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Spanish and Portuguese Degrees

Degree Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit. The 30 hours of graduate credit will usually be in Spanish and Portuguese. Credit for one or two courses in other departments can sometimes be granted if the student's graduate advisor approves. For more information please consult the University Academic Catalog. 
  2. Course distribution: 

    • One seminar in Spanish or Latin American literature. Students should select a seminar for which they have taken the appropriate 700 level course or its equivalent.

    • Courses to be selected in consultation with the advisor and in keeping with the following distribution guidelines:

         a. A minimum of 1 course in each genre
         b. A minimum of 1 course in each period (Medieval, Early Modern; 19th, 20th, 21st Centuries Spain; Colonial, 19th Century Latin America; 20th, 21st Centuries Latin America)

    It is recommended that MA students considering continuing to the Ph.D. take a class in contemporary literary theory (such as Spanish 795). Students holding teaching assistantships in the Department should keep in mind the minimum enrollment requirement (15 hours per year in the Department). 

  3. Reading knowledge of another foreign language, as approved by the Department. This may be established by:

  • passing the third semester college course in French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, or any appropriate language for the degree in Spanish with a grade of A or B;
  • passing one of the following KU courses with a grade of A or B: French (FREN 100),German (GERM 101), Italian (ITAL 100), Latin (LAT 101), Portuguese (PORT 611), Russian (RUSS 101), Kaqchikel Maya (LING 575), Andean Quichua (LING 491), or Haitian Creole (HAIT 240).
  • passing an examination in one of the above languages administered by the corresponding department at KU
  • passing the GSFLT at the requisite level. 
  1. A general examination over the literature of Spain and Spanish America, partly written and partly oral. 

    The written section is six hours long and is based on the M.A. reading list. Copies of this list are available in the departmental office and on the Department webpage. The oral section is normally a one-hour examination of a more general nature, covering the reading list and course work. The oral examination will serve as a general evaluation of how well the student can articulate ideas clearly and as a reading list check when necessary.

    The Department offers the M.A. examination once each semester at a date fixed by the Graduate Studies Committee, and the M.A. Examination Committee administers and grades the examination.

    The written examinations will be administered over a two-day period. The exams will be divided into four areas with one and a half hours allocated for each category:

    • Medieval and Early Modern.

    • 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries Spain.

    • Colonial through Modernismo in Spanish America.

    • 20th and 21st Centuries Spanish America.

    Generally, the faculty who write the exam in the different areas will read the exam and grade it according to the grading rubric. These two readers per exam area should come to an agreement about the results of the written portion of the exam in their area; if these readers cannot come to an agreement the Chair of the Graduate Studies will assign a third reader. These results will be communicated to the Chair of the Graduate Studies and to the student's advisors. If the student passes the written section, the student’s advisor will schedule and chair the oral examination.

    Those who do not pass one section of the written exam may retake that section before the end of the current semester, but no later than the end of the following semester. Those who do not pass two or more sections of the exam will typically retake the entire exam the following semester. However, under extenuating circumstances, students may consult with their advisors and petition the Graduate Studies Committee for a different retake arrangement. The oral section is usually given by two members of the Department and is chaired by the student’s graduate advisor.

    Should the student fail the oral section, the examination committee will decide what kind of remedial work may be necessary before the student may repeat the oral exam. This remedial work may include repeating the oral exam, writing a research paper under the supervision of a faculty member in the weak area, and/or requiring the student to take a particular class. The exam or any section of the exam may be taken only three times. M.A. examinations are not given during the summer session. Students will sign-up to take the M.A. exam by the deadline designated each semester. After that date, withdrawal from the exam will constitute a failed exam. Petitions for exceptions in extenuating circumstances may be presented to the Graduate Studies Committee with the endorsement of the student's advisor. Unless a student has received Graduate Studies Committee’s approval for an exception, exams will normally be repeated in consecutive semesters following the first attempt. 

For an updated list of degree requirements, click here.

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