M.A. Degree


Our department offers two specializations: Hispanic Linguistics or Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures. For detailed information about each specialization and its requirements, reading list, and comprehensive examination, review our Graduate Student Handbook and Degree Requirements.

Advising and Mentorship

Our department believes that mentoring is a key aspect of a graduate student's experience. As students are admitted to the program they will be assigned a mentor/counselor for their first year. Their mentor will advise them about their degree requirements and encourage their professional development.

General Requirements

  • Enrollment: 12 units per quarter for full-time status; 6 units or fewer per quarter for part-time status. (All employed students and student receiving fellowships are expected to enroll in 12 units of course work.)
  • Grades: A grade average of B or better must be maintained in courses taken for the degree. On receipt of a grade of C or lower in any course, a candidate will be warned. A second grade of C or lower will be regarded as grounds for disqualification.

Comprehensive Examinations

The M.A. exam will be taken no later than the end of the 6th quarter of graduate work. The exam is composed by the faculty in the area of specialization. The exam committee is determined by the Graduate Program Committee.  Oral exam committees will consist of three professors from the department who administer the exam.

The M.A. exam contains two parts:

  • 8-hour written exam (Both Literature and Linguistics students)
  • 1-hour oral exam (Literature students only)

The exam is based on the M.A. Reading List. Students are responsible for all texts on the reading list, although probably not all will be covered on the exam due to time constraints. Students are encouraged to look at two previous exams which are available from the graduate program assistant.

There is available a list of suggested critical readings to accompany the M.A. Reading List. These readings are not required, but are provided to guide students in preparing for the exam. Students should also consult professors for guidance and assistance in preparing for the exam.

Completion Schedule

The minimum residence requirement for a Masters degree is three regular quarters of full-time enrollment (12 units per quarter). Two six-week summer sessions may be counted as the equivalent of one regular quarter for purposes of satisfying this requirement. A minimum of two units must be taken in each summer session. Typically, students complete the program in two years.