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.

Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. We consider these uploaded transcripts to be “unofficial” as they are submitted by the applicant. Transcripts from both degree and non-degree coursework provide the admissions committee a more complete picture of academic preparation for graduate study. Only transcripts that have been uploaded to the application by the student are required for the application review. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required at that time to submit official final transcripts (transcripts that have been submitted directly to Georgetown University by the institution) for verification prior to enrolling. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.

  • Step 1: Request a copy of your official transcript from your institution.
  • Step 2: Upload the transcript to your application. 

An acceptable transcript is a copy of an official transcript produced by the institution. This includes:

  • Scanned copies of paper transcripts issued by the institution
  • Electronic transcripts issued by the institution (not a download from your institution’s web portal)

We do not accept screen shots or photos, and we do not accept downloads of the “student’s view” from your institution’s website. 

  • International Transcripts: Applicants who have attended institutions outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to upload their transcripts in the form of World Education Services (WES) ICAP evaluations or may utilize other credential evaluation services that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Applicants should upload this evaluation directly to the application. If the evaluation does not include a copy of the transcripts that were evaluated, applicants must upload both the transcripts from the institution and the credential evaluation as one document to the application. Note: Some programs require a credential evaluation (WES or similar) for international transcripts. Please review the program admission requirements to determine if a credential evaluation is required.
  • For transcripts not in English: These documents must be accompanied by an English language version provided by the academic institution. If your institution does not provide English language copies, applicants are responsible for providing a certified or notarized translation along with a copy of the original transcripts. Applicants may upload an evaluation from a credential evaluation service. This must include course and grade information. If not included in the evaluation, the transcript from the institution must be included as well. Both the evaluation and original transcript should be submitted in the application as one document.
  • Study Abroad and/or Transfer Coursework: If your undergraduate transcripts contain study abroad courses and/or transfer credits showing grades earned, you do NOT need to list these institutions separately or upload transcripts.  If courses are not listed on your primary institution’s transcript or the transfer courses do not show course grades, please list the institution(s) separately and upload the transcript(s).
  • If an offer of admission is granted and accepted, admitted students will be required to submit final official transcripts from all institutions where a degree has been earned and other institutions as designated in their admissions letter. Additional details for which can be reviewed on our admitted students page. Georgetown University reserves the right to request any missing transcripts or an official copy of a transcript at any point during the application and/or admission process. Georgetown University also reserves the right to withdraw any offer of admission already made if there is any discrepancy between a transcript uploaded in the application and the final official transcript that is received.
  • For more information, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Transcripts FAQ page.

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.