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M.A. Program

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. 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. 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.

The department of Hispanic Languages and Literature offers the M.A. in three concentrations:
M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature
M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Linguistics
M.A. in Romance Languages

M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature

The curriculum leading to the Master of Arts degree may be terminal or may be combined with the Doctor of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy programs. Terminal M.A. program students are not funded by the University. M.A. students continuing to the Ph.D or the D.A. will enter these programs after successful completion of the Qualifying Examination (see below). Students who do not pass the exam will be permitted to finish the M.A. degree but will not be permitted to advance to the Ph.D or D.A. programs. 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. As part of the 30 credits of course work, M.A. students must complete the following courses:
a) A minimum of one course in linguistics;
b) SPN 691 Practicum in the Teaching of Spanish Language;
c) SPN 509 Literary Theory (or another theory course);
d) A minimum of two courses in Peninsular literature at the 500 level;
e) A minimum of two courses in Latin American literature at the 500 level.
After completion of 30 graduate-credit hours, a student must either take a basic comprehensive examination, or complete a thesis/project. Both of these options are equivalent to 6 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 Director of Graduate Studies, will choose three members of the graduate faculty to form the examining committee, one of them to act as chair. 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 70-100 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 called "Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations" and are contained in the Graduate Bulletin which can be obtained from the Graduate School.

M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Linguistics

Program Description and Objectives
The program seeks to attract students interested in the study of the different grammatical aspects of Spanish. As a program, we are not only interested in the standard varieties of Spanish but we are particularly interested in the study of its non-standard dialects, those that emerge, for example, when Spanish as a dominant language enters in contact with indigenous languages, or when the inverse situation occurs, as in the context of the United States, where Spanish gets in contact with a dominant language like English, or simply, in a monolingual context as it occurs in many Latino American countries, where a standard variation of Spanish co-exists with other non-standard variations.In the area of Phonetics and Phonology (sounds), our program has a strong laboratory-oriented approach to the study of the sound patterns of Spanish. We seek to examine and broaden our understanding of the properties of the Spanish segmental and supra-segmental phenomena by thoroughly looking at their acoustic properties. Students interested in this area will obtain a solid formation in acoustic phonetics, field-work methods, and phonological theory.

In the area of Syntax (rules of grammar) and Morphology (word formation), we acquaint students with the most important aspects of the structure of sentences and words in Spanish including how those rules vary between dialects. Students finish the course with a deep knowledge of how the language works using tools available in modern linguistic theories of syntax and morphology. We ask students to work with different varieties of the language in Spain and Latin America. Therefore, one important aspect of our approach is to have students involved in fieldwork.

In the area of the History of the Spanish Language, we explore how Spanish evolved from Latin to its current shape in its different modern varieties. We explore the different historical events that led to language change such as invasions, migrations, and isolation and the internal linguistics mechanisms that also influence the evolution of Spanish.

In the area of Second Language Acquisition, the students will be engaged on how language development in bilingual individuals is different from that of monolinguals. How people learn their first language (L1) and how they learn their second language (L2) and the relationship between the two languages. The students interested in this area, will get in touch with the theoretical questions about the shared presence of both languages in the same mind and how the preexisting language affects the L2 user's mind.

In the area of Language Pedagogy, the students will get the basic principles of learning and teaching of a second language, specifically geared to Spanish as Second Language. Students interested in issues of L2 learning, will get involved in the role of explicit instruction input and classroom interaction as well as language teaching in classroom situations.

Students must complete 36 credits of coursework in Hispanic Language and Linguistics, arranging an appropriate course of study in consultation with Professor Francisco Ordóñez, Professor Lilia Ruíz-Debbe or Professor José Elías-Ulloa. Students must demonstrate proficiency in English, Spanish, and another language. They must also write an M.A. thesis or alternatively, with permission of an advisor in Spanish Linguistics, pass a comprehensive examination based on a special reading list (6 credits). 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 70-100 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 called "Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations" and are contained in the Graduate Bulletin which can be obtained from the Graduate School.

Required Courses
1) SPN Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology of Spanish
2) SPN Structure of Spanish
3) SPN Field Work Methods
4) LIN Introduction to Linguistics
5) LIN Phonetics or LIN Syntax I
6) LIN Structure of English
7) SPN Practicum in Teaching Spanish

Student can take three courses from the list below in consultation with advisor:
SPN Topics in Spanish Linguistics
SPN Advanced Topics in Phonetics and Phonology
SPN History of the Spanish Language
SPN Contrastive Spanish-English Grammar
SPN Second Language Acquisition
SPN Bilingualism
SPN Morphology
SPN Dialectology
SPN Spanish Grammar
SPN Medieval Spanish Literature

Additional courses in LIN can also be taken in consultation with advisor.

General Requirements to Apply to the Program
Applicants to the M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics should have completed a B.A. (or its foreign equivalent) in Spanish studies at an accredited U.S. college or foreign institution.

Besides completing the online application form, applicants will need to provide:
(1) official transcripts of undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate coursework;
(2) official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Stony Brook's code for score reporting is 2548);
(3) an acceptable score (600) on TOEFL for foreign students;
(4) three letters of recommendation; and
(5) a non-refundable $60 fee.

For more information, visit Stony Brook Graduate Admissions or contact
Professor José Elías-Ulloa
Professor Francisco Ordóñez
Professor Lilia Ruíz-Debbe

M.A. in Romance Languages

An interdepartmental M.A. in Romance languages is offered, based on 36 graduate credit hours of specified coursework in two different languages (Spanish/French, Spanish/Italian). Students must pass a comprehensive examination based on a special reading list. The M.A. examination consists of a written and an oral examination. A thesis is not required, but students may choose to take only 30 credits of coursework and then write a thesis with Departmental approval. In such cases the M.A. examination consists of the general written exam and an oral exam based on a defense of the thesis.The choice of courses will be determined by the student's previous experience, interests, and needs in flexible interaction with program requirements. In Spanish we require one course in Spanish linguistics, either SPN 509 (Literary Theory) or SPN 515 (Graduate Spanish Composition and Stylistics), and either SPN 510 (Hispanic Culture) or SPN 582 (Hispanic Tradition in the USA). The exact course requirements in French or Italian are available upon request from the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of French and Italian. Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses in linguistics, history, art, and other languages and literatures. A high level of language proficiency is stressed, and all classes are taught in the languages concerned. Incoming students are advised by the Director of Graduate Studies of either the Department of French and Italian or the Department of Hispanic Languages. Students then choose another faculty member as advisor in their second or third semester.

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