Master of Arts in Spanish

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

The M.A. program in Spanish is mostly focused on Spanish and Latin American literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Over the course of their graduate studies in Spanish, students acquire a solid grounding in major works of poetry, prose, and theater, as well as the tools necessary to approach these works critically. All courses in the Spanish program are taught in Spanish. For more information, please see the graduate program website at:

Admission to the Program

In addition to the requirements established by the University and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, a student must also meet the following admission requirements established by the Spanish M.A. Program.

  1. All applicants are expected to have the equivalent of a B.A. in Spanish, that is, 30 units of upper division work in Spanish, with a GPA of 3.0 or better. If the student has not met this requirement, he or she may, at the discretion of the Program, be admitted as a “conditionally classified” graduate student. Students thus admitted must satisfactorily complete a number of specified courses before they become fully classified. These courses are not included in the 30 units required for the Masters.
  2. Applicants must arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent to the program.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate to the Spanish faculty a record of prior scholastic achievement indicative of potential success as a graduate student. This means that applicants must submit a brief writing sample (essay) in Spanish or English which shows the scope of the applicant’s critical preparation and analytical ability. Ideally this will be a paper written in an undergraduate class, from 1,000 to 1,200 words in length.
  4. Applicants must also submit two copies of a brief statement of purpose (500 words), one written in English, the other in Spanish.
  5. Applicants are responsible for meeting the appropriate deadlines. Materials sent directly to the Spanish Program must be postmarked by April 1 to be considered for fall admission, or by October 1, to be considered for spring admission.

Spanish (M.A.) — Minimum 30 units

Graduate Courses (15 units)

Graduate courses in Spanish (700 - 800 level)

Upper Division/Graduate Courses (6 units)


Elective Courses (9 units)

At least 8 courses (24 units) must be taken within the program, and up to 6 units from a related field may be counted for the degree. Any courses taken outside the Spanish Program must have prior approval of the Graduate Advisor.

Written English Proficiency

Since the Master’s Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations are in Spanish, students must fulfill the Level-Two English requirement by passing MLL 701 with a B or higher. Students who do not receive at least a B must retake the course.


The semester before a candidate plans to take the Spanish comprehensive written and oral examinations, he or she should contact the graduate advisor in order to arrange for a screening interview. By the time of the screening interview, the student should have read all of the books on the reading list. The screening committee assesses the candidate's preparation and advise him or her on any areas of study that need more attention before the examinations. Candidates will NOT be screened until they have satisfied the English proficiency requirement.

The student is admitted to the oral examination upon passing the written examination. The exam consists of 5 questions on Spanish and Latin American literary topics. The grading scale ranges from 0-5 points. Students must receive a minimum of 2 points on each question and must receive at least 15 total points to pass the exam. Both examinations may be attempted a maximum of two times. For more information, please see the program website at