PHD Program

Director of Graduate Studies
Melville Library N3013. Phone: 631-632-6877

Interim Director of Graduate Studies (Spring 2014)

Traditionally we have recruited students from many nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, and our goal is to train this diverse body of graduates to become accomplished scholars and professors able to function effectively and successfully at any level of higher education.

Before registering for each semester, students should consult with a member of the Graduate Committee of the Department to schedule an approved combination of courses. All new M.A. or Ph.D. students are required to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies during the first week of classes in order to fill out information sheets. Normally, for the M.A., three or four semesters of full-time study are required. For the Ph.D. the number of semesters necessary before advancement to candidacy varies (see below). A minimum of two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate study in residence is required for the Ph.D. It is recommended that the number of "Independent Studies" do not exceed two (2). However, the number of "Independent Studies" permitted is to be determined on an individual basis.

Undergraduate courses may also be considered as part of a full-time course load, but do not count towards a graduate degree. Since undergraduate courses are not covered by a tuition waiver, students must pay for such courses. Graduate reading proficiency courses (FRN, ITL, POR 500) fulfill the language requirement and count towards a full-time course load but not towards a graduate degree. According to University requirements, a minimum of a "B" average must be maintained in all graduate coursework. After taking the practicum (SPN 691) students may choose to enroll in SPN 692, 693, 694 in the first year of study as part of a required 12 credit load until they reach the point where their full-time credit load is 9 credits.

Equivalent courses taken at other universities may be certified as fulfilling specific required courses in this department, but only six graduate course credits of any kind can be transferred.

Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. degree is the highest teaching and research degree offered by the University. The Ph.D. prepares the recipient for an academic career at the level of the four-year college and research university; or for other careers in humanistic study, research and writing. The entering graduate student who is considering working toward a Ph.D. should consult with the Graduate Director to plan a broad program of reading and course work in all areas offered by the department.

The total number of required credits for the Ph.D. degree is usually 48 (16 courses). Students required to take additional course-work will be informed. These 16 courses include the 12 general requirements specified below, plus four courses of the student's choosing. Each student is also required to take at least one graduate level course outside the department (this course may, upon consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, be used to satisfy one of the general requirements). While this sets a general standard for Ph.D. course work, each student's actual plan of study will continue to be developed on an individual basis. The exact number and type of vaca required courses will be determined based on the student's transcript and performance during his or her first semester(s) at Stony Brook. For example, exemptions from particular sub-areas may be granted depending on the student's prior study while in cases of less than adequate preparation in any period of Peninsular or Latin American literature (which will vary in the cases of students coming from Spanish, Latin American or North American Universities) the student will be required to take additional course work.

In addition to the coursework, graduate students will have to complete a Language Requirement, and complete Qualifying Exam, and, finally, a Comprehensive Exam. Students will also have to complete a Dissertation. Students in the Graduate Program are eligible for a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship.

Following is a breakdown of required courses:

I Linguistics/Pedagogy (a minimum of two courses)
Applied Linguistics
History of the Spanish Language Translation
Practicum SPN 692 (required)


II Theory/Applied Theory (ad minimum of three courses)
Literary Theory (SPN 509 is required)
Applied Theory (2 courses minimum. Courses qualify as Applied Theory if approximately 50% of the course material is drawn from critical and/or theoretical texts)

III General Literary Corpus:
A minimum of six courses, one from each of the subareas below, which are closely related to those tested in the comprehensive examination (see below). Courses from area II (Theory/Applied Theory) may be included, depending on content, but no one course may be used to satisfy requirements from both areas II & III.

A. Peninsular
1. Medieval
2. Renaissance and Baroque
3. Modern (18th, 19th, 20th centuries)

B. Latin America
4. Colonial
5. 19th century and Modernism
6. Contemporary (20th century)

IV Special Field
2 seminar level courses which may be taken as independent studies but which generally should be done only after the student has fulfilled all the requirements from I, II & III. The goal of these courses will be to prepare papers for presentation and publication and that may also serve as the basis for part of the thesis.

Sample of a four year study plan for Ph.D.
1st year: Fall 12 credits (including SPN 691, practicum)
Spring 12 credits (including SPN 692)

2nd year: Fall 9 credits
Spring 9 credits

3rd year: Fall 6 credits
Spring comprehensive exam

4th year: Fall & Spring Thesis

See past events

FALL 2014


Luis Fretes Carreras
(Centro de Estudos Internacionais
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 1.00 pm to 2.15 pm
LACC Seminar Room, Social and Behavioral Sciences N320

More here

Graduate Student Conference
November 14, 2014, 9 am to 5 pm.
Stony Brook-Manhattan campus
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Susan Martin-Márquez (Rutgers Univ.)
Topics:Transatlantic and Transpacific, (post)nationalism, (post)colonialism, exile, diaspora, immigration, memory, gender and sexuality. 
Call for papers deadline: October 5, 2014
Application: Abstract of 250-300 words to
More information

Department of Hispanic Languages & Literature • Melville Library , N3017, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3371 • 631-632-6935 or 631-632-6959