Graduate Programs

Our two graduate programs, one in Linguistics and one in Literature and Cultural Studies, stress the development of analytical, scholarly, and creative abilities through small seminars; formal pedagogical training is also a key component. We are proud that our graduate students have gone on to contribute to the intellectual life of many major educational institutions in the United States and abroad.

The department works with The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (new window) and with Georgetown College (new window) to support new students entering our doctoral programs every year in literature and cultural studies and linguistics. All fellows entering the doctoral programs receive a stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver for five years. You can apply here (new window). Please note that to be eligible for a fellowship you must apply directly to the PhD Program. A previous MA or MS is not required to apply directly to the PhD program.

The department offers one of the nation’s most prominent and comprehensive programs in Hispanic Linguistics, with specializations in Bilingualism and Cognition, Synchronic and Diachronic Variation, Semantics, Syntax, Morphology and Phonology. Our program in Literature and Cultural Studies emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach, where attention to primary texts and critical theory is combined with emphasis on anthropological, historical, visual and philosophical perspectives so that students can develop their research skills to the fullest. Our faculty cover all traditional areas-Medieval, Early Modern, Modern Spain, Colonial Latin America, Modern Spanish America, Luso-Brazilian Studies, and Paleography, as well as less traditional or emerging fields: Ethnography, Transatlantic Studies, Studies of Spanish-speaking Africa and Asia, and a strong component in Film Studies.

We invite major writers and thinkers in the Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan languages to visit our campus, most often with invited lectures but also with visiting professorships when possible. Our students have access not only to the immense cultural wealth of Washington, DC, but also to the resources of our own library, those of the Washington Library Consortium, and to the Library of Congress. In addition, students may take courses through another local consortium that includes thirteen local universities. Our students are a truly international group: from the US, Colombia, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, China, Korea, Belarus, Serbia, and one Cuban American. We currently have 3 Healy fellows for students from underrepresented minorities.

The graduate program in Spanish offers programs of study leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in Spanish. Candidates for either degree may choose a program with an emphasis on either Hispanic literature and cultural studies or Spanish linguistics.

The Program in Literature and Cultural Studies in Spanish and Portuguese offers students a strong multidisciplinary approach in a range of literary periods and opportunities for research in the following fields: Colonial/Postcolonial Literature and Studies, Ethnography, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Luso-Brazilian Literature and Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Studies, Modern Latin American Literature and Culture, Modern Spanish Literature and Culture, and Transatlantic Studies.

The Spanish linguistics program, one of the strongest in the U.S., includes courses in applied linguistics, history/dialectology, phonology/morphology, syntax and semantics. The program is offered in close collaboration with the department of linguistics.

Graduate students are encouraged to present their work at scholarly meetings and to publish in refereed media, often in collaboration with faculty members. The department has had considerable success in placing its graduates in tenure-track jobs.