Spanish M.A. Program

The Spanish Program at the University of Arkansas offers a balanced course of study leading to a Master of Arts degree. Graduate students take courses primarily in Iberian and Latin American literature and culture. The program also offers courses in second-language teaching methodology as well as technology-enhanced pedagogy. Our M.A. provides a solid preparation for students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. or wish to teach at the community college or secondary levels. Its comprehensive curriculum also provides a sound base for a career in education, government, or social services.

With a low student-faculty ratio (5-to-1), our well-trained faculty provide support and mentoring to a small body of graduate students. Incoming candidates are offered workshops on how to succeed in academia (i.e. how to research, write, present, and publish papers). The program's extracurricular activities, such as the Tertulia and the Cineclub, provide a strong sense of community and collegiality. Although the University of Arkansas does not offer a Ph.D. specifically in Spanish, the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies program offers a Ph.D. that includes, among other options, a concentration in Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies.

Options for the M.A. in Spanish

Students pursuing the M.A. degree in Spanish will choose to follow one of two concentrations. The first concentration is a traditional M.A. in Hispanic Literature and Culture with a strong emphasis on literary analysis and cultural theory with coursework covering the intellectual and literary histories of the Hispanic world. This concentration is recommended for students likely to pursue work towards a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies after the completion of the M.A.

The second concentration, M.A. in Hispanic Language, Literature and Culture, provides a broad preparation in the literatures and cultures of the Hispanic world (Spain, Latin America, and U.S. Latino) complemented by coursework in second language learning methodologies and technology in the teaching Spanish at the college level.  While the second language-learning concentration can serve as preparation for teaching at the secondary level, or in community and liberal arts colleges, it can also provide preparation on a pathway to doctoral studies in applied linguistics. 

The program normally takes two years to complete.  Upon admission to the program, students are advised by the Graduate Studies Director on the coursework to be required based on the student’s choice of concentration and available course offerings. At the end of the program, students must present written and oral comprehensive examinations on the student’s coursework and covering five of the eight areas of study. Detailed program descriptions, including reading lists and examination procedures, are available on the department’s website.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships provide valuable teaching experience for graduate students. The program offers teaching assistantships to nearly every qualified applicant accepted into the program. Teaching assistants teach two courses per semester with funding for two years contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree and satisfactory teaching evaluations. They receive a stipend plus tuition remission for as many as 10 graduate credit hours per semester.

Teaching assistants enroll in the first semester in a mandatory course that provides training in both the theory and practice of teaching. Summer teaching is often available, but not guaranteed. Summer teaching assignments are determined by seniority and the strength of teaching evaluations. The relatively small size of the Spanish graduate program allows students to experience the collegiality of a department in which good teaching is valued and appreciated. 

Information on applying for a teaching assistantship.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.A. program in Spanish requires a Bachelor of Arts degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution with suitable preparation in Spanish. Individuals interested in a Teaching Assistantship should submit an application for Graduate Assistantship form to the Department of World Languages by February 1. In addition to the Graduate School application requirements, please submit the additional required materials in your Application Portal. Applications cannot be evaluated until these items are completed and uploaded.

  • Statement of Purpose (upload as a Statement of Purpose in the material upload list in the Application Portal):  Include why you wish to study a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literature and Culture or in Hispanic Language, Literature and Culture and what career(s) you hope to pursue with your graduate degree.
  • Written Sample in Spanish: Applicants must send an academic paper, demonstrating ability to write critically in Spanish and conduct research (5-10 pages, or B.A. thesis chapter if written in Spanish).
  • Interview in Spanish: Applicants will be asked to participate in an interview in Spanish to demonstrate oral proficiency and general preparation for graduate studies in the humanities. The applicants will be contacted on an individual basis regarding this requirement.

English Requirements

Tests and Minimum Scores for ENROLLMENT

Non-native English speakers applying to enroll in the program must present the following satisfactory scores (defined by the University Graduate School):

PTE-A Pearson Test of English


TOEFL Internet-Based 


IELTS Academic 




C1 Advanced CAE (Cambridge Assessment English)



Tests and Minimum Scores for TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS

In addition to the English proficiency requirement to enroll in this program, applicants seeking Teaching Assistantships are required to demonstrate their competency by completing one of the two methods below:

1) Spoken English

PTE-A Pearson Test of English - Academic (Speaking sub-test)


TOEFL Internet-Based (Speaking sub-test)


IELTS Academic (Speaking sub-test)


iTEP (Speaking sub-test)


C1 Advanced CAE (Speaking sub-test)


Spoken Language Proficiency Test



2) Written English

PTE-A Pearson Test of English - Academic (Writing sub-test)


TOEFL Internet-Based (Writing sub-test)


IELTS Academic (Writing sub-test)


GRE General Test (Analytical Writing sub-test)


Graduate Management Admission Test (Analytical Writing sub-test)


iTEP (Writing sub-test)


C1 Advanced CAE (Writing sub-test)



Graduate Advisor: Dr. Rachel TenHaaf

TA Advisor: Dr. Brenda Magnetti