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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 9 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 fields.

M.A. students in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are admitted to doctoral studies in this department on the recommendation of the M.A. examining committee upon successful completion of the Ph.D. qualifying examination. 

A graduate student with the M.A. from another institution is admitted to the doctoral program by virtue of his/her acceptance by the department. A minimum graduate GPA of 3.4 (on a 4.0 scale) is required.

During the registration period, the student will be asked to supply supplementary information regarding courses taken previously, experience abroad, scope of readings in Spanish and Spanish American literatures, and preparation in linguistics.

Required Documentation for PhD Applications

  • Three letters of recommendation are required for all graduate student applicants, using the Graduate School's online application.
  • Send one official copy of ALL university transcripts to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Notarized English translations should accompany ALL non-English transcripts.
  • TOEFL test is required for ALL applicants whose native language is NOT English, or whose undergraduate instruction was NOT in English. For more information regarding the TOEFL, please see the Graduate School's Admissions Requirements.
  • Reason for Graduate Study/Statement of Purpose: What are your reasons for graduate study? Please describe your current degree goals and your reasons for selecting your program(s). Your statement can be either in English or Spanish. It should not exceed three single-spaced pages, or the equivalent when double-spaced.
  • A writing sample in Spanish (e.g., term-paper length) is required for all Ph.D. applicants. It should be eight to ten pages. The topic should be as close as possible to the field you wish to specialize in for the Ph.D. thesis.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Fall term—January 5 of same year's fall term (i.e., January 5, 2019, for fall 2019)

Spring term—October 15 in year prior to spring term (i.e., October 15, 2019, for spring 2020)

All materials must be received either electronically or by postal mail to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese by these dates.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Prospective students should see the program website for funding information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement A minimum of 33 credits out of 51 total must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).

In practice all doctoral coursework (with the exception of some language requirements or some doctoral minors) is designed exclusively for graduate students.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements No other grade requirements.
Assessments and Examinations Preliminary Examinations:
All Ph.D. candidates are required to take written and oral Ph.D. preliminary examinations (four written exams, one oral). This examination tests the student's mastery of the major and the supporting fields. It must be taken after course requirements have been met.

The Doctoral Dissertation:
The final oral examination for the Ph.D. (the dissertation defense) will concentrate solely on the dissertation and generally does not exceed two hours in length. The examining committee is composed of a minimum of four members, at least one of whom must be from outside the student’s program in Spanish, and at least three of whom, including the dissertation director, should be designated as readers. This examination is held at least two weeks after the dissertation is submitted.
Language Requirements Knowledge of other languages is essential for doctoral research. Therefore, students are urged to fulfill the language requirements as early as possible in their doctoral studies. In any case, they must be fulfilled prior to the Preliminary Examination. Candidates in Spanish literature or linguistics must demonstrate advanced proficiency in two languages that have relevance for his/her area of research interests and have been selected in consultation with the advisor. Advanced competency is defined as six college semesters with a grade of B or better. An advanced pass on the UW Division of University Outreach, Liberal Studies Reading Knowledge Examinations in French and German for graduate students will be accepted as an alternative. The most common languages are Portuguese, French, Italian, Latin, German, and Arabic, but may also include such languages as Turkish, Catalan, Galician, Maya, Nahuatl, Quichua, etc., depending on the candidate's major and minor.

Candidates in the area of Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition will replace one language with two graduate-level Research Design courses with a grade of B or better, chosen in consultation with the student's advisor.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

The doctoral candidate must present a minor in work done outside of Spanish. The minor should be in an area related to the major field of interest. Portuguese, French, Comparative Literature, and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies are among the most common minors. Distributed minors (for a minimum of 9 credits) must be approved by the advisor. Requirements for the minor are established by the respective department. Since the minor should complement the student’s major area of concentration, the student should arrange their program with the minor department as early as possible in the doctoral career. For a minor in Portuguese, the student should have a minimum of 9 credits beyond PORTUG 301/PORTUG 302. Also, courses taken to fulfill the language requirement cannot count toward the minor in Portuguese. Similarly, courses taken for a minor in Educational Psychology, Curriculum & Instruction, or Second Language Acquisition cannot also be counted as Research Design courses.

Required COURSES

In the Spanish Ph.D., the student selects a major area and two supporting fields, either in the concentration of literature or linguistics. The major is the area of specialization; the student is expected to have a thorough knowledge of the currents, primary works and critical bibliography pertaining to it. The student is expected to know the most significant writers and works (in the Spanish Ph.D. with a concentration in literature) or the most significant linguistic schools and approaches (in the Spanish Ph.D. with a concentration in linguistics) as well as the most important currents and developments in the two supporting fields; additionally, the student must have a good knowledge of critical bibliography. The program of studies leading toward the Ph.D. in this Department provides multiple opportunities for the development of analytical skills, and integrated with those skills an extensive knowledge of theoretical issues. The selection of the major and supporting fields is made by the beginning of the second semester of doctoral studies.

  • All graduate students who are candidates for a Ph.D. degree in Spanish in this department must take a minimum of two graduate-level courses in Spanish and/or Portuguese for credit each semester, exclusive of Independent Reading (SPANISH 899 Independent Reading) courses, with the following exceptions:
  1. In the semester before taking the Preliminary Examination, a doctoral student may count an SPANISH 899 Independent Reading designed to work toward the dissertation proposal as one of the two courses, as long as another course is taken in the department. This exception may only apply once, even in the case that the Preliminary Examination is postponed.
  2. Students may count as exceptions up to three courses taken toward their Ph.D. minor. Every time that students request this exemption they must fill out the appropriate form for this purpose to be signed by the advisor and given to the Graduate Coordinator.
  • An audited course does not count toward the two-course minimum requirement.
  • If the two-course rule impedes the student’s progress toward completion of the degree, students may petition an exception, with the written support of their advisor. This regulation does not apply to students who have passed the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination.

Specific course requirements are as follows:

Spanish Ph.D. with a concentration in literature1

The Spanish Ph.D. program with a concentration in literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers five areas of study:

  1. Medieval Literature
  2. Golden Age Literature
  3. Modern Peninsular Literature
  4. Spanish American I Literature (Colonial to 1900)
  5. Spanish American II Literature (20th and 21st Century)

A linguistics field may be used as a supporting field only, provided written consent of the graduate advisor is obtained.

In the doctoral program the student selects a major, two supporting fields, and takes one survey or advanced course in each of the two remaining fields. 

Requirements 2, 3
Major Area12
Supporting Field 16
Supporting Field 26
Remaining Field 13
Remaining Field 23
Literary Theory3
Note:
Students, in consultation with their advisor, should ensure that they have a minimum of five advanced courses beyond the M.A. At least two of the advanced courses must be in the major. One of these advanced courses may be taken outside the department, with the advisor's consent. An advanced course is defined as 600 level, or above.

Spanish Ph.D. with a concentration in linguistics1

The Spanish Ph.D. program with a concentration in linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin–Madison offers three areas of study:

  1. Theoretical/Formal Spanish Linguistics
  2. Language Variation and Change
  3. Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition

In the doctoral program the student selects a major area from the three areas; the other two automatically become supporting fields. 

Requirements 2, 3
Major Area12
Supporting Field 16
Supporting Field 26
For Students whose major area is Applied Linguistics and SLA:
Two graduate-level Research Design courses chosen in consultation with the student's advisor. (See"Language Requirements" below)6
Note:
Students, in consultation with their advisor, should ensure that they have a minimum of five advanced courses beyond the M.A. At least two of the advanced courses must be in the major. One of these advanced courses may be taken outside the department, with the advisor's consent. An advanced course is defined as 600 level, or above.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

After one semester in residence here, incoming Ph.D. graduate students from other universities may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to transfer graduate credits taken at their previous university to satisfy requirements here. In the Spanish Ph.D., a maximum of three courses (9 credits) may be transferred from their previous program toward their degree requirements, except in the major field, and no more than three credits may be granted in one but not both of the student's supporting fields. Each petition must be approved by the advisor, validated by a faculty member specializing in that field, and assessed by the Graduate Studies Committee with regard to its level and appropriateness. Only in rare circumstances will exceptions be considered.

Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy 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.

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 ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

ProbatioN

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

The doctoral candidates arrange their program with an assigned graduate advisor, representing one of the areas of concentration, at the beginning of their studies in this department. The advisor represents a field in which the student has expressed primary interest. The candidate may, of course, seek advice and suggestions from individual professors, but it is important to maintain frequent and ongoing contact with the regular advisor. At the beginning of the second semester in residence the academic advisor and the candidate make a detailed review of the first semester's progress.

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

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese enforces the Graduate School policy that establishes a five-year deadline for completion and defense of the doctoral dissertation, unless they receive an extension. If the candidate does not complete the dissertation within five years of the preliminary examination, the candidate must retake this examination.

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten 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.

Other

Guaranteed funding through teaching assistantships. Many additional sources of funding are available on a competitive basis, including the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, summer research Mellon fellowships, one-semester dissertation fellowships, Title VI FLAS fellowships for summer and year-long foreign language study, Nave summer research travel grants, and numerous others.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. (Literature) Articulates research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice within the field of Hispanic literary/cultural studies, with a view to interdisciplinarity.

2. (Literature) Formulates ideas, concepts, and theoretical approaches beyond the current boundaries of knowledge and practice within Hispanic literary/cultural studies.

3. (Literature) Develops archival and/or bibliographic research skills or other evidence-gathering techniques with the aim of furthering historical and cultural knowledge of the specific field of inquiry.

4. (Literature) Produces scholarship that makes a substantive contribution to Hispanic literary/cultural studies.

5. (Literature) Demonstrates breadth within learning experiences.

6. (Literature) Advances contributions of the field of study to society.

7. (Literature) Communicates complex ideas in both Spanish and English in a clear and understandable manner, and demonstrates reading knowledge of two other languages pertinent to the field of inquiry.

8. (Literature) Develops speaking and writing skills necessary for articulating cogent and original arguments that enter into conversation with new and existing critical paradigms in literary and cultural studies.

9. (Literature) Develops academic professionalization through conference participation and/or scholarly exchange in preparation for a career path related to the field.

10. (Literature) Develops and demonstrates effective teaching skills (for intermediate and advanced classes).

11. (Literature) Fosters professionalism in extracurricular activities that develop degree-related skills as well as enhance future professional life and a sense of citizenship.

12. (Linguistics) Articulates research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice within the field of Spanish Linguistics, with a view to interdisciplinarity.

13. (Linguistics) Formulates ideas, concepts, and theoretical approaches beyond the current boundaries of knowledge and practice within Spanish Linguistics.

14. (Linguistics) Develops archival and/or bibliographic research skills or other evidence-gathering techniques with the aim of furthering knowledge of the specific field of inquiry.

15. (Linguistics) Produces scholarship that makes a substantive contribution to Spanish Linguistics.

16. (Linguistics) Demonstrates breadth within learning experiences.

17. (Linguistics) Advances contributions of the field of study to society.

18. (Linguistics) Communicates complex ideas in both Spanish and English in a clear and understandable manner, and demonstrates reading knowledge of two other languages pertinent to the field of inquiry.

19. (Linguistics) Develops speaking and writing skills necessary for articulating cogent and original arguments that enter into conversation with new and existing critical paradigms in Linguistics.

20. (Linguistics) Develops academic professionalization through conference participation and/or scholarly exchange in preparation for a career path related to the field.

21. (Linguistics) Develops and demonstrates effective teaching skills (for intermediate and advanced classes).

22. (Linguistics) Fosters professionalism in extracurricular activities that develop degree-related skills as well as enhance future professional life and a sense of citizenship.

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)