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M.A. Program

Prof. Kathleen Vernon
Director of Graduate Studies
Humanities Building 1138

Mary Moran-Luba, Senior Staff Assistant
Humanities Building 1059, Phone: (631) 632-6935          [ PDF version from the Graduate brochure]



Fall Deadlines:       Domestic Applicants - July 1st ; International Applicants - April 15th

Spring Deadlines:   Domestic and International Applicants:  November 15th   


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 their program to schedule an approved combination of courses. All new M.A. or Ph.D. students are required to meet with the graduate program director 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 not exceed two. However, this is determined on an individual level.

Undergraduate courses may also be considered as part of a full-time course load, but do not count toward a graduate degree. Since undergraduate courses are not covered by a tuition waiver, students must pay for such courses. Graduate reading proficiency courses (FRN 500, ITL 500, POR 500) fulfill the language requirement and count toward a full-time course load but not toward 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 693 as part of a required 12-credit load until they reach the point where their full-time credit load is nine 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 may be transferred.

M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature

The curriculum leading to the Master of Arts degree may be terminal or may be combined with Doctor of Philosophy program. In addition to proficiency in Spanish and English, reading knowledge in a third language is required. There is a general requirement of 36 graduate credit hours.

After completion of 30 graduate credit hours, a student must either take a basic comprehensive examination or complete a thesis/project. Each of these options is equivalent to six graduate credit hours. Students working on a part-time basis should complete all requirements within five years after their first regular graduate registration.

The M.A. comprehensive examination is based on a reading list consisting of 75 titles: 50 in the field of major emphasis (Spanish Peninsular or Spanish-American) and 25 in the minor field. The student, with the advice of the graduate program director, will choose three members of the graduate faculty to form the examining committee, with one of them to act as chairperson. The examination consists of five hours of written work: three on the field of major emphasis and two on the minor field.

The M.A. thesis is written under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty with the advice of a second reader.

The M.A. thesis does not require an oral defense. The recommended length for an M.A. thesis is between 70 and 100 pages, including notes and bibliography. Regulations regarding the writing of the M.A. thesis are the same as those applicable to the Ph.D. dissertation. These regulations are contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations, available on the Graduate School Web site.

M.A. in Teaching Spanish

The Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish is offered in conjunction with the School of Professional Development ( SPD MA in Teaching Foreign languages), and the Professional Education Program (PEP). This degree is designed as a course of study leading to New York State certification for teaching Spanish in secondary schools, grades 7-12. The M.A.T. normally entails a minimum of three semesters of study including courses on literature, linguistics and culture, professional education courses, and a supervised student teaching experience. In order to be eligible for admission to the M.A.T. in Spanish program, students must have completed an academic major in Spanish or its equivalent with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 overall in a bachelor's degree program.

The program consists of 44 required credits of course work: a minimum of 29 credits of education course work and 15 credits in the Spanish content area. Students select their five Spanish content area courses in consultation with the Graduate Director. Teacher candidates are also required to participate in 100 hours of field experience prior to their student teaching placement. A full description of the education courses and field experience may be found in the Bulletin under the School of Professional Development.

M.A. in Romance Languages

The M.A. in Romance Languages is offered for students who wish to follow a traditional M.A. Program with the intention of possibly proceeding toward further study on the Ph.D. level. Its flexibility allows students to design a curriculum that includes studies in literature, linguistics, or cultural studies in a combination of two Romance languages. This M.A. gives the students a choice of writing a Master’s Thesis or passing a Comprehensive Examination to qualify for the degree. For further information contact the Department of European Languages.


Microcredential while obtaining the MA degree 

Hispanic Languages and Literature MA students can also earn a  Globalization Studies & International Relations microcredential while obtaining their MA.