Doctoral / PHD Programs in Spanish and Iberian Studies

3 universities offer graduate PHD program in Spanish and Iberian Studies

Columbia University in the City of New York logo
Ranked as:  #18 in Best National University
Tuition:  $51,194 per year
Total Cost:  $102,388 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  6.66%

The MA in Latin American and Iberian Cultures with a concentration in Hispanic Cultural Studies is a free-standing, one-year program that aims to provide students with a rigorous foundation on the critical issues attendant to Hispanic culture. The master's program may be undertaken as a preparatory degree to apply subsequently to doctoral programs in the field, but also as a terminal degree by those interested in pursuing a career in education, government, journalism, non-profit organizations, etc.

The required and elective courses offered in the department are taught by its graduate faculty—internationally recognized scholars in the fields of Hispanic cultural studies and Spanish applied linguistics. All classes offered in the department are taught in Spanish, and all requirements are in that language as well.

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  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  1081
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1757
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
Georgetown University logo
Ranked as:  #22 in Best National University
Tuition:  $53,591 per year
Total Cost:  $107,182 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Washington D. C.
Acceptance:  16.81%

M.S. and Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies.

The program requirements for the M.S. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies can be found here (new window).

The program requirements for the Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies can be found here.

Modern and Contemporary Spanish American Literature and Culture.

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M.S. and Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  181
  • Teaching Assistantships:  286
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
University of Massachusetts-Amherst logo
Ranked as:  #67 in Best National University
Tuition:  $32,341 per year
Total Cost:  $64,682 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  65.32%

For students who enter the doctoral program without an M.A. degree.

Pre-requisites: Students must have completed 30 course credits by the end of the semester in which they are taking the exam (i.e., students can be enrolled in classes while preparing for the exam). All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

Reading list: Students are examined in two areas, a major area and a minor area. Each area includes a reading list of at least 20 written texts 50 films each. Text to be considered for the list will include primary texts, secondary sources, and critical theory relevant to the area. Students and members of the exam committee with expertise in the chosen area work on the reading list and proposed areas, which will be ultimately approved by the committee. Students can choose non-written materials for their exams, i.e. live art performances, artwork, or artifacts. In these cases, students and committee members will define together the content of the list of non-written materials. No than a fourth of the materials may be closely related to the student dissertation topic.

Procedure: The student will have a choice of written examinations: 1) A eight-hour on-campus examination to be taken on two consecutive days (four hours per day). Students may write their exam on paper or use the computer. They need to inform the GPD their decision so that proper arrangements can be made 2) an open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the exam in either English or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

Terminal Pass: the examinee receives an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, but cannot continue in the Ph.D. program. The student cannot take the exam again. Fail: the examinee is not allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program. Students who fail the 1st part of the candidacy exam are allowed to take the exam one time in the following term in order to be eligible to receive a terminal pass. Students who fail the 2nd part of the candidacy exam will have no option to continue in the Ph.D. program.

Pre-requisites for the Thesis Defense: Students must have completed 30 course credits by the end of the semester in which they are taking the exam (i.e., students can be enrolled in classes while preparing for the exam). All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

Format: The text of the thesis should be of approximately 75-100 pages in length. For the format, please follow the Graduate School Guidelines for Preparing Thesis Manuscripts.

Defense: The candidate has the option of a closed or an open thesis defense. In any case, only committee members may participate in the evaluation of the thesis. The student must indicate the open or closed status of the defense as part of the notice of intent to defend the thesis.

Terminal Pass: the examinee receives an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, but cannot continue in the Ph.D. program. The student cannot take the exam again. Fail: the examinee is not allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program. Students who fail the 1st part of the candidacy exam are allowed to take the exam one time in the following term in order to be eligible to receive a terminal pass.

Pre-requisites for examination: Students must have completed all 45 course credits by the end of the semester in which they are taking the exam (i.e., students can be enrolled in classes while preparing for the exam). All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

The examining committee is not necessarily made up of the same members as the dissertation committee. Changes in committees already appointed may be effected with the approval of the GPD.

Evaluation and grading: Evaluation of examinations is by a majority vote of the examining committee members. The comprehensive examinations are graded High Pass, Pass, Terminal Pass, or Fail. In case of failure, the comprehensive examinations may be re-taken only once, normally within one year, during which time the student must maintain course enrollment or pay the Program Fee each semester, as required by the Graduate School.

The student will have a choice of written examinations: 1) A six-hour, hand-written, on-campus examination to be taken on two consecutive days (three hours per day). Students may write their exam on paper or use the computer. They need to inform the GPD their decision so that proper arrangements can be made 2) an open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the exam in either English or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

The examination will be on a reading list of approximately 50 works that the student will have discussed with the examining committee. This list will include both primary texts and criticism and may either combine the student major and minor fields or rather focus on the major field. No than a fourth of the texts may be closely related to the student dissertation topic.

Students are given a choice of questions. If they are taking the exam on campus in two days (3 hours per day), they normally respond to two questions (out of four possible) each day. The second set of questions tends to be focused than the first (e.g., it may include commentaries on texts and or film clips).

The student will have a choice of written examinations: 1) An eight-hour closed book, hand-written examination to be taken on two consecutive days, four hours per day OR 2) An open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the examination in either English, Portuguese, or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

A two-hour oral examination, including a presentation of a paper prepared in advance, with notes or other resources as the candidate chooses. The paper may not be a version of a paper presented earlier in a course. It is to be no longer than 20 minutes, so that there is enough time for the remainder of the oral examination. This consists of questions on the paper, questions on the written examination, and other questions in the major area.

Students may choose to have their Ph.D. oral examinations open, closed, or semi-open. The latter means that any graduate student in the department may come to the oral presentation and then leave prior to the question period. Only the committee members may participate in the evaluation of the examination.

The student will have a choice of examinations: 1) An eight-hour closed book hand-written examination to be taken in two consecutive days, four hours per day OR 2) An open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the examination questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the examination in either English, Portuguese, or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

For students who enter the doctoral program with an M.A. degree.

Pre-requisites for examination: Students must have completed all 24 course credits by the end of the semester in which they are taking the exam (i.e., students can be enrolled in classes while preparing for the exam). All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

Evaluation and grading: Evaluation of examinations is by a majority vote of the examining committee members. The comprehensive examinations are graded High Pass, Pass, or Fail. In case of failure, the comprehensive examinations may be re-taken only once, normally within one year, during which time the student must maintain course enrollment or pay the Program Fee each semester, as required by the Graduate School.

The student will have a choice of written examinations: 1) An eight-hour closed book hand-written examination to be taken on two consecutive days, four hours per day OR 2) An open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the examination in either English, Portuguese, or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

The student will have a choice of examinations: 1) An eight-hour closed book written examination to be taken in two consecutive days, four hours per day OR 2) An open-book examination in which the student has five calendar days from the time the examination questions are picked up to the time the exam is turned in. The student may choose to write the examination in either English, Portuguese, or Spanish with the approval of the examining committee.

Pre-requisites for the Dissertation Defense: Students must have completed all requirements for the degree. All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

Credits: In addition to the 24 course credits, 12 dissertation credits (HISPAN 899) must be taken prior to defending the dissertation.

Format: Please follow the Graduate School Guidelines for Preparing Thesis Manuscripts.

Defense: The defense has to be open to the public. All members of a dissertation committee should be present for the dissertation defense. If a member is to participate through video conference, a formal permission needs to be granted by the Graduate School.

Independent Studies: Independent Studies (IS) will count as coursework towards the completion of graduate degrees. No than 2 Independent Study courses at the Ph.D. level can be counted towards the degree. All requests for IS courses must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval early in the semester prior to the term in which the IS to be taken. A change of level in an existing course does not constitute an IS.

This also applies to students who have taken graduate-level courses in continuing education or in another university, if those credits were used to complete a degree. Students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for the transfer of up to 6 graduate credits if those were not used to complete a degree. Credits for graduate courses that were taken in our Spanish and Portuguese program and were not used to complete a degree are transferred automatically.

Incompletes: Credit for incompletes can be obtained only by finishing the work of the course before the end of one calendar year from the time of enrollment in that course. The Department strongly discourages the practice of requesting and granting incompletes. Once a year, the Graduate Studies Committee will review the cases of students with two incompletes. If the situation is not corrected in a timely fashion, the student may be dismissed and or lose funding.

The Graduate School sets the expected graduation term for each student based on its rules for the Statute of Limitations (SOL).

Is being made towards their degree.

Policies and Practices for Appointments and Reappointments of Teaching Assistants and Associates in Spanish and Portuguese.

Applicants to our doctoral program who check off the appropriate box in the Graduate School application form are automatically considered for Teaching Associateships (TOships) or Assistantships (TAships) when applications are reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).

Students admitted to our doctoral program are ranked by the GSC for the purposes of awarding TOships and or TAships. The criteria used in this ranking are the same as those used to determine admission to our graduate programs: academic record, personal statement, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. Native or near-native fluency in either Spanish or Portuguese is a determining factor in the awarding of TOships and or TAships.

Doctoral students are normally offered a full Teaching Associateship (TOship) for which they have to teach two stand alone courses per academic year, one in the fall and one in the spring and or Teaching Assistantships (TAship) for which they have to teach four discussion sections per academic year, two in the fall and two in the spring. Occasionally, graduate students are offered only a 1 2 TOship or TAship.

Students awarded a full or partial TOship or TAship upon admission have their TOship or TAship renewed subject to the following conditions: satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory teaching evaluations. Beyond the admission year, students receiving a TOship or TAship who entered the doctoral program without an MA are normally renewed for 4 additional years, one year at a time (5 years in total). Students entering the doctoral program with an M.A., are normally renewed for 3 additional years (4 years in total). consists of two semesters, beginning with the semester of first entry into the Program. It is possible for students to request additional years of TOship or TAship, but these requests are contingent upon available program funding, and the approval of the GSC.

In cases where a student defers admission to the program to the following year, the application for a TOship or TAship is again ranked and reconsidered along with those of other applicants for the year in which the student enters the program officially.

By April 15 of their final year of funding, all TOs and TAs will be notified that their TOship or TAship will expire at the end of the academic year. In addition, all other TOs and TAs will be informed of the status of their current TOship or TAship.

These Graduate Students must be qualified to work effectively with less direct supervision.

Graduate Students who receive a TOship through Spanish and Portuguese should expect to teach 100 and 200 level language courses for the duration of their funding.

Preference will be given to Graduate Students who are making adequate progress towards their degree according to the milestones described in our guidelines.

Seniority will be used as one of the criteria for course assignment. Ph.D. students who are ABD will have priority over Ph.D. students who have not completed their candidacy exams.

Graduate Students who request a 300-level course should demonstrate their qualification to teach it. Preference will be given to students whose areas of expertise are similar to the area of the course.

Contingent upon sufficient enrollment, TAs and TOs are offered the opportunity to teach online summer courses. Summer courses are assigned on the basis of both seniority and milestones completed in the Ph.D. program. Detailed criteria for eligibility and a call for applications are circulated towards the end of the spring semesters.

In some cases, upon acceptance to the program, incoming students with an exceptional academic record may be offered a summer stipend as part of their acceptance package. Such decisions are contingent upon 1) available funds from the Graduate School and the LLC Department, and 2) the number of students entering in each section (e.g. Iberian Studies, Latin American and Latino a Studies, Hispanic Linguistics). Decisions are made at the discretion of the respective graduate admissions committees.

These guidelines are intended to supplement the applicable regulations of the Graduate School with which the student should be familiar.

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Spanish and Portuguese Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  838
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1507
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
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What kind of scholarships are available for Graduate Programs in Spanish and Iberian Studies?

We have 4 scholarships awarding up to $42,500 for Masters program in for Spanish and Iberian Studies, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
Graduate Teaching Assistantships in Department of Spanish and Portuguese at IUB$22,000
Graduate Assistantships for Master of Arts in Spanish program at the UC$8,000
Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award$7,500Medium
Harvard University - Center for Italian Renaissance Studies$5,000

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