Linda Jones
Chair, Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures
425 Kimpel Hall
479-575-7608
Email: lcjones@uark.edu

Erika Almenara
Graduate Coordinator of Spanish
425 Kimpel Hall
479-575-2951
Email: almenara@uark.edu

Degree Conferred:
M.A. in Spanish (SPAN)

Program Description: 

The Spanish Program at the University of Arkansas offers a balanced course of study leading to a Master of Arts degree. Graduate students take courses primarily in Iberian and Latin American literature and culture. The program also offers courses in second-language teaching methodology as well as technology-enhanced pedagogy. Our M.A. provides a solid preparation for students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. or wish to teach at the community college or secondary levels. Its comprehensive curriculum also provides a sound base for a career in education, government, or social services.

With a low student-faculty ratio (5-to-1), our well-trained faculty provide support and mentoring to a small body of graduate students. Incoming candidates are offered workshops on how to succeed in academia (i.e. how to research, write, present, and publish papers). The program's extracurricular activities, such as the Tertulia and the Cineclub, provide a strong sense of community and collegiality. Although the University of Arkansas does not offer a Ph.D. specifically in Spanish, the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies program offers a Ph.D. that includes, among other options, a concentration in Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies.

M.A. Reading List

Options for the M.A. in Spanish:  Students pursuing the M.A. degree in Spanish will choose to follow one of two concentrations. The first concentration is a traditional M.A. in Hispanic Literature and Culture with a strong emphasis on literary analysis and cultural theory, with coursework covering the intellectual and literary histories of the Hispanic world. This concentration is recommended for students likely to pursue work towards a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies after the completion of the M.A. The second concentration, M.A in Hispanic Language, Literature and Culture, provides a broad preparation in the literatures and cultures of the Hispanic world (Spain, Latin America, and U.S. Latino) complemented by coursework in second language learning methodologies and technology in the teaching Spanish at the college level.  While the second language-learning concentration can serve as preparation for teaching at the secondary level, or in community and liberal arts colleges, it can also provide preparation on a pathway to doctoral studies in applied linguistics. 

The program normally takes two years to complete.  Upon admission to the program, students are advised by the Graduate Studies Director on the coursework to be required, based on the student’s choice of concentration and available course offerings. At the end of the program, students must present written and oral comprehensive examinations on the student’s coursework and covering five of the eight areas of study. Detailed program descriptions, including reading lists and examination procedures, are available on the department’s website.

Teaching Assistantships:

Teaching Assistantships provide valuable teaching experience for graduate students. The program offers teaching assistantships to nearly every qualified applicant accepted into the program. Teaching assistants teach two courses per semester with funding for two years, contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree and satisfactory teaching evaluations. They receive a stipend plus tuition remission for as many as 10 graduate credit hours per semester. Teaching assistants enroll in the first semester in a mandatory that provides training in both the theory and practice of teaching. Summer teaching is often available but not guaranteed. Summer teaching assignments are determined by seniority and the strength of teaching evaluations. The relatively small size of the Spanish graduate program allows students to experience the collegiality of a department in which good teaching is valued and appreciated. 

Information on applying for a teaching assistantship.

Information about current teaching assistants.

M.A. in Spanish

Admission into the Master of Arts in Spanish Program: Admission to the M.A. program in Spanish requires a Bachelor of Arts degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution with suitable preparation in Spanish. Individuals interested in a teaching assistantship should submit an application for graduate assistantship to the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures by February 1. In order to demonstrate oral and written proficiency in Spanish, English speakers applying for a teaching assistantship must send an audio-recorded reading of a literary text in Spanish as well as a writing sample in Spanish on a subject of the applicant's choosing (4-8 pages). Applicants requesting an assistantship must also include three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Upon admission to the program, the candidate will be assigned an adviser who, in consultation with the candidate, will design a suitable program for the candidate, following these guidelines. The adviser, in consultation with other members of the department, will select an examination committee for the comprehensive oral and written examinations. M.A. comprehensive exams can be taken only two times.

Non-native English speakers applying to the program, and those applying for teaching assistantships, should be sure to consult the English-language admission requirements for both graduate students and teaching assistants at:

Detailed program descriptions, including reading lists and examination procedures, are available from the department.

Students pursuing the Master of Arts in Spanish will choose one of two concentrations. The first concentration is a traditional M.A. in Hispanic literature and culture with a strong emphasis on literary analysis. This concentration is recommended for students likely to pursue work towards a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies after the completion of the M.A. The second concentration provides students with an alternative to the traditional M.A. in Hispanic literature and culture that places an additional emphasis on coursework in second language acquisition and language teaching. This concentration is recommended for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Spanish applied linguistics after the completion of the M.A., and for those who are interested in language teaching as a career.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Spanish: Aside from deficiencies, a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours is required for the degree. During their first semester, all students must take WLLC 5063 Teaching Foreign Languages on the College Level. In addition, 24 credit hours of Spanish literature at the 5000-level or higher is required. The remaining 9 credit hours comes from one of two concentrations listed below.

Literature concentration: Students will take SPAN 5703 Special Topics (in literature) or an equivalent research seminar, as approved by the graduate advisor.  In this course, students will be required to present a research paper that meets professional research methods and standards.  Students will also take an additional 6 credit hours in literature.

The comprehensive examination for the Literature concentration will include five areas of focus. This includes two periods from each tradition (Latin America and Spain) and at least two periods before 1900. The periods of concentration are Colonial, 19th century, 20th/21st century, and U.S. Latino/a for Latin America, and Medieval, Golden Age, 19th century, and 20th/21st century for Spain.

Language Learning and Teaching concentration: Students will take SPAN 5703 Special Topics (in language learning and teaching) or an equivalent research seminar, as approved by the graduate advisor. In this course, students will be required to present a research paper that meets professional research methods and standards.  Students will also take an additional 6 credit hours in language learning and teaching. 

For the Language Learning and Teaching concentration, the comprehensive examination will include five areas of focus. One area will be language learning and teaching. The four others will consist of literature and culture from four historical periods of the Hispanic world, including at least one period from each tradition (Latin America and Spain) and at least one period before 1900. The periods of concentration are Colonial, 19th century, 20th/21st century, and U.S. Latino/a for Latin America, and Medieval, Golden Age, 19th century, and 20th/21st century for Spain. 

Literature Concentration

Requirements for the Spanish M.A. Literature Concentration: 

6 credit hours of additional Spanish literature at the 5000-level or higher6
SPAN 5703Special Topics (in literature)3
or an equivalent research seminar in literature, as approved by the graduate advisor
Total Hours9

Language Learning and Teaching Concentration

Requirements for the Spanish M.A. Language Learning and Teaching Concentration:

6 credit hours of additional language learning and teaching courses6
SPAN 5703Special Topics (in language learning and teaching)3
or an equivalent research seminar in language learning and teaching, as approved by the graduate advisor
Total Hours9

Courses

SPAN 5073. Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics. 3 Hours.

Deepens students' knowledge of the Spanish language through an introduction to the discipline of Linguistics, which is the field of science that studies human language. Areas of Hispanic linguistics that will be covered include phonology (sound system), morphology (word structure), and syntax (sentence structure). (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5203. Medieval Spanish Literature. 3 Hours.

From the 'Jarchas' to the Celestina. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5233. Golden Age Novel. 3 Hours.

Major works of Spanish prose fiction from the 16th and 17th centuries, with close reading of major works. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5243. Golden Age Poetry and Drama. 3 Hours.

History and development of those genres in the 16th and 17th centuries, with close reading of major works. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5253. Colonial Literature and Culture. 3 Hours.

An introductory course to the history, culture and literature of colonial Spanish America from 1492 until 1810. The course will cover representative colonial and indigenous texts and their contexts including Renaissance, Baroque, and travel literature of the Eighteenth Century. The course will be taught in Spanish. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5273. Survey of 19th Century Spanish Literature. 3 Hours.

A graduate-level survey of Spanish literature from Neoclassicism to the Generation of 1898. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5283. Survey of Contemporary Spanish Literature. 3 Hours.

A graduate-level survey of Spanish literature from the Transition to the present. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5343. Survey of 20th Century Spanish Literature. 3 Hours.

A graduate-level survey of Spanish literature from the Generation of 1898 to the Transition. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5393. 19th Century Spanish American Literature. 3 Hours.

Study of representative literary works from Independence (1810) to 1900's. The course covers Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism/Naturalism, and Modernism and the role of literature in the nation-building process. The course will be taught in Spanish. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5463. 20th Century Spanish American Literature. 3 Hours.

Critical survey of major movements and outstanding and representative works in 20th century prose and poetry, from the Mexican Revolution and the avant-garde to the contemporary boom and post-boom. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5563. Latino Youth Biliteracy Service Learning Project. 3 Hours.

The Latino Youth Biliteracy Project is a service learning course for students in Spanish and Latin American and Latino Studies. Readings on Latino education policies and challenges, bilingualism, and the immigrant experience. Students commit from 15 to 30 hours of mentoring Latino youth at local schools during the semester (in addition to class meeting times) and complete a research project on Latino education. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5703. Special Topics. 3 Hours.

May be offered in a subject not specifically covered by the courses otherwise listed. (Typically offered: Irregular) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

SPAN 575V. Special Investigations. 1-6 Hour.

Special investigations. (Typically offered: Irregular) May be repeated for degree credit.

SPAN 5773. Indigenismo Literature. 3 Hours.

A study of 'indigenismo', an intellectual and literary tradition in Latin America examining the history of exploitation and marginalization of indigenous peoples. Readings include texts by Mariategui, Icaza, Andrade, Asturias, Arguedas, Castellanos, and also 'indigenista' works in music and the plastic arts. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SPAN 5943. U.S. Latino/a Literatures and Cultures. 3 Hours.

Explores the construction and negotiation of Latino/a identities through the study of literary and filmic texts. Theoretical concepts (e.g. latinidad, latinization, intra-latino, cultural remittances) will also be studied. Topics of discussion may include: transnationalism, bilingualism, and interactions between different Latino groups. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)