Frequently Asked Questions

  • All the information you need is available here online or on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. If you have a question not answered on these pages, you may email Dr. Ronald Leow (Linguistics) or Dr. Alejandro Yarza (Literature and Cultural Studies).

  • The Department offers an MS and a PhD in Spanish. Acceptance to the MS is much less competitive, but there is currently no funding available for students in the Master’s program. The Master’s program is a 2-year full-time program that requires completion of 11 courses with a minimum grade. Students in the PhD program usually receive funding for 5 years as long as they meet the requirements.

  • You can visit us at any time during the semester, but you don’t need to visit to be considered. We usually have a recruitment day in February.

  • Yes, applicants to the PhD program are not required to have a Master’s degree.

  • We have no explicit pre-requisite courses.

  • No, we receive applications from applicants with many different backgrounds.  A formal background in Spanish might strengthen an application, but it is not required to apply. In fact, we have graduate students with no prior Spanish coursework who have studied in fields such as creative writing, physics, or international studies.

  • Each applicant must submit an appropriate academic or professional writing sample in Spanish, e.g., a term paper, thesis, or professional article that demonstrates writing and analytical skills. We have no length requirement, but recommend that submissions be between 15 and 30 pages.

  • No, all materials are due no later than the application deadline. Once the application is submitted, it cannot be modified.

Yes, work supervisors are permitted to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf.

  • No, it is not necessary. However, if the institution is in Puerto Rico, please consult with the Graduate School admissions officer and give your prospective Director of Graduate Study a heads-up.

  • Doctoral students are required to demonstrate knowledge of two languages beyond Spanish and English. This requirement is satisfied once enrolled in the program; tuition related to the completion of this requirement is included in the fellowship.  Master’s students must demonstrate knowledge of one language beyond Spanish and English.

  • The Graduate Admissions Office needs two weeks to process application materials once they are received. 

  • No, all transcripts must be submitted in English and be accompanied by a translator notarization if not translated directly by the institution. We do not offer extensions; we do not offer conditional admission.

  • No, we welcome applications from all applicants irrespective of citizenship status.  The application requirements are the same for all applicants.

  • The Office of Global Services administers visa and immigration documents to students.  Please visit their website: and make sure that you understand and follow their instructions very carefully and timely.