Spanish, PhD

The School of International Letters and Cultures offers a graduate program leading to a PhD in Spanish. The program trains students for entrance into the academic profession (teachers and scholars) as well as for professions outside of academia.

The intent of the program is to be as flexible as possible. Recognizing the many demands put upon the scholar in the modern world and the wide variety of specialized interests, every attempt will be made to plan a program of study, with the supportive guidance of the student’s advisor that will best prepare the candidate for a productive career in the discipline of Hispanic studies. Thus, rather than specifying a general and rigid program of courses, broad areas of competence will be established, through an individualized program of study, that will be measured by the written and oral  comprehensive examination administered at the end of formal coursework and prior to the writing of the Ph.D. dissertation.

 

Students in the PhD in Spanish may choose to focus their studies in the following areas:

The Literature concentration consists of a variety of courses in literature, selected among various geographical areas and historical periods. Possible courses include Spanish and Spanish American literatures, specific Spanish and Spanish American literary genres, and particular literary studies (Spanish and Spanish American key literary works and authors, movements, and other approaches to literature).

The Cultural Studies concentration consists of courses in culture, literature and linguistics, diversified between geographical areas and historical periods. Possible courses include Spanish and Spanish American culture, courses in Spanish and Spanish American film and other areas dealing with cultural studies

The Visual Studies track explores the meanings and practices of looking across historical and literary periods of the PanHispanic culture. Within the Cultural Studies umbrella, Visual Studies include a variety of methods and approaches applied mainly to photography, film, television, performance, video, comics, and popular culture.

The Mexican American Studies track explores the Mexican American condition as displayed in literature, language, visual arts, and cultural practices. This new track serves to recognize the importance of the historical, political, and socioeconomic experiences of Mexican American citizens in the United States, particularly in the Southwest, and establishes cultural links to all US Latinos as well as to Latin America and Spain.

The Early-Modern Iberian Studies track focuses on the historical interconnections between the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula, and explores Iberian global systems of exchange from the Middle Ages to modernity and post modernity. This new track challenges conventional divisions between genres, periods, and regions: its scope will cover transatlantic, Mediterranean, pan-European, and colonial texts, performances, visual artifacts, maps, buildings, and so on.

The Spanish Linguistics track offers advanced interdisciplinary graduate training that combines key areas in second language acquisition and teaching, applied linguistics, heritage language research and pedagogy, sociolinguistics and bilingualism. In addition to taking six core courses in Spanish Linguistics, students will opt to specialize in one of these three options: 1) SLA and teaching methodologies; 2) heritage language research and pedagogy; or 3) sociolinguistics and bilingualism.

 

As a PhD student in our program, you will be part of our Connected Academics initiative and a Connected Academics Scholar. Arizona State University is one of three universities nationally chosen by the Modern Language Association and the Mellon Foundation to re-imagine PhD education in the humanities for the twenty-first century. Through the MLA-Mellon Connected Academics Grant, we have designed programs that advance your career goals. Connected Academics enriches the experience of earning a doctoral degree in languages and literatures through augmented curricula, expanded professional development, and intensive mentoring.

Students may also enhance their academic preparation with one or both of two certificate programs offered in SILC: Computer-Assisted Language Learning (Graduate Certificate) and Literary Translation Studies (Graduate Certificate) as well as the Digital Humanities Certificate offered through the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

 

As approved by the student’s supervisory committee, the program can allow 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for the Spanish PhD.

If admitted with a bachelor’s degree, students must complete a minimum of 84 semester hours. If admitted with a master’s degree, they must complete a minimum of 54 hours.

Milestones

Qualifying Exam

Students who enter the program without a master’s degree are required to take the qualifying exam, which allows the student to demonstrate a specialized knowledge of the fields most relevant to support the planned dissertation research. The exam will be taken in the spring of the third year.

Second Language Reading Knowledge Requirement

Students will demonstrate reading knowledge in a Language other than English or Spanish prior to the administration of the comprehensive exam.

Written Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive examination will be given at the completion of the student’s course work. The student will demonstrate their understanding of their areas of study.

Oral Comprehensive Exam

The oral examination will address any weaknesses in the written examination and will focus primarily on the student’s dissertation prospectus.

Dissertation Prospectus

The Dissertation Prospectus should be developed by the student in consultation with his/her Supervisory Committee and should specify the theoretical model(s) to be used, the corpus to which it will be applied, and the tentative significance of the research proposed.

Dissertation

The dissertation is the document presented by a candidate for the Ph.D. in demonstration of the ability to conduct documented scholarly research in conformance with the prevailing standards of humanistic scholarship in general and Hispanic scholarship in particular.

For information on our graduate courses, please visit the schedule of classes.

All candidates for the PhD in Spanish must fulfill the general requirements of the Graduate College concerning admission and residence. Candidates for the doctorate in Spanish will be required to demonstrate a near-native oral proficiency in Spanish and to show that they have developed a high order of expository prose in English and Spanish by presenting a term paper or a chapter of the MA thesis as their writing sample. Letters of recommendation regarding the applicant’s command of Spanish and potential for doctoral work are requested. A personal interview may also be appropriate.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.

Items needed to apply: All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee

  2. official transcripts

  3. writing sample

    1. Writing sample should be a term paper or chapter of the master’s thesis

  4. personal statement (in English)

  5. Resume or curriculum vitae

  6. three letters of recommendation

    1. For candidates interested in obtaining a Teaching Assistantship, the letters of recommendation should also address his/her ability (potential or demonstrated) to conduct a university-level language course. If the authors of the academic letters are unfamiliar with a candidate’s teaching ability, a separate letter should be included in the application package

  7. proof of English proficiency

GRE requirements: Not required

GPA requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.75 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.75 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Degree requirements: Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in Spanish or equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants from other academic backgrounds with relevant coursework in Spanish language and cultural studies may also be evaluated by the admissions committee.

Proof of English proficiency (International students only):

  • If you are from a country whose native language is not English (regardless of where you may now reside), you must provide proof of English proficiency. For more information including additional requirements for international students, visit the ASU Graduate Admission Services website.

  • Applicants to Non-Certification Masters, Graduate Certificates, and Doctoral Programs must meet the English Proficiency score established by ASU Graduate Education.

Teaching/Research Assistant Positions: Students who wish to apply for a Teaching Assistant or Associate position should also submit the following items:

There are multiple funding opportunities available to current and prospective SILC graduate students.

Teaching Assistant positions

The department offers funding in the form of Teaching Assistant positions to support students throughout their graduate degree program. TA positions include tuition remission, student health insurance, and a stipend ($16,000 for the 2018-19 academic year). TA positions are highly competitive, and only offered to the most qualified applicants. SILC does not hire TAs who are not enrolled in one of its graduate programs.

Internships

Students may be eligible for internships through the Connected Academics initiative at ASU. Arizona State University is one of three universities nationally chosen by the Modern Language Association and the Mellon Foundation to re-imagine PhD education in the humanities for the twenty-first century. Through the MLA-Mellon Connected Academics Grant, we have designed programs that advances your career goals. Connected Academics enriches the experience of earning a doctoral degree in languages and literatures through augmented curricula, expanded para-curricular development, and extensive mentoring.

As you develop your areas of expertise, you may pursue an internship opportunity within an organization outside your academic program. Internships may involve work in other disciplinary areas at ASU, partner educational institutions (K12, community college, or four-year), cultural organizations, other non-profits, or industry.

Internships are designed to extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom as they allow you to gain hands-on experience in professional work environments related to your academic and career interests. An internship will provide you with a breadth and depth of experience, opportunities for you to apply principles learned in and outside the classroom, observe professionals in action, develop specific skills, and better understand structures of structures of diverse work environments.

School of International Letters and Cultures Fellowships and Awards

Visit SILC’s Scholarships and Awards page for more information.

Graduate College Fellowships and Awards

The ASU Graduate College offers a variety of opportunities for students to fund their graduate education. Awards that SILC students have previously received include:

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Fellowships and Awards

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is proud to offer a variety of fellowships and awards to our graduate students. These fellowships may be awarded based on merit, financial need or specific academic criteria. Unlike loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Study Abroad Assistantships

Each study abroad program in SILC selects one graduate teaching assistant to assist the program director. For more information about these programs, visit SILC’s study abroad page.

ASU Financial Aid office

There are a variety of other ways to pay for your graduate education. ASU’s Financial Aid office website outlines information about Loans, Grants, Federal Work Study, and other on-campus jobs.

Other Sources

Many SILC graduate students receive funds from other sources like nonprofit groups and private organizations.

There are a variety of funding opportunities in varying scales and forms, and students are encouraged to use these resources as well as conduct their own research for opportunities.

 

How long will it take to complete the program?

Full time students typically complete the Spanish PhD within 5 years.

What is the profile of the successful Spanish PhD applicant?

Students in SILC’s graduate program represent diverse cultural, educational, and experiential backgrounds. Successful applicants will demonstrate a near-native oral proficiency in Spanish and show that they have developed a high order of expository prose in English and Spanish. Many applicants have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree in Spanish or a related subject, however students with Spanish minors or related degrees may also be admitted.

Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE is not required as part of the application.

What is the GPA requirement?

Students should have achieved a 3.7 cumulative GPA in the final 60 hours of their undergraduate degree, or a 3.7 cumulative GPA in their Masters degree.

What is the English Proficiency requirement for international students?

Learn more on English Proficiency requirements 

How much is tuition?

The cost of tuition varies from one student to another based on several factors such as residency status, number of credits, and course load. You may use the link below to learn more about tuition and fees.

Learn More

 Is funding available?

Funding is available in the form of Teaching Assistant Positions or Research Assistant positions. Funding is highly competitive and is limited to the most highly qualified applicants.

 

Important Information for International Students

Graduate teaching assistants/associates whose native language is not English are required to take the TSE/SPEAK test or TOEFL iBT test. In order to assume primary teaching responsibilities students must earn a minimum score of 55 on the TSE/SPEAK test or 26 on the TOEFL iBT. A score of 50 on the TSE/SPEAK test is acceptable if the position is for a lab assistant or tutor. International students should apply to the program as early as possible in the fall semester.

Degree Offered

Spanish, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of

Location
Tempe

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Degree Requirements

The doctoral program in Spanish has four available tracks:

Early-Modern Iberian Studies Track

Core (3) Required track courses (18) Elective or research courses (51)* Dissertation (12)

*Students are required to take 12 credit hours of SPA 792 Research as part of the available 51 hours of elective or research course work.

Spanish Linguistics Track

Core (3) Required track courses (18) Focus area courses (12)* Electives or research courses (39)** Dissertation (12)

*Available focus areas are: second language acquisition and teaching methodologies; heritage language research and pedagogy; and sociolinguistics, bilingualism and Spanish in the U.S.

**Students are required to take 12 credit hours of SPA 792 Research as part of the available 39 hours of elective or research course work.

Mexican American Studies Track

Core (3) Required track courses (18) Elective or research courses (51)* Dissertation (12) *Students are required to take 12 credit hours of SPA 792 Research as part of the available 51 hours of elective or research course work.

Visual Studies Track

Core (3) Required track courses (18) Elective or research courses (51)* Dissertation (12)

*Students are required to take 12 credit hours of SPA 792 Research as part of the available 51 hours of elective or research course work.

  1. The candidate must present an acceptable dissertation based on original investigation. The dissertation must represent a significant contribution to knowledge and demonstrate the candidate's ability to do independent, scholarly research.
  2. Each candidate is expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of two languages other than English and Spanish. The language requirements must be satisfied before the candidate is eligible to take the comprehensive examination.
  3. The candidate must complete 84 credit hours of graduate-level work.
  4. A final oral examination is required. This examination covers the subject matter of the dissertation and appropriate field.
  5. The candidate must complete 12 (and only 12) credit hours of dissertation (SPA 799).
  6. Thirty hours of credit from a previously awarded master's degree in Spanish may count toward the 84 credit hours with approval from the academic unit and Graduate Education.
  7. A written and oral comprehensive examination, designed to ascertain the candidate's knowledge and orientation in the field of study and competency to proceed with the dissertation, is required at or near the end of course work.

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