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About the Graduate Program

The Master’s Program in Spanish is designed to prepare students for a career in teaching, and to further the professional development of those working in the fields of second language acquisition, heritage language education, and foreign language education.  It is also intended for those students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Latin American and/or Spanish literary and cultural studies and Spanish linguistics.

DLO 1: Evaluate central concepts, issues, and debates in the field of Spanish linguistics.

DLO 2: Develop knowledge and skills necessary to teach Spanish courses using up-to-date approaches, techniques, and technologies.

DLO 3: Apply knowledge and skills in linguistics to critically analyze bilingual/bicultural situations and contexts.

DLO 4: Evaluate Spanish and Spanish American literary texts in their historical and social contexts.

DLO 5: Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of Spanish and Spanish American literary texts.

Program Requirements

The program consists of a set of required core courses (18 units), which are meant to provide the foundation for the more specialized elective courses (12 units) included in the Master’s curriculum. Students are advised to meet with the graduate adviser early in their studies on order to match their interests with the best possible set of electives.

Students must complete an approved graduate program of at least 30 units to include:

Required Core Courses
  • SPAN 601: Seminar in Hispanic Literary Theory (3 units)
  • SPAN 602: Foundations and Research Methods in Hispanic Linguistics (3 units)
  • SPAN 661: Issues in the Study of Spanish Bilingualism (3 units)
  • SPAN 770: Applied Spanish Linguistics for Teachers (3 units)
Six units selected from
  • SPAN 603: Early Modern Hispanic Literature (3 units)
  • SPAN 604:  Spanish Literature: Eighteenth to Twentieth Century (3 units)
  • SPAN 606: Spanish American Literature: Independence to Present (3 units)
12 units of electives selected in consultation with the graduate adviser
All candidates must demonstrate a knowledge of Portuguese by passing an examination administered by the department or by completing one semester of Portuguese.

Graduate students have the option of writing a thesis or taking an exit exam.

Graduate students who elect Plan B (Comprehensive Examination) rather than Plan A (Thesis), are required to pass a final examination.

Exams are offered twice a year, approximately two weeks before final exams week in the fall and spring. The exact dates are announced before the end of the third week of class each semester by the department chair. The exam is administered over two days; each day shall consist of 2 three-hour blocks with an hour lunch break in between.

The exam is divided into four areas:  (A) Spanish Linguistics and Research Methods, (B) Bilingualism and Language Teaching, (C) Peninsular Literature, and (D) Spanish American Literature; one day will be devoted to linguistics (areas A and B) and one to literature (areas C and D).

The complete Guide to the Master's Program for the Department of Spanish & Portuguese can be found online. It is recommended that you read the entire handbook, which includes a more detailed account of the program.


Many graduate students receive financial assistance from a variety of federal, state and university sources.

The department offers Teaching Associate (TA) positions to qualified graduate students. Students in the program also have the opportunity to assist faculty in their research through Graduate Assistantships (GAs).  Visit our Information for TAs and GAs page.

For information on other funding opportunities, please visit the Graduate Studies funding page.  



Dr. Lauren Schmidt

Office: AL 119 | Email: [email protected]


Quick Links

SDSU Catalog | SDSU Class Schedule | College of Graduate Studies | Guide to the M.A. Program