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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance






Graduate Director

Long, Ryan F., Full Member


Merediz, Eyda, Full Member


Benito-Vessels, Carmen, Full Member

Demaria, Laura, Full Member

Igel, Regina, Full Member

Quintero-Herencia, Juan Carlos, Full Member

Sosnowski, Saul, Full Member

Associate Professor

Lacorte, Jose Manuel, Full Member

Lavine, Roberta Z., Full Member

Long, Ryan F., Full Member

Merediz, Eyda, Full Member

Naharro-Calderon, Jose M., Full Member

Penrose, Mehl, Full Member

Rodriguez, Ana Patricia, Full Member

Sanchez Martinez de Pinillos, Hernan, Full Member

Distinguished University Professor Emeritus

Aguilar-Mora, Jorge, Special Member

Professor Emerita

Cypess, Sandra M., Full Member

Harrison, Regina, Full Member

Nemes, Graciela P., Special Member

More SPAP Faculty Information

Spanish Language and Literature (SPAP)   

Program Title and Classification

Spanish Language and Literature

Graduate Degree Program

College: Arts and Humanities


The Faculty of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring, along with the production of new knowledge that is the hallmark of a strong department. We are known for our focus on intersections between language, literature, culture, and politics, our community engagement, and our MA track in Hispanic Applied Linguistics. We bridge several intellectual fields across Spain and Spanish America and between North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Brazil, as we rethink the specificity of our cultures. The Department has been the home of major Latin American and Spanish literary figures, to include Juan Ramon Jimenez, who taught at the University between 1943 and 1951 and who, after being nominated by the Department, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956. His legacy, as well as that of cultural critic Angel Rama, award-winning poet Jose Emilio Pacheco, award winning writer and Professor Emeritus, Jorge Aguilar Mora, and Professor Emerita, Graciela Palau de Nemes, among others, continues to shape our thought, vision, and mission.


The Department is renowned for its multidisciplinary strengths in Latin American and Lusophone literatures and cultures as well as its faculty research in the areas of the history of ideas, Southern Cone literature, Judeo-Latin American literature, Mexican literature, theater, and performance, Latin American modernismo, colonial and transatlantic discourses, Central American transnational cultures, U.S. Latinidades, Quechua language and indigenous literatures, Caribbean-Archipelagic poetics/politics, salsa and sabor, Brazilian cinema, Lusophone Africa and African diaspora studies, deconstruction of the Cuban Revolution, and contemporary reinscriptions of the nineteenth century.


Faculty members in the area of Spanish literature are recognized for their work in the history of the Spanish language and philology from the Middle Ages to the present, Medieval historiography and women narratives, Golden Age poetics, Cervantes and Quevedo traditions, revisions of the Enlightenment, romanticism (journalism and costumbrismo) and realism (philosophical traditions), modern and postmodern narrative and poetics, as well as representations of the Spanish Civil War and exile, particularly in Latin America.


The Department is also at the forefront of Spanish Applied Linguistics, language teaching pedagogy, language teacher education, language use and identity, social and political issues in foreign language teaching and learning, instructional technology, learner variables and learning disabilities, language for specific purposes, cross-cultural communication, and heritage language learning.



The Department of Spanish and Portuguese seeks to forge a strong dialogue between, and within, our areas of specialization pertaining to Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. To that end, we offer thorough instruction in the diverse, complex, and globalized literatures, cultures, and linguistics of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world. Our students not only develop the critical language skills to communicate in the target language but also gain an understanding of the cultures, politics, histories, and literatures of the communities and national spaces of the Americas, Spain and Portugal.


Our goal is to foster learning and thought, develop critical perspectives, and promote intellectual growth in our students. We teach across interdisciplinary fields such as literature, film, popular and visual culture, theatre, history, philosophy, critical theory, gender and queer studies, philology, and linguistics in different cultural and geographic contexts. We strive for the creation and discussion of new forms of knowledge and the effective engagement of our students and faculty with the world. We prepare students to become promising professionals in their chosen careers.


Our M.A. and Ph.D. graduates are mentored by our faculty, engage in substantive research projects, and benefit from rigorous training in the teaching skills required by the profession. They are prepared to meet the professional demands of highly competitive academic positions in the United States and Latin America.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation: The letters of recommendation must be in English or notarized translation.
  • Writing Sample: A research paper written in Spanish, uploaded to the Upload Requirements section of the application.
  • Interview may be required (in person/by phone)

In addition to Graduate School requirements, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in Spanish Language and Literature, or the equivalent in a related field with near native fluency in the written and spoken language.

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website:

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
17 Jan
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
17 Jan

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

Thesis or Non-thesis option: 30 credits

Students can specialize in either Spanish Literature, Latin American Literature, or Hispanic Applied Linguistics. For either option, students must also pass three comprensive exams and pass a language exam. All students must submit a scholarly paper in their final semester of the program.

Spanish Literature or Latin American Literature:


Linguistics course (3 credits)

Literary theory and/or criticism course (3 credits)

Non-major literature courses (9 credits)

Non-thesis option: Spanish Literature or Latin American Literature courses (15 credits)

Thesis option: Spanish Literature or Latin American Literature courses (9 credits); SPAN 799: Master's Thesis Research

Hispanic Applied Linguistics:


Hispanic Applied Linguistics courses (12 credits)

Literature courses (9 credits)

Non-thesis option: SPAN 798: Final Project (3 credits); Electives (6 credits)

Thesis option: SPAN 799: Master's Thesis Research (6 credits); Electives (3 credits)


The Department offers three areas of specialization within the 30-credit MA: Spanish literature, Latin American literature, and Hispanic applied linguistics. All areas offer a non-thesis option and a thesis option, and all include a comprehensive examination. A one-credit course in methodology is required of all teaching assistants.

Literature tracks: The non-thesis option includes three credits in linguistics; three credits in literary theory and/or criticism; fifteen credits in either Spanish or Latin American literature, one of which is to be considered the candidate's main field; and nine credits in the other or 'non-major' literature. Students must also submit a written scholarly paper in the final semester of their program which will be read and evaluated by at least two appropriate faculty members. Students who choose to write a thesis must meet the same criteria stated above, except that the course requirement in the 'major' literature is reduced from fifteen to nine credits with six hours of thesis research credit required.

Hispanic applied linguistics track: The non-thesis option includes twelve credits in Hispanic applied linguistics, nine credits in literature, six credits in elective courses, and three credits in a final project. Students who choose to write a thesis must meet the same criteria stated above, with six thesis credits replacing course/project credits.

See the website of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for more details:


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Core Requirements

Doctoral students are required to complete 36 credits of coursework in addition to 12 credits of SPAN 899: Doctoral Dissertation Research. Students must also pass the comprehensive exam, a language reading exam, and the dissertation proposal and defense.

Required coursework includes:

• Two courses in the secondary area

• A graduate course in the History of the Spanish Language

• A minimum of one course in literary and/or criticism


The doctoral degree is a research and specialized degree and the Graduate School does not require a fixed number of credit hours. However, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese requires a total of 36 credits. Before admission to candidacy, the student must demonstrate:

  1. a thorough knowledge of the literary production in the chosen area (Spanish or Spanish-American Literature);
  2. an in-depth knowledge of the field of specialization;
  3. proficiency in at least one field of the others Hispanic literatures;
  4. a reading knowledge of a language other than Spanish and English, to be used as a research tool in the field of specialization;
  5. one course in linguistics, such as 'History of the Spanish Language';
  6. a minimum of one course in Literary Theory and/or Criticism;
  7. acquaintance with a third literature (e.g. Luso-Brazilian, French, or English); and
  8. a background in supporting fields to be used as research tools (e.g. history, philosophy, political science, sociology, or art). Students must pass a comprehensive examination, a translation exam (in a language other than English and Spanish), have their dissertation proposal approved for admission to candidacy, and defend a dissertation.


Facilities and Special Resources

In addition to the resources of the University libraries, students have easy access to the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and other Washington-based libraries and archives. National Archives-II, located on University grounds, is readily accessible to the Campus community. Dr. Sosnowski is the founder and editor of the literary journal Hispamerica. The graduate students publish Animal de fondo.

In association with the Latin American Studies Center, the Department promotes original initiatives on Latin American topics. Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Professors are an integral part of our academic program. Also the Department hosts Juan Ramón Jiménez Distinguished Lectures and Seminars Series and the José Emilio Pacheco Distinguished Series. In recent years, our faculty has been the recipient of major grants and fellowships from The Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance in the form of fellowships and assistantships is available for qualified applicants.



For additional information regarding the PhD or MA in literature please contact:
Dr. Ryan Long, Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
3215 Jimenez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-405-2298


For information regarding the MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics please contact:Dr. Manel Lacorte, Associate Professor

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
2202 Jimenez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-405-8233


For general inquiries please contact:Josiland Chambers

Graduate Coordinator
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
1104 Jimenez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-405-4023


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MD, 20742

Telephone: 1 (301) 405-6441


Associated Information





Spanish in Maryland; Spanish in Washington, DC; PhD in Spanish; MA and PhD in Spanish; MA and PhD in Spanish/Peninsular literature; applied linguistics; Latin American Literature, MA and PhD in Latin American Literature


American Studies (AMST)

Comparative Literature (CMLT)

English Language and Literature (ENGL)

Second Language Acquisition (SLPH)

Theatre and Performance Studies (THPF)

Women's Studies (WMST)