Spanish, MA

At a Glance: program details

Work closely with expert faculty as you explore intersections of literature and culture or linguistics across the Spanish-speaking world, and become a global citizen prepared for countless career options.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Spanish

The MA program in Spanish includes tracks in literature and culture and in linguistics. While the former includes Spanish, Spanish American and Mexican American literature and culture, the latter includes sociolinguistics or second language acquisition and applied linguistics.

Degree Overview

The 30-hour program of study includes an option to choose between two tracks and a portfolio needed as a culminating experience. Prospective masters candidates should have a passion and interest in Spanish literary works and culture or in teaching Spanish in grades K-16, have demonstrated knowledge of the Spanish language and have a minimum of a 3.00 GPA.


The program has two tracks:

  • Literature and culture
  • Linguistics track (sociolinguistics or second-language acquisition and applied linguistics)

Courses and Electives

The coursework for each student is individualized and based upon the student's previous training, research goals, and mentor and committee consensus. Students will take core courses, electives and seminars based on their interest in literature or linguistics.  Our program requires students to participate in the development of their portfolio.


The School of International Letters and Cultures' master's program offers training in innovative, mentored research that is tailored to the unique needs of the student. Master's students will develop expertise in research methods and cross-cultural studies. The program also offers a breadth of courses in history, textual analysis, literary criticism and contemporary critical discourse.


Under-represented minorities


International students

I completed a Masters in Spanish Applied Linguistics and a Masters of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages concurrently.  Through rigorous coursework, I learned more in my first year of the Master's program in Spanish about language learning that I had in my previous 16 years of education.  Dr. Barbara Lafford was a key component to that success as her unparalleled knowledge, dedication, and passion for linguistics and teaching helped position me for a smooth transition from graduate student to language educator.  

My advice to future students would be; come hungry, stay organized, work hard, and take care of your body and mind. 
—Steven Flanagan

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours and a portfolio

Required Core (3 credit hours)
SPA 540 History of the Spanish Language (3)

Culminating Experience

Additional Curriculum Information
This program includes a total of thirty credit hours of coursework. Students seeking a master's degree in Spanish should consult with the respective graduate representative.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in Spanish from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. writing sample
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Applicants should provide an academic writing sample such as an academic term paper, critical paper or research paper approximately 10 to 25 pages, prepared in an upper-division or graduate Spanish course.

Applicants should provide a personal statement that is no more than two pages, summarizing past educational experiences and goals in pursuing a graduate degree.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BA - Spanish

Fluency in Spanish coupled with critical thinking and analytical skills affords you an unparalleled competitive edge in today's job market and our increasingly diverse society. Traveling, living and working in Spanish-speaking communities around the world provides a wide array of personal and professional opportunities for embracing life in a globalized world.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
January 15th

Career Opportunities

Professionals with this degree can confidently move into further academic, business and international fields. Skills developed through this program are valued for teaching positions, including in museums and libraries; translation work; work in a larger sector such as governmental, diplomatic and international business; and for careers in publishing, media, nonprofits and international relations.

Career examples include:

  • area, ethnic and cultural studies teachers and professors
  • foreign language and literature teachers and professors
  • historians
  • interpreters and translators
  • lawyers
  • reporters and correspondents
  • social and community service managers

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.

Application fee waiver

Applicants facing financial hardship may request a waiver for their application fee. Please complete the online application up to the fee payment page. Please send both Ashley Lawless ( and Xiaoqiao Ling ( a brief essay (about 150 words) describing why paying the application fee is difficult in your situation, along with your application ID number. If your request is accepted, we will let you know that you can submit your application without paying the fee. The School of International Letters and Cultures has established a limited budget for these waivers. Requests will be considered as they are received until the budget is spent.