Research Areas & Degree Concentrations

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers a comprehensive and innovative graduate program with options for Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees as well as major/minor concentrations available to Doctorate candidates in other areas. Our core research areas:

Literature and Cultures of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian world

We offer courses that cover a range of chronological, geographical, and generic categories, including Peninsular and Latin American literature and visual culture from the pre-modern period to the present day, as well as courses in literary, aesthetic, and political theory. Our program is distinguished by cross-unit collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches. Our faculty is dynamic, professionally active, and committed to working closely with students to prepare them for careers in university teaching and research.

Hispanic Linguistics

Our programs offer courses in Spanish Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, and Language Teaching. In these classes, students explore how language is formulated and organized in our brains, what are the Spanish structures that are possible and why, and how sounds are organized, produced and perceived. Some of our classes also explore language production as social behavior, taking into account speakers’ intentions, the role of the interlocutor, Spanish variation and change over time, and the impact of language ideologies and attitudes on our societies. Finally, these approaches are applied to our understanding about how Spanish is acquired and taught in our classes that focus on pedagogical issues that arise in the field of teaching of Spanish as a second language and as a heritage language. 

The Teaching of Spanish

The Teaching of Spanish concentration offers preparation for students interested in teaching at high schools or elementary school teaching or other non-academic careers that require advanced professional university education in Spanish beyond the B.A.  

Border Studies

The Border Studies concentration investigates the heterogeneity and hybridity that both emerge from and shape the cultural and linguistic practices and production of borderlands. Inherently interdisciplinary, Border Studies emphasizes the need for enlisting and developing analytic frameworks from various fields to evaluate the complexity that defines these physical and symbolic spaces. Our location at the University of Arizona offers students the opportunity to combine this rigorous interdisciplinary academic training with onsite learning that is rooted in, though not limited to, our positionality along the border between the United States and Mexico. 


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