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Spanish and Portuguese Degrees

Degree Requirements

  1. The general requirements of the KU Office of Graduate Affairs. Department requires two years of in-residence credits as a Ph.D. student.
  2.  The prerequisites and requirements as outlined for the department’s Master’s Degree. The progress of entering Ph.D. students already holding an M.A. degree from another institution will be evaluated by the faculty after the end of the first semester. If progress is satisfactory, an advisory committee will be appointed. In a case of unsatisfactory progress, the student will be given one additional semester for improving performance to a level evaluated as satisfactory by the faculty.
  3. A reading knowledge of two foreign languages (other than Spanish) appropriate to the candidate's major field of specialization; the choice of languages and the mode of achieving this level will be decided in consultation with the student's advisory committee. This requirement may be met in the same ways as the foreign language requirement of the M.A. degree. A language used to satisfy the M.A. requirements may be counted here. This requirement must be fulfilled before the candidate proceeds to take the Comprehensive Exam. Students planning to write a dissertation on Latin American Literature will select Portuguese to fulfill one of their two language requirements. Students planning to write a dissertation on Latin American Literature should strongly consider taking a Brazilian literature course in the genre of their specialization.
  4. All courses selected by the candidate’s advisory committee. Course requirements will include: (a) a minimum of 5 seminars (at least 4 at KU); (b) a course in literary theory, such as SPAN 795; (c) a guideline of 24 hours at the University of Kansas, excluding courses for the minor and beyond the 30 hours required for the M.A. degree. PhD students are allowed to receive credit towards the seminar requirement by taking a 700-level class and writing a seminar quality paper. They would only be able to do this once (a second time would require a petition to the Graduate Studies Committee), and would need the permission of the instructor.
  5. A minor in a field other than Iberian or Latin American literature. The minor should include a minimum of 9 hours of graduate credit. The minor shall normally be a single discipline or an interdisciplinary field as appropriate to the student's program (for specialization in Latin America, the Department strongly recommends Portuguese), and is usually arranged by the advisory committee. Courses taken to acquire proficiency in a language cannot count toward the minor.
  6. Students who are non-native speakers of Spanish will submit at least one doctoral seminar paper in Spanish and non-native speakers of English will submit at least one doctoral seminar paper in English.
  7. A comprehensive examination, partly written and partly oral (see A, B, & C below)
  1. A dissertation
  1. A final oral examination over the field of the dissertation

For a complete list of degree requirements, click here.



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The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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