The goal of the M.A. is to provide graduate students with rigorous training in all main areas of Spanish Linguistics. It requires coursework on the phonological, morphological and syntactic structure of the Spanish language, as well as its history, sociolinguistics, and acquisition as a second language. Students must turn in a research paper in their fourth semester.

Course List
One course in each of the departmental areas (syntax, phonology, morphology, sociolinguistics and dialectology, historical linguistics, second language acquisition). 24
Two 500-level courses chosen in consultation with the advisor 8
Total Hours 32

In addition, SPAN 571, "Proseminar in Foreign Language Teaching," is required of all new graduate students holding a teaching assistantship.



For students entering with an M.A., the Ph.D. degree requires at least 64 hours of graduate credit, of which at least 32 hours must be in formal coursework (i.e., 400- and 500- level courses) taken in residence on this campus. SPAN 571, "Proseminar in Foreign Language Teaching," is required of all new graduate students holding a teaching assistantship. Students must demonstrate reading proficiency in TWO languages in addition to English and the language of specialization. Students may opt to substitute one language with three courses, successfully completed with a grade of B or better, constituting an additional “outside field.”

After completing coursework requirements, students must prepare two qualifying papers. Although neither paper necessarily has to be on the topic of the final dissertation, it is recommendable for at least one of the papers to relate closely to the dissertation, for the student’s benefit. Once the student has passed both qualifying papers, she or he proceeds to the preparation and defense of the dissertation proposal (the Oral Exam).


Typical PhD Timeline




Year 1



Year 2



Year 3

Qualifying papers




Proposal defense

Dissertation writing

Year 4

Dissertation writing

Prepare for the job market

Dissertation defense

For the student entering the program with the appropriate M.A. level coursework completed, the following represents a typical timeline for completion of the Ph.D. For those entering with a MA from other institution and who were required to complete extra course-work, a first year of preliminary coursework may be added to the timeline.

Students in the PhD in Spanish Linguistics have also the option of adding a concentration in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE) and Romance Linguistics.