GRADUATE STUDIES

MA in Hispanic Studies

EARN A MASTERS DEGREE WHILE ACQUIRING VALUABLE TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND GETTING PAID!!!

Would you like to know more about AfroHispanic, Lantinx, Latin American, and Iberian literatures and cultures? Would you like to obtain a degree that allows you to perfect your Spanish, gain valuable teaching experience, and work in a variety of fields such as education, government, 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 Spanish offers a comprehensive overview of the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world with a special concentration in Afro-Hispanic Studies. Our students take a wide variety of literary, cultural, linguistics, and teaching methodology courses taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty. Over the course of the two-year program, students usually take three graduate seminars each semester. Some of these courses cover professional issues; these include our seminar on language-teaching pedagogy and our introduction to literary and cultural analysis. Most of the coursework, however, focuses on the study of gender and race in the Hispanic world from different thematic and theoretical perspectives.

One 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 Afro-Latinx 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 of ca. $16,000 after taxes 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.

Degree Requirements

The MA degree requires a minimum of 30 credits (ca. 10 seminars) of graduate-level courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Under certain circumstances, some of these courses may be taken in other departments, but no fewer than 24 credits (ca. 8 seminars) must be earned in courses offered by the Spanish program, and at least 15 credits (ca. 5 seminars) must be taken in Spanish seminars at the 8000 level. A thesis, with a maximum of six hours of credit or a critical essay, with a maximum of three hours of credit, are optional. Normally, students complete the Masters program in two academic years (four semesters).

At the end of their second year in residence, candidates for the MA degree must pass comprehensive written and oral final examinations based on course work and an individualized reading list.

Financial Support and Teaching Assistantships

Incoming graduate students are normally offered paid positions as Teaching Assistants. Students who hold teaching assistantships (TA-ships) must fulfill two sets of requirements:

  1. The TA-ship is a form of financial support and is subject to an independent set of 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.

Teaching assistants (TAs) are normally appointed for one academic semester and automatically renewed for the following three semesters of study when teaching and progress toward the degree are satisfactory. Appointments after the second year may be available in special cases, depending upon the SLLC needs and resources. The TA-ship provides a stipend of approximately $1,600 per month after tax over the 9 months in which semesters are in session (mid August ­ mid May) In addition, TAs do not pay tuition for courses taken toward the MA. Most students find that this funding is enough to cover their costs while living in Columbia. To see more details on our students' health insurance, click here.

The Graduate School offers several valuable fellowships for which the SLLC may nominate incoming students. In addition, the SLLC offers competitive grants to support graduate students’ professional development. Click here for more information on Graduate School financials.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

1. An undergraduate BA degree (or its equivalent) in Spanish (or a related field) from an accredited college or university, awarded by the time you begin the MA program in August of 2015.

2. An average grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on the last 60 credit hours of the undergraduate course of study. The transcripts of international students are assessed differently on a country-by-country basis. In general, your coursework should have been graded “good” or “above average.”

3. Excellent language skills in Spanish.

4. International students must submit either a TOEFL or a IELTS test score. This score must not only meet minimum requirements for university admission, but must also show a very strong score in the ‘speaking’ category.

5. The GRE is not required for application.

6. The Spanish section of the School reserves the right to evaluate the work presented for admission and to determine how the student may make up for any background deficiencies.

Application and Admissions Process For Domestic Students

For domestic students, there are two parts to the application process:

  1. an application to the SLLC, which is due on February 15th, 2020 for students intending to begin their studies the ensuing fall semester, and determines whether a student will be accepted into the Spanish MA program; and
  2. an application to the MU Graduate School, which determines whether a student has met the requirements for admission to the university.

The Spanish program's acceptance decision is made before the Graduate School's. It is therefore in the student's interest to submit the departmental application by February 15th, and to submit the Graduate School application shortly thereafter.

1. Applicants should first submit an application directly to the SLLC. Applications are available in both Word and PDF formats in the box just to the right. Only one format needs to be completed. This application may either be sent by post or (preferably) by e-mail. This application includes three letters of recommendation, which should be sent directly to the department (see addresses below).

The Spanish program begins accepting applications on February 15th each year. Applications received by this first deadline will be eligible for additional university-level grants. Applications received after February 15 will only be reviewed as spaces become available in the program.

2. Upon their acceptance to the Spanish program, applicants should then apply for admission to the University of Missouri Graduate School. Click here for information for prospective graduate students. Please note that the Graduate School permits you to upload unofficial copies of your university transcripts yourself, but that 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 an application fee.

Application and Admissions Process For International Students

For domestic students, there are two parts to the application process:

  1. an application to the department, which is due on February 15th for students intending to begin their studies the ensuing fall semester, and determines whether a student will be accepted into the Spanish MA program; and
  2. an application to the MU Graduate School, which determines whether a student has met the requirements for admission to the university.

The Spanish program's acceptance decision is made before the Graduate School's. It is therefore in the student's interest to submit the departmental application by February 15th, and to submit the Graduate School application immediately thereafter.

1. Applicants should first submit an application directly to the department. Applications are available in both Word and PDF formats in the box just to the right. Only one format needs to be completed. This application may either be sent by post or (preferably) by e-mail. This application includes three letters of recommendation, which should be sent directly to the department (see addresses below).

The first deadline for applications to the Spanish program is February 15. Applications received by this first deadline will be eligible for additional university-level grants. Applications received after February 15 will only be reviewed as spaces become available in the program.

2. Applicants should then apply for admission to the University of Missouri Graduate School. 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; before beginning your application, ­you should start at this helpful website.

Do not hesitate to contact either the director of graduate studies in Spanish or the Graduate School if you encounter problems.

Please note:

Timeline: It is very important that you submit your application to the Graduate School as soon as possible. The Graduate School processes thousands of applications each spring, and does so in the order in which completed applications are received. It can take several weeks for the final visa documents to be produced, and you can only contact your embassy to make an appointment after these visa documents are produced. After this, it can take several weeks for your embassy to grant the visa. We are usually successful in moving our students through the visa process, but delayed cases can be very stressful.

We therefore strongly recommend submitting the Graduate School application by February 15, or as soon thereafter as possible. Please note that it is also possible to submit applications much earlier.

Transcripts: You must contact your university and have official transcripts sent directly from your university to the MU Graduate School. If your university refuses to mail the document and insists upon delivering it to you instead, then you must receive these documents in a sealed envelope with stamps across the seal, and you must put this envelope in a second envelope and send this directly to the Graduate School (see address below). Graduate applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all transcripts for their application to be considered. Please provide official transcripts to the Graduate School as soon as possible.

Many international students are concerned about the fact that their transcripts do not show that they have completed the BA degree. Please do not be concerned: If you will complete all coursework required for the BA degree by the end of July in the year you are beginning MA studies, then you are on schedule, and your transcript will be accepted. You will be able to submit a copy of your diploma upon arrival to Columbia or shortly thereafter.

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required for the department application (but none are required for the Graduate School application).

Although the Graduate School allows you to upload letters of recommendation through their internet application software, please have your letters sent directly to the department instead (see addresses below).

TOEFL or IELTS test scores: The TOEFL (or IELTS) score is an important part of your application. You must submit a TOEFL (or IELTS) score with your application to the Graduate School. You must have taken this test within the past 24 months. If you have not yet taken the TOEFL (or IELTS) test, please register to take this test as soon as possible. Your admission cannot be processed without this test score.

Affidavit of Support: This is a document that is required for the visa application and is designed to prove that you have the financial resources available to cover the cost of studying in the US. The estimated cost (which can be found here) is ca. $31,000 per year. As a TA, much of this cost is covered: (ca. $16,000 after taxes) because TAs don’s pay tuition and because you will be earning a salary. Therefore, you will only need to show support of about $6,000.

Typically, this affidavit is submitted by a student’s parents, who must also submit a bank statement showing that they have ca. $6,000 in a bank account.

Any student having difficulties producing this document should contact the department as soon as possible; in some cases, alternative arrangements may be possible.

Application Fee: The Graduate School requires an application fee. In some instances, the SLLC will be able to pre-pay the admission fee for international applicants, with the relevant amount ($90.00) then deducted from the graduate student's first paycheck. In order to determine whether an applicant is eligible for this option, the completed SLLC application should be sent directly to SLLC in advance of application to the Graduate School.

 

 

Contact

Seth Howes, howesw@missouri.edu, Interim Director of Graduate Studies

Mar Soria, soriam@missouri.edu, Associate Professor of Spanish