Hispanic Linguistics PhD Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the Hispanic Linguistics Doctorate Program!

The applicant must hold, or anticipate completing by the time of admission, an M.A. degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or the equivalent degree from a university outside the U.S., have a minimum grade point average of 3.4 on a 4-point scale in the M.A. in Spanish, and meet the general requirements of the Graduate College.

Procedure for consideration

External M.A. candidates

Please review our application checklist for prospective graduate students.

Application Checklist 

Internal M.A. candidates

For admission to the Ph.D. program all internal M.A. candidates who wish to continue for the Ph.D. at the University of Arizona will be considered by the Graduate Studies Committee to ensure equitable treatment for all students. In their deliberations, the Graduate Studies Committee will give strong consideration to the report of the student's M.A examination committee, which specifically addresses the student's potential as a Ph.D. candidate. The Graduate Studies Committee will also consider the student's academic record (GPA, course work) and any pertinent information from the student's file. The student must also provide the following:

  • Three letters of reference, at least one of which must be from a professor who did not serve on the student's M.A. examination committee
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of purpose written in Spanish by the student
  • A writing sample in Spanish
  • Graduate College Online Admission Application

This procedure will ensure that each student will be considered fully and fairly. Admittance into the program will not be solely dependent upon performance on an isolated examination. In addition, this process closely parallels that followed by all other incoming Ph.D. candidates. (approved by unanimous vote of the faculty on 5/4/95)


Upon entering the Ph.D. program, the student establishes their degree study program in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. The student must complete the following:

  • A diagnostic qualifying oral interview during the first semester of study.
  • 51 graduate units of course work (up to 15 units of course work may be transferred from the M.A.). A minimum of six units must be 600-level seminars.
  • Present reading knowledge of one foreign language, other than English or Spanish, appropriate to the field of specialization (see page 13 for detailed information regarding the foreign language requirement).
  • Pass a comprehensive examination, partly written and partly oral, which will include primary and secondary areas within the declared major field of study.
  • Complete 18 doctoral dissertation units, write and defend a dissertation.

In addition, all Graduate Associate Appointments (GAs) in Spanish and Portuguese are required to complete a language teaching methodology course (SPAN-581A) before or during their first semester of classroom teaching. This course counts as one of the student’s electives for the Ph.D.

During the first semester of studies at the University of Arizona, all incoming Ph.D. students participate in the diagnostic oral qualifying interview. Each student, working in collaboration with the Director of Graduate Studies, proposes two topics that represent knowledge in the relevant major and that reflect the student's academic preperation from the M.A. In addition, the student will submit a writing sample (that is, a Masters-level term paper written in Spanish)  to the Director of Graduate Studies no later than three weeks prior to the date of the Qualifying Oral Interview. The writing sample will be read by the members of the Qualifying Oral Interview and will be discussed with the student during the interview. The interview lasts a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two hours. The interview starts with a brief fifteen-minute presentation by the student on the two chosen topics. During the interview, the committee, established by the Graduate Studies Committee, will question the student on these topics. The purpose of this interview is to assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses so that s/he can be effectively mentored.

In addition to the above requirements, all students entering the Ph.D. in Spanish program are required to pass a proficiency exam in a language other than English or Spanish prior to taking their comprehensive exams.

(Approved: April 5, 2002)

It is a necessary academic requirement that all Ph.D. candidates in Spanish demonstrate "reading knowledge" of a natural language other than Spanish and English, preferably a Romance language (otherwise, a language that has a direct bearing on the candidate's research and/or studies). The level of proficiency expected is that of passing an advanced 300-level grammar and writing course with a grade of B or higher.

The candidate must meet this language requirement BEFORE--and as a condition towards--taking the written Comprehensive Exams.

The foreign language requirement may be met in one of the following ways:

  • For students who complete the requirement at the University of Arizona: Successful completion of course work to the advanced level in a language other than English or Spanish, with an average grade of B or higher. The course work must include a 300-level intermediate/advanced grammar course taught and examined in the target language (typically xxxx-325 or 305, depending on the department).*
  • For students with course work in a language other than English or Spanish from an accredited institution: The student will meet with the Graduate Advisor to determine whether or not the course work satisfies the foreign language requirement. The Graduate Advisor may require, at his/her discretion, that the student take additional course work and/or pass a proficiency exam in the language of choice. The format and content of the exam will be determined in conjunction with the Graduate Advisor and a qualified instructor of the chosen language.
  • Students who are native speakers of a language other than English and Spanish may have this requirement waived with the approval of the Graduate Advisor.

*Note: Students that enter the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Literature without any formal instruction in a language other than English or Spanish may complete the foreign language requirement in two semesters if they choose to study Portuguese. In this case, the student must complete the following courses with an average grade of B or higher:

  • PORT-305: Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
  • PORT-325: Intermediate Grammar and Conversation
  • PORT-305 and PORT-325 reflect the minimum course work required to complete the foreign language requirement. An exam or term paper may NOT be used in lieu of one of these courses. However, the student may substitute a 400- or 500-level Portuguese course for PORT-325 with the permission of the Portuguese Advisor and the Graduate Advisor.

Submit Your Application

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Graduate Program Coordinator

Isela Gonzales-Cook

Director of the Graduate Program

Faith S Harden

Graduate Student Advisor in Hispanic Linguistics

Miquel Simonet