The degrees offered are the master of arts and doctor of philosophy in Spanish. In addition, the department offers a doctoral minor in Spanish or Portuguese, consisting of 12 credits of graduate study.

An integrated curriculum in Spanish language, literatures, cultures, and linguistics provides training at the master's and Ph.D. levels and assures that graduates are prepared to contribute as professionals in the fields of teaching and research. An active program of research contributes to new knowledge in Spanish. A comprehensive group of courses is offered in rotation during the academic year so that candidates may take courses in all fields. Classes are conducted in Spanish.

The department's graduate program in Spanish is consistently among the finest in the country. Teaching assistantships are offered each year to graduate candidates in Spanish and Portuguese. A full complement of courses in Spanish and Spanish American, literatures, cultures, and linguistics is offered on a regular basis.

Fellowships, scholarships, teaching assistantships, and project assistantships are available to qualified graduate degree candidates.

Students pursuing advanced degrees in this department are advised to include in their training work in other languages and literatures, art, social sciences, linguistics, film studies, and philosophy. Knowledge of other languages is required for advanced work in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian fields.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees

M.A., with available tracks in literature, and linguistics

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Students are required to take a minimum of 18 credits of graduate coursework. In practice it is rare for students not to take 100% of their credits in graduate coursework. Courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from undergraduate courses from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree, but students who have taken graduate level courses are allowed to petition with their advisor’s consent up to a maximum of 7 credits.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 6 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

M.A. with concentration in literature: Candidates take one course in each of five of the seven areas; one of the five must be a linguistics course (either descriptive or applied). Students with a concentration in literature will be examined on the M.A.–Ph.D. qualifying exam in any area of literature in which they do not take a course. A further 15 credits are electives which may be taken in any of the areas—i.e., program-specific courses, with the advisor’s consent. Advisor’s consent is also required for taking any course that is not program-specific.

M.A. with concentration in linguistics: one course in descriptive linguistics, one course in applied linguistics, and two further courses in linguistics which may be descriptive or applied, or a combination. One course each must be taken from two of the five literary areas. With the advisor’s consent, the remaining twelve credits may be taken in any area, or in literary theory; up to six of these fifteen credits may also be taken in the study of another language. Students intending to continue on to the Ph.D. program are encouraged to take courses that will fulfill Ph.D. requirements.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required.

Other Grade Requirements

No other grade requirements.

Probation Policy

Satisfactory progress depends on: maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0, adhering to the rule whereby students must take two courses within the department (or have the rule waived by petition), and fulfilling all academic requirements. Students who are not in good standing will not be given sections to teach as TAs, and those whose GPA goes below 3.0 are put on academic probation. If a semester of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Advisor / Committee

All students have a substantial meeting with their advisors every semester to review their progress and work out the best strategies for future coursework and degree progress.

Assessments and Examination

An M.A./Ph.D. examination is required.

Time Constraints

The M.A./Ph.D. qualifying exam is taken in the fourth or fifth semester of the M.A. program, very rarely beyond that.

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Language Requirements

No language requirements beyond English and Spanish.

Admission to candidacy for the master's degree presupposes an undergraduate major in Spanish at UW–Madison or its equivalent. Candidates entering with a B.A. in Spanish must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and a GPA in Spanish courses of at least 3.25.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Articulates, critiques, and elaborates the theories, methods, terminology and approaches to inquiry in Hispanic literary studies and/or Spanish linguistics.
  • Identifies and pursues promising avenues of inquiry, finds and makes use of appropriate bibliography, analyzes literary/cultural works or linguistic evidence, and develops speaking and writing skills.
  • Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of Hispanic literatures and/or Spanish linguistics in a historical, sociocultural and global context.
  • Evaluates or synthesizes information pertaining to questions or challenges in the field of study.
  • Communicates fluently and clearly in Spanish in ways appropriate to the field of study.

Professional Conduct

  • Recognizes and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Spanish Faculty: Professors Beilin (modern Spanish literature), Bilbija (modern Spanish American literature), Close (modern Spanish American/trans-Atlantic literature), Corfis (medieval Spanish literature), De Ferrari (modern Spanish American literature), Egea (modern Spanish literature), Frantzen (second language acquisition and linguistics), Hildner (Golden Age literature), Hutchinson (Golden Age literature), Medina (modern Spanish American literature), Podestá (colonial Spanish American literature); Associate Professors Alcalá-Galán (Golden Age literature), Ancos-García (medieval Spanish literature), Goldgel-Carballo (colonial Spanish American literature), Hernández (modern Spanish American literature), Pellegrini (modern Spanish American literature), Rao (Spanish linguistics), Stafford (second language acquisition and linguistics), Tejedo-Herrero (Spanish linguistics); Assistant Professors Armstrong (Spanish linguistics), Cerezo Paredes (modern Spanish literature), Comparone (modern Spanish literature)

Portuguese Faculty: Professors Albuquerque (Brazilian literature and culture), Madureira (Portuguese, Brazilian, and Luso-African literature and culture), Sapega (Portuguese and Luso-African literature and culture); and Sanchez (Portuguese and Brazilian literature and culture)