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Master's Degree

The M.A. in Spanish is designed for students who hold the B.A. in Spanish and who seek to broaden their knowledge of Hispanic literary and cultural traditions through advanced study. The M.A. is generally intended for students who plan to pursue the Ph.D. at UCR. Therefore, prospective students are encouraged to apply directly to the Ph.D. program, regardless of whether they currently hold a B.A. or an M.A. As part of their preparation in Hispanic literary and cultural studies, students are introduced to advanced concepts of literary theory and current debates in cultural studies. Students also have the option of taking seminars in areas such as Hispanic linguistics and Brazilian literature.

Applicants for admission normally have a B.A. in Spanish that includes at least five courses in the literature and culture of Spain and Latin America. Most students in the program are Teaching Assistants in the Department of Hispanic Studies; their normal workload includes language teaching and taking three graduate courses per quarter. Teaching Assistants receive training in language instruction as part of their graduate study and teaching duties.

Candidates for the M.A. complete a minimum of 48 graduate units, with at least five graduate courses focusing on Spain and five with a focus on Latin America. (In addition to these ten courses, students may, with permission from their advisor, take courses outside the Department to complete their requirements.)

Near the end of this two-year program (normally at the end of the fifth quarter and beginning of the sixth quarter), students take a four-hour written examination, followed by a one-hour oral examination administered one or two weeks after the written examination. This M.A. Examination (written and oral) is based on the texts on the M.A. reading list and course work. The M.A. reading list consists of approximately 60 major works of Spanish and Latin American literatures. Following successful completion of the M.A. exam, students must be recommended by the faculty to continue in the program at the Ph.D. level.

Candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of another foreign language by one of three methods:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a graduate course in Brazilian literature offered in the Department of Hispanic Studies
  2. Satisfactory completion of an upper-division literature course in the target language
  3. Satisfactory completion of a departmental foreign language exam.

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