Graduate Studies

SPANISH GRADUATE PROGRAM

In the Spanish Graduate progam at Mizzou, abrimos puertas. Doors to connecting with 500 million Spanish speakers in 20+ countries worldwide, doors to 1 in 7 of your neighbors right here in the US, doors to professional opportunities at home and abroad, doors to discovering a new you.

Our program gives you the keys to unlock all your potential. With dynamic pedagogy, diverse academic and extracurricular offerings, and high-quality interdisciplinary education, we ensure that you live the language, literature, and culture of the Hispanic world inside and outside of the classroom.

Come join us and open the door to a world of intellectual enrichment and discovery. 

 

MA & MALT in Romance languages in Spanish

The School of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures offers two Master’s of Arts programs in Spanish: The MA in Romance Languages in Spanish  (MA in Hispanic Studies) and the MA in Language Teaching (MALT). The MA in Romance Languages in Spanish focuses on Hispanic studies (literature, culture, and their pedagogy), while the MALT specializes in teaching Spanish as a second language. 

All students in both masters take an array of cultural studies, literary, teaching methods, and linguistics coursework to offer thorough pedagogic and academic preparation for the job market. Here is a description of the programs' Plan of study and Requirements.

Take a look at these flyers: MA Hispanic Studies and MALT.

If admitted, new students will enjoy the benefits of:

  • engagement and interchange with a rich, diverse graduate student body with graduate students from Latin America, Africa, and Europe.
  • a multi-disciplinary curriculum of course options emphasizing culture, media, film studies, linguistics, teaching methodologies, pedagogy, literature in context, and language.
  • a specialized selection of courses on contemporary issues of the day in a the Hispanic world and beyond
  • the joy of instruction at different levels of Spanish
  • several endowed fellowship options for Spanish graduate students: the Wilkins fellowships and the Campbell endowment to fund interesting research and exploratory initiatives.
  • the "Programa de mentores," either by receiving advice and guidance from current MA students if you are new to the program or/and by being a mentor to new incoming MA students
  • the "Programa "'Llegamos juntos'", by getting to know your cohort before you come to campus
  • an array of extra-curricular opportunities: the Spanish Theater Club, the Hispanic Heritage Month, the Language Partners program, Conversation groups, etc.
  • participating in the SLLC Colloquium Series, where students present research topics
  • participating in the School's Afro-Romance Institute, the first and only of its kind in the United States
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MA in Romance Languages in Spanish

Would you like to know more about AfroHispanic, Latinx, Latin American, and Spanish Iberian literatures and cultures? Would you like to obtain a degree that allows you to

  • teach, both in the United States and abroad
  • study a PhD in Hispanic Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Second-Language Acquisition
  • work in a variety of fields such as education, law, government, hospitality, the health professions, and international business?

If so, you’ve come to the right place, a place where you would earn such a degree while getting paid teaching at the university. 

Housed in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (SLLC), our two-year MA program in Hispanic Studies offers a comprehensive overview of the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world with a special concentration in Afro-Hispanic Studies. Our students attend a wide variety of literary, cultural, linguistics, and teaching methodology classes taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty. Much of the coursework focuses on the study of gender and race in the Hispanic world from different thematic and theoretical perspectives. We also offer special pedagogy courses in which we teach you how to teach the literature and culture of the Hispanic world.

pOne of the highlights of our program is its concentration in Afro-Hispanic literature and culture. Our dynamic faculty research and teach courses on topics such as 19th-century Cuban anti-slavery narrative, contemporary Latin-American and Spanish Women writers, Hispanic literature and film, the cultural representation of black people in Spain, and contemporary Afro-Cuban writers. The School is also home to the Afro-Romance Institute, the nation’s first center devoted to Afro-Romance Studies. The Institute provides an excellent source of interdisciplinary scholarly growth for our graduate students who are encouraged to attend and participate actively in its activities.

The Spanish MA program also encourages opportunities for interdisciplinary learning within the School, by taking graduate courses offered by faculty experts in German, French, and Russian, and also in other departments such as History, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Black Studies. In addition, we are also proud to host the School’s First Student Symposium, a graduate student-organized event that showcases artistic and scholarly presentations by Modern Languages undergraduate and graduate students in the Midwest.

Our MA candidates usually teach in our undergraduate Spanish language program as TAs (teaching assistants) and receive a stipend as well as health insurance coverage. The development of pedagogical skills is also an important aspect of the MA curriculum. Students are supported in their teaching through coursework in pedagogy as well as sustained individual and group mentoring. In addition to making the MA program very affordable, the TA program also has the benefit of fostering close cooperation between the members of each MA cohort in Spanish and in other languages.

Check this MA program's requirements and plan of study in the link on the right side of this webpage under "PDF DOCUMENTS."

MA in Language Teaching in Spanish

Are you interested in learning how to teach Spanish? Would you like to investigate how students learn a second language? Our two-year MA program in Language Teaching in Spanish degree allows you to

  • teach, both in the United States and abroad
  • study a PhD in Hispanic Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Second-Language Acquisition
  • work in a variety of fields such as education, law, government, hospitality, the health professions, and international business

Housed in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (SLLC), our two-year MA program in Language Teaching in Spanish (MALT) combines rigorous coursework and hands-on teaching experiences that will prepare you to excel in your future career as a Spanish teacher. Our program offers a personalized learning experience in which faculty work closely with students to deepen their understanding of the Spanish language, teaching methods, second language acquisition, and the Hispanic literatures and cultures. In our program, MALT students follow a culturally responsive and learner-centered pedagogy which equips them to meet the needs of a diverse student body in the classroom.

Our MA candidates usually teach in our undergraduate Spanish language program as TAs (teaching assistants) and receive a stipend as well as health insurance coverage. The development of pedagogical skills is also an important aspect of the MA curriculum. Students are supported in their teaching through coursework in pedagogy as well as sustained individual and group mentoring. In addition to making the MA program very affordable, the TA program also has the benefit of fostering close cooperation between the members of each MA cohort in Spanish and in other languages.

Check this MA program's requirements and plan of study in the link on the right side of this webpage under "PDF DOCUMENTS."

Department deadline: February 1st
(Earlier applications are welcome. The Admissions Committee will start reviewing applications on January 15th. Late applications will be also considered but those submitted before February 1st will be given preference.)
Requirements for Admission*
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in field of major
  • Masters applicants must have a bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum English Proficiency Test scores (international applicants)
  • Excellent language skills in Spanish. A good command of English.

*The GRE is not required to apply.

Documents to upload in your online application at the Graduate School before February 1st:
  • 10-15 page writing sample in Spanish
  • 500-word Statement of Purpose
  • 3 letters of recommendation in English or Spanish, submitted through the online application
  • Résumé or CV
  • English Proficiency Test scores (international applicants only)*
  • Photocopies of diplomas earned at colleges/universities outside the US (international applicants only)

*In cases of economic hardship, coupons covering the cost of the Duolingo English test may be available.

Regarding the Statement of Purpose: The admissions committee is interested in your past academic and teaching interests, especially those related to the MA program you're applying to, such as specific papers and projects and/or classes you have taught. You should also explain what you wish to accomplish as a graduate student and why you are interested in pursuing a particular master program in this department.

The Spanish admissions committee reserves the right to evaluate the work presented for admission and to determine how the student may make up for any background deficiencies.

Financial Support and Teaching Assistantships

Some incoming graduate students are offered paid positions as Teaching Assistants, with the initial one-year appointment renewable for a second academic year. Those MA applicants applying by or before the due date will have preference in receiving a TAship.

As a form of financial support, the TAship is subject to guidelines established by the university: each student holding a TA-ship must be actively pursuing a graduate degree, must be in good standing, and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. 

Minimum salaries for 0.5 TA appointments are listed at the Graduate School website. In addition to an insurance premium subsidy, TAships at .5 FTE (half-time) carry with them a tuition waiver, meaning that students do not pay tuition for courses taken toward the MA. The TA-ship also provides a monthly stipend during the regular academic year (September to May), which most students find is enough to cover their costs while living in Columbia. Finally, the department offers competitive grants for travel and research materials, in order to support graduate students’ professional development.

Possible Fifth Semester of Support

In exceptional cases, students in good standing — with no grades of Incomplete and unproblematic teaching — may receive a fifth semester of support, at the discretion of the faculty and depending on budgetary and teaching needs. Students must submit all requests for a fifth semester of support in writing to the director of graduate studies. No student will receive more than five semesters of support.

Normal Teaching Load vs. Course Load

The normal teaching assignment for MA candidates holding instructorships is 3-6 credit hours (1 course/2 courses) per semester. Students teach one course during the first semester.

International students may never teach more than 8 hours (2 courses) per semester owing to visa restrictions.

All MA and MALT candidates must be registered in a minimum of 6 hours of course work for each semester in which they hold an instructorship.

Students may enroll in up to 6 hours per semester of 8080 (MA Examination) if they have completed their required course work and are preparing for their comprehensive examinations.

Domestic students need to apply to the MU Graduate School directly by February 1st, however, earlier applications are welcome (the Admissions Committee will start reviewing applications on January 15th). Late applications will be also considered but those submitted before February 1st will be given preference.

You can apply here.

Once the application is complete, the admissions committee determines whether a student has met the requirements for admission to the program. Applications received after February 1st will only be reviewed as spaces become available in the program.

Please note that the Graduate School permits you to upload unofficial copies of your university transcripts yourself. However, your admission to the University is contingent upon the Graduate School's receipt of official transcripts directly from your university's registrar. 

Application Fee: The Graduate School requires a $75 application fee. Students can upload their application without paying this fee, especially if they apply by January 15th. Those accepted in the program will have to pay this fee by February 15th for their application to be processed by the Graduate School.

International students need to apply to the MU Graduate School directly by February 1st, however, earlier applications are welcome (the Admissions Committee will start reviewing applications on January 15th). Late applications will be also considered but those submitted before February 1st will be given preference.

You can apply here.

Once the application is complete, the Spanish faculty determines whether a student has met the requirements for admission to the program. Applications received after February 1st will only be reviewed as spaces become available in the program.

The Graduate School permits you to upload unofficial copies of your university transcripts yourself. However, your admission to the University is contingent upon the Graduate School's receipt of official transcripts directly from your university's registrar.

Please note that the Graduate School application is more rigorous for international students because the Graduate School processes the documents required for visa applications, which usually ensures that students do not encounter problems when they apply for the visa. The Graduate School has attempted to streamline the process, and each international applicant is assigned to a International Advisor who can help you with the VISA process. Before beginning your application, ­you should start at this helpful website.

Do not hesitate to contact Mar Soria (soriam@missouri), the Director of Spanish Graduate Studies, or the Graduate School if you encounter problems.

Application Fee: The Graduate School requires a $100 application fee. Students can upload their application without paying this fee, especially if they apply by January 15th. Those accepted in the program will have to pay this fee by February 15th for their application to be processed by the Graduate School. In cases of economic hardship, the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures may be able to pay your application fee up front and deduct this amount from your first paycheck. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies to request this service.

Coursework

You can find a more detailed description of MA/MALT requirements and plan of study in the link on the right side of this webpage under "PDF DOCUMENTS."

Candidates for the MA and the MALT must complete a total of 30 credit hours at the graduate-level (7000 or above). At least 15 hours (5 courses) must be in courses at the 8000 level or above. In the MALT program, at least 15 hours (5 courses) must be in the target language (Spanish). In the MA program, at least 18 hours (6 courses) must be in the target language (Spanish).

Students are expected to complete the Master program in two academic years (four semesters).

At the end of their second year, candidates for the MA and MALT degree must pass comprehensive written final examinations based on course work and an individualized reading list. In lieu of the exams, a thesis, with a maximum of six hours of credit, is also possible.

Choosing an Advisor

All graduate students in the department may choose, or the director of graduate studies will assign them, an academic advisor at the start of their first semester of graduate study. Students must choose an academic advisor by the end of their first semester of graduate study.

Submitting Your Plan of Study to the Graduate School Office

MA candidates must submit a completed M-1 Plan of Study form to the Graduate School at least one semester before taking their MA examinations.

Annual Review

The Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish will meet with faculty during the fall and spring semesters to evaluate the teaching and academic performance of all graduate students. The Director of Graduate Studies informs all students in writing of their status at the end of each semester. Students who fail to remove a grade of Incomplete will be limited to teaching one course per semester for as long that grade of Incomplete remains on their academic record.

Master’s Thesis

The writing of a thesis is optional. A minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 6 hours of 8090 Research will be allowed for the thesis. Students are urged to obtain the Graduate School’s guidelines for thesis/dissertation writing as the thesis must conform to the Office of Graduate Studies' formatting and style specifications.

Thesis Committee

Students choosing to write a thesis must name a thesis committee consisting of no fewer than three members of the doctoral faculty at the University of Missouri, one of whom should be from a department other than SLLC.

Comprehensive Examination for the MA degree

All candidates for the Master of Arts degree must pass a 6-hour written examination based on the MA reading list. The examination is given twice a year, generally in late October and late March.

The French Master’s examination consists of six 1-hour parts covering literature of the Middle Ages/Renaissance, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and two of the following three periods in the contemporary period: twentieth century French Literature, twentieth century Francophone Literature, contemporary literary theory.

At least half the examination must be written in the candidate’s language of specialization.

Grading of the Comprehensive Exam

The MA examination is graded as follows: High Pass, Pass, and Fail. In order to receive a passing grade on any section of the examination, a student must receive passing grades from two thirds of the examining committee. To pass the entire examination, students must receive passing grades on all sections. With permission from the examining committee, students who fail part of the examination may retake only the failed section or sections of the examination. Two failures of the examination, in whole or in part, will terminate candidacy for the degree and result in dismissal from the program.

Discover here the beautiful facilities and buildings on campus.

Columbia (also know as CoMo) is a great city to live in. Check out this webpage with all the information you need to know about this welcoming city.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our applicants. If you still have any doubt, do not hesitate to contact Dawn Heston, the Director of Spanish Graduate Studies, at hestondm@missouri.edu.

Yes, we do accept international students and students who are not native Spanish speakers. Indeed, we've had students from many countries such as Ghana, Russia, Spain, Colombia, Peru, Brasil, and Mexico.

No. You don't need it.

Yes, we offer Teaching Assistantships for domestic and international students in both MA programs. We encourage students to apply to before February 1st to maximize their opportunities to receive a TAship.

Of course. Dawn Heston (hestondm@missouri.edu), the Director of Spanish Graduate Studies, we'll be happy to schedule a Zoom meeting with you to answer all your questions.

You do not need to wait until your degree is conferred to apply. You can present an unofficial copy of your transcripts. As long as you complete all of your degree requirements by the Fall you begin our program, it is OK. At that point, if your degree has not yet been conferred, we would need documentation stating that you have completed all degree requirements.

No. They can also be written in Spanish.

Definitely. Living in Columbia, MO is significantly cheaper than living in other areas in the US. Keep this in mind when you are comparing offers from other programs. We recommend that you look at a cost of living calculator to make an informed decision. Many are available free on the internet, and you can find some by Googling “cost of living calculator”.

In our experience, students can live comfortably (albeit frugally) on the teaching assistant stipend.

As of the school year 2021, MA students in Spanish holding a TAship have paid $1,500 per year in fees + $300 for the medical insurance if they use the insurance. If they do not use it, they don't have to pay those $300.

We especially encourage first-year MA students to have some savings to cover these costs at the beginning of their first semester.

TAs do not pay tuition for courses taken toward the MA. Most students find that the TA funding is enough to cover their costs while living in Columbia.

 

No. All incoming students need to start the program in Fall so that they can attend the necessary orientations before classes start.

The number of students accepted in the program varies from year to year depending on the type of applicants, funding availability, and departmental needs.

Students usually complete the program in four semesters (2 years).

The regular academic year consists of two semesters:

  • The fall semester runs from mid-August to mid-December. There is a one-week vacation in late November. Prior to the first semester, there are mandatory meetings, training sessions, and orientations, as well as paperwork that must be filed, etc. Therefore, we strongly recommend that students plan to arrive in Columbia by August 1st. This is particularly important for international students, who must complete additional steps for matriculation after arrival on campus.
  • The spring semester runs mid-January to mid-May with a one-week vacation for spring break in late March or early April. Again, there are mandatory meetings prior to the beginning of this semester and TAs must submit final grades before leaving for summer break. Students should not purchase tickets for travel away from Columbia until their TA supervisor has communicated this meeting schedule.