendation by the Division, graduate students may be required to take SPN 5900 Advanced Spanish Composition and Translation, which will not count toward the course-area requirement but will count toward the hour requirements for graduation.
No graduate credit can be transferred from another school to count toward the MA degree at FSU. In general, undergraduate courses taken at FSU will not apply toward graduate credit. However, on approval by the minor professor (see below MA Comprehensive Examination), some courses at the 4000-level (no more than 6 semester hours) may be counted toward the minor field of the MA degree.
By the end of the student’s second semester, the Program of Studies form (see Appendix III) must be prepared by the candidate for approval by the Graduate Adviser and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. This Program of Studies is placed in the student’s file. In addition, students are to meet each semester with the Graduate Adviser and/or their thesis director to review his/her progress toward the degree.
Specialization in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures
Students pursuing the track in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures must complete a minimum course requirement of five courses in various areas (see bulleted chart below). At least two of these courses must be in Iberian Literatures & Cultures (from different time periods) and two in Latin American Literatures & Cultures (from different time periods).
Iberian Literatures & Cultures
- Medieval Literature
- Golden Age
- 18th & 19th Centuries
- 20th & 21st Centuries
Latin American Literatures & Cultures
- 19th Century
- 20th & 21st Centuries
Courses corresponding to each area are posted each semester on the MLL website.
In addition, all students must complete SPW 6806: Research Methods and Bibliography in Literary and Cultural Studies (3 hours).
Specialization in Hispanic Linguistics
Students pursuing the track in Hispanic Linguistics must complete a minimum course requirement of five courses in various areas (see bulleted chart below). At least two of these courses must be in Formal Linguistics and two in Applied.
- Spanish Phonetics / Phonology
- Spanish Syntax
- History of the Spanish Language
- Second Language Acquisition
In addition, all students must complete LIN 5932 Quantitative Research Methods in Language Studies (3 hours).
Specialization in Language and Literature
Students pursuing the track in Language and Literature must complete a minimum course requirement of five courses in various areas (see bulleted charts above). At least one course must be in Iberian Literatures and Cultures, one in Latin American, one in Formal Linguistics, and one in Applied.
In addition, all students must complete either SPW 6806 Research Methods and Bibliography in Literary and Cultural Studies (3 hours) or LIN 5932 Quantitative Research Methods in Language Studies (3 hours).
Minor Field of Study
If the student elects to have a minor within the department, nine semester hours must be earned in courses in this minor field. Current minors include Amazonian Studies, Luso-Brazilian Studies, Second Language Studies, among others. A minor outside the department will be in addition to the required course work in Spanish/Modern Languages; specific details will be coordinated with the particular department.
MA Comprehensive Examination (for both thesis-type and course-type program)
The MA Comprehensive Examination is in writing and covers three areas from the areas listed above for each specialization (see charts). The examination in the Literatures and Cultures areas is based on the MA reading lists (see link MA Reading List); in Hispanic Linguistics the examination is based on reading lists prepared in consultation with the examining professor(s). Each area will be covered in one exam. Students in the specialization in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures must take at least one exam in Iberian and one exam in Latin American literature and cultures. Similarly, students in the specialization in Hispanic Linguistics must take at least one exam in Formal and one exam in Applied. Students in the specialization in Linguistics and Literature must take at least one exam in Linguistics and one exam in Literature. Questions will be specific in nature, and may include identifications, essay questions, and/or problem solving.
Students who choose the thesis-type program need to take their MA Comprehensive Examination as described above. In addition, the student must submit and orally defend a thesis that reveals independent investigation and knowledge of the methods of scholarship within the major field. The student needs to constitute an MA Supervisory Committee made up of a Major Professor, two other faculty members from the Spanish and Portuguese program, and the Minor Professor (if any).
A minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of graduate credit in Spanish and/or approved related fields beyond the MA degree at or above the 5000 level is normally required in the doctoral program. There are two tracks for specialization: Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures, and Language and Linguistics.
Learn More About the PhD Requirements
The two tracks for specialization are:
A. IBERIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURES AND CULTURES
B. LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS
- Formal Linguistics
- Applied Linguistics
- Second Language Acquisition
Minimum area requirements for students in the Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures track are:
- 12 hours in the major area
- 6 in the secondary area
- 3 in the remaining area, and
- 9 for electives
Minimum area requirements for students in the Language and Linguistics track are:
- 6 hours in Linguistic Theory
- 3 in Applied Linguistics (sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, etc.)
- 6 in Second Language Acquisition
- 6 in Research Methods and Statistics, and
- 9 for electives
All PhD candidates are also required to take:
- SPW 6806 Research Methods and Bibliography in Literary and Cultural Studies (3 hours) (Only for literature specialists)
- FOL 5932 Quantitative Research Methods in SLA (Only for linguistics specialists)
- FOL 5934 Research Foundations and Practice in Communicative Language Teaching (3 hours)
- FOW 5025 Critical Theory and Its Applications to Non-English Literatures (3 hours) (Only for literature specialists)
These courses should be taken as early in the student's program as possible and must be taken before the Preliminary Examination.
PhD students may choose to have a minor or a certificate, usually another foreign language or literature, linguistics, Latin American Studies, education, history, etc. If students choose to have a minor or certificate, approximately one-fourth of the courses will be in the minor field. This area will be an additional exam in the Preliminary Examination.
The language requirement for the doctoral degree consists of reading knowledge in two languages other than Spanish and English which are germane to research in the student's proposed specialty area (one language if the language is not a Romance language, such as Russian or Chinese, and the student demonstrates advanced proficiency as indicated by course work or a degree). The student's Supervisory Committee determines which languages are germane. The requirement can be satisfied by 1) passing the reading knowledge examination offered by the Department of MLL (FRE 5069, GER 5069, etc.) or 2) completing a 2200-level course with a grade of B or better. Courses taken in high school do not satisfy the requirement. The language requirement must be satisfied before taking the Preliminary Examination.
DOCTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE
The doctoral Supervisory Committee, which guides students through the various steps toward the PhD degree, should be appointed as soon as possible after students have begun PhD studies, that is, no later than in the second semester on campus. A prerequisite to setting up the committee is that students have a general idea of their area of specialization, since the Major Professor must necessarily be a person with special competence in that area. The committee must include a representative from each area in which the student is to be examined on the Preliminary Examination.
DOCTORAL PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
The written Doctoral Preliminary Examination, based on the individually prepared PhD reading lists, course work, and the doctoral dissertation topic, in consultation with the Supervisory Committee members, is designed to ascertain the candidate's scholarly competence and the breadth and depth of his/her literary or linguistic knowledge.
The PhD examination in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures will consist of three sections. Two parts will be from the following areas of specialization:
The third part of the examination will be on the student's dissertation topic. The examination questions, based on this reading list, will relate generally to the dissertation topic. The exam format is to be determined by the Major Professor and will either be an in-class written exam or a take-home written exam. Questions will be specific in nature and may include identifications, essays, problem-solving questions, etc. If any part of the written examination is considered marginal by any member of the committee, an oral exam may be required.
The PhD examination in the Language and Linguistics track will consist of three sections to be determined in consultation with the major professor. Possible areas include:
- Formal Linguistics
- Applied Linguistics
- Second Language Acquisition
- Dissertation Topic
The examination questions will be based on reading lists and course work. The exam format is to be determined by the Major Professor and will either be an in-class written exam or a take-home written exam. Questions will be specific in nature and may include identifications, essays, problem-solving questions, etc. If any part of the written examination is considered marginal by any member of the committee, an oral exam may be required.
PROSPECTUS OF DISSERTATION
After completing the Preliminary Examination but no later than by the end of the semester following the Preliminary Examination, the candidate must submit for approval and orally defend an acceptable Prospectus of Dissertation to the Supervisory Committee.
The Dissertation must be on a Hispanic topic and must constitute a significant research contribution to knowledge. When the research and collection of data have reached the point where the student will begin writing the Dissertation, he/she should submit his/her carefully edited preliminary draft chapter by chapter to the Supervisory Committee for corrections, suggestions, and approval.
PLEASE NOTE: in case the dissertation research concerns human subjects, the student must include a copy of the IRB (Institutional Review Board) Approval Letter and sample copies of any Informed Consent Forms in the appendices of his/her manuscript. Issues of human subjects should be thoroughly discussed with your dissertation advisor since a failure to acquire the required clearance may negatively influence the chances of your work being published in the future. For more information see "GradSpace" (or "Grad School - Faculty/Staff") on your Bb site. Students should bring issues pertaining to human subjects committee applications and extensions to the Florida State University Human Subjects Office, housed within the Office of Research (http://www.research.fsu.edu/humansubjects/index.html).
ORAL DEFENSE OF DISSERTATION
As final exercise, the student is expected to defend the dissertation in the presence of the entire supervisory committee. The oral defense aims to assess that the student is able to successfully communicate, both through the oral examination and in the written dissertation, the knowledge and skills he/she has acquired within his/her discipline of study. The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics is committed to strictly enforce the University's regulations on the oral dissertation defense, as well as on the subsequent manuscript submission process. The Major Professor and the candidate are both encouraged to carefully verify the planned course of action on the “GradSpace” (or for faculty members the equivalent “Graduate School – Faculty/Staff”) link on Bb “My Organizations”.