Graduate Chair and Spanish Advisor
Prof. Isabel Velázquez
1127 Oldfather Hall

Spanish Advisor
Prof. Luis Rosa
1125 Oldfather Hall

Graduate Studies MA information

Graduate Studies PhD information

Graduate application

Read novels about the Spanish Civil War or queer theory with Iker González-Allende, learn about Caribbean culture with Ingrid Robyn, discuss Medieval Spain or the analysis of culture with Oscar Pereira, or explore Rubén Darío’s poetry with Rigoberto Guevara. Work as well with faculty engaged in professional activities. Luis Othoniel Rosa, expert in anarchism and feminism, engages in creative writing and is the author of two novels; while José Eduardo González, specialist in 21stc. Latin American fiction, collaborates with students in digital humanities projects. Another component of our program is Hispanic linguistics with courses in advanced grammar and history of Spanish with Errapel Mejías-Vicandi, sociolinguistics and Spanish in the United States with Isabel Velázquez, and language pedagogy and second language acquisition with Liz Enkin.

Recent course offerings include graduate seminars on paranoid fictions in Latin America, contemporary Basque culture, digital analysis of Hispanic culture, exile and migration in Spain, women writers of Spanish America, the Spanish Civil War, urban space in Latin America, heritage speaker pedagogy, curriculum design and language program direction, and history of the Spanish language. Two courses are required during the MA: Introduction to Literary Theory (MODL 870) and Applied Linguistics and Methodology (MODL 880), which provide an essential foundation in the intellectual context and the practical application of knowledge in teaching a foreign language.

As they work on their program of study, our students can take advantage of different professional development opportunities that include UNL’s Preparing Future Faculty program and participation in workshops and lectures, as well as digital humanities and human subjects research projects.

Our graduate students in Spanish have won prestigious university-wide grants for research and teaching, and gain valuable professional experience working as language and culture instructors at the beginning and intermediate-advanced levels. Funding is available as graduate teaching assistantships with tuition remission, augmented by fellowships that are awarded to recognize merit, to support presenting papers at academic conferences, and to reward scholarly publications.

Current and recent Spanish graduate students hail from Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. You will also get to know students in the French and German graduate programs. Our recent MA graduates are now in teaching positions in colleges or high schools, both in the United States and abroad. Recent PhD graduates in Spanish are now professors and work at institutions such as Drury University, Universidad Isabel I, Utah Valley University, Truman State University, Dixie State University, Creighton University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Henderson State University, Hendrix College, and Milligan College.

Spanish MA Degree

The program of study leading to a MA degree in Hispanic Studies takes two years and includes courses in Hispanic literatures, cultures and linguistics, with possibilities for pursuing a graduate minor or take courses in other departments and programs such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, and Ethnic Studies. The degree is excellent preparation for either a career in secondary education or for further graduate study at the doctoral level.

Our Spanish MA program is intended to furnish a solid, comprehensive preparation in the field of Hispanic Studies, covering Spain, Latin America and Hispanic linguistics. The course of studies surveys the various themes, periods, theoretical approaches, and cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world.

MA Options

The Spanish MA program offers a certain flexibility which allows students the options of either writing a thesis, pursuing a minor or taking more graduate-only courses. You will want to discuss these options with your advisor to determine which option best fulfills your professional objectives. Once you file your Memorandum of Courses, you may not change the option you have chosen.

All MA options require 36 hours of graduate coursework and successful completion of comprehensive examinations.

  • Option I requires writing a MA thesis
  • Option II requires completing a graduate minor (usually between 9-12 credit hours).. One member of your committee must be from the department offering the minor. The minor should be in an area offering a graduate degree at UNL, such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Teaching or Ethnic Studies. Undergraduate programs cannot be selected as a minor.
  • Option III requires more graduate courses in your major, Spanish.

MA Timeline

TimelineWhen you enter the MA program, the first person to contact is the Graduate advisor for Spanish. The Graduate advisor will discuss your interests, previous experience, the various options and specializations available to you, requirements, deadlines, and scholarship opportunities. Beginning in the second semester, as you proceed with your coursework, the faculty member you choose as Chair of your committee becomes your primary advisor with regard to the content and completion of your program, which includes coursework, comprehensive exams, and with Option I, your thesis. At the end of your second semester, you also constitute your MA Supervisory Committee and file your Memorandum of Courses with the Office of Graduate Studies

The MA degree culminates in a set of three written comprehensive exams during their last semester. The exams will cover an area of their choice in each of the following fields: Spain, Latin America, and Linguistics.

PhD Degree

The doctoral degree is given primarily for high attainment in a particular field of scholarship and for demonstrated power of independent research. The PhD is usually completed in four years following the MA. The doctoral student is expected to be capable of critical thinking encompassing the information obtained in courses and from the works in his/her specialization. PhD students should also be familiar with critical works of major scholars, diverse theoretical approaches, and the journals and trends in their areas of specialization.

The PhD requires a minimum of 90 hours of graduate credits. Up to 45 hours of graduate credits may be transferred from another accredited institution or your MA program. PhD students are required to take between 27 to 36 hours of coursework (three or four semesters). Students can pursue a graduate minor or take courses in other departments and programs such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, and Ethnic Studies. At the end of their second semester, PhD students choose a faculty member as dissertation director, who also serves as chair of their committee. They also complete the PhD Supervisory Committee form and Program of Studies form with the Office of Graduate Studies.

After their coursework, starting in their fourth or fifth semester, PhD students will take 3 written take-home exams: an exam on their field of specialization, an exam on their dissertation, and an exam on a second specialization (literature/culture or linguistics). They will also defend the prospectus of their dissertation to become doctoral candidates.