Our graduate programs in French, German and Spanish immerse students in a stimulating environment that combines the advantages of a large, multilingual department in a comprehensive research university with three distinct language sections.We offer the MA in Spanish, French and German, and the PhD in Spanish and French. 

While pursuing their degree in their target language, all of our graduate students work together to share their knowledge and coursework, participate in department-wide events, share common interests and interact with faculty in multiple languages and disciplines. Students participate in courses that range from literary theory and cultural studies to language teaching methodology.

We see our work as interdisciplinary and often collaborate with other departments and programs. The French program features an internationally renowned literary translator, and faculty work focuses on literatures of French-speaking Oceania, the body, the Renaissance, and women’s writing. German features the opportunity to pursue a unique double major with the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, as well as courses in the GOLDEN program. The internationally recognized Spanish faculty conduct research on areas such as gender studies, digital humanities, creative writing, heritage languages, exile and migration, and popular culture. As part of their comprehensive education, students can also pursue minors and/or take courses in other departments and programs, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Film Studies, and more.  

Graduate students
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French

Our French program of courses in literature and culture has particularly strong emphases in the Renaissance, Francophone literatures of the Oceanic world, literary translation, and women’s writing. Core courses are supplemented by department-wide courses in second language acquisition, literary theory, and cultural studies.

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German

Our German program emphasizes proficiency in major areas of German literature and pedagogy, with your choice of specialization. Courses and seminars offered represent a spectrum of broad topics and highly specialized themes. Emphasis is placed on discussions, reports, and close work with professors. Core courses are supplemented by department-wide courses in second language acquisition, literary theory, and cultural studies.

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Spanish

Our Spanish graduate program provides students the opportunity to engage critically with Hispanic literatures, cultures and languages of the Spanish-speaking world. Students develop their professional skills as they collaborate with a dynamic and professionally active faculty with a wide range of scholarly and interdisciplinary interests, ranging from early modern and colonial society to contemporary culture in Spain and Latin America. We offer graduate seminars on Latin American and Latinx cultural studies, Spanish cultural studies, linguistics, feminist and LGBTQ+ studies, digital humanities, and intellectual history. Core courses are supplemented by department-wide courses in second language acquisition, literary theory, and cultural studies.

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MLL GSA

The purpose of this organization shall be to serve as a representative body for the graduate students in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures to create a common forum for Modern Languages graduate students, assist them with graduate concerns, and host job market/conference colloquiums related to the discipline. A secondary purpose of the MLLGSA is to promote a closer relationship within the graduate student community, to serve as a channel of communication between graduate students, faculty and staff, and to foster professional relationships.  
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Graduate Minors at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers 3 Graduate Minors (MODL-Spanish, MODL-French, MODL-German) at the MA level and 2 Graduate Minors at the PhD level (MODL-Spanish, MODL-French) for graduate students from other Departments at UNL

How to Apply

Admission to a graduate program at a UNL department is required for participation in one of our Graduate Minors. The application to the Minor is normally made when completing the Memorandum of Courses for the MA or the Program of Study for the PhD, but applications must be received at least one semester prior to the semester of graduation. To apply, the following requirements are necessary:

  • a letter of application addressed to the Graduate Chair of the student’s home department and to the Graduate Advisor of the language in which the student wants to minor. This letter should include a statement describing how the Graduate Minor will help the student meet his or her goals and how it fits in the student’s program of study.
  • a list of courses to be taken for the Graduate Minor, including a copy of the Memorandum of Courses (for MA students) or a copy of the Program of Studies (for PhD students).
  • an interview in the target language with the corresponding Graduate Advisor.

Graduate Advisors

The Graduate Advisor of the language in which you want to minor will conduct an interview with you to discuss your application and check whether your language fluency is good enough to succeed in our courses.

Requirements for MA Students

  • The student is pursuing a MA degree in another UNL Department.
  • 9 credit hours (3 graduate courses) in the language of specialization (Spanish, French or German). The minor may be gained through any combination of 800 or 900-level courses.
  • A faculty member of the language of specialization must serve in the student’s MA committee as the Minor Advisor.
  • If the student gets an average of B- or less in the courses of the Graduate Minor, he or she will have to take a written comprehensive exam on the minor.
  • Confirmation to the Graduate Advisor of the language of specialization that all requirements for the minor have been met by the middle of the final semester.

Requirements for PhD Students

  • The student is pursuing a PhD degree in another UNL Department.
  • 12 credit hours (4 graduate courses) in the language of specialization (Spanish, French or German). At least 3 credit hours must be at the 900 level.
  • A PhD student who has already done one of our graduate minors at the MA level at UNL, having completed already 9 credit hours, is required to take only 6 credits (two additional classes) in the same language to achieve the graduate minor at the PhD level.
  • A faculty member of the language of specialization must serve in the student’s PhD committee as the Outside Representative.
  • Confirmation to the Graduate Advisor of the language of specialization that all requirements for the minor have been met by the middle of the final semester.