Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 39

Required Courses1:

Core Courses
SPAN 8001Hispanic Bibliography and Research3
SPAN 8161Critical Approaches to Hispanic Literature3
Other Courses27
6-7 courses in Spanish Peninsular Literature, Spanish American Literature, and Hispanic Linguistics 2
2-3 approved courses in related fields outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese 3
Non-Didactic Courses6
Preliminary Examination Preparation
Pre-Dissertation Research
Dissertation Research
Total Credit Hours39

Language Examination: Students must pass written reading-comprehension examinations in two foreign languages other than Spanish. Examinations are usually taken in the Romance languages or German. Other languages may be accepted with approval.

Culminating Events:
Preliminary Examination:
The purpose of the written preliminary examination is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in two specific areas of Hispanic Studies chosen by the doctoral student and approved by the faculty. The doctoral student may customize the reading lists for the examination in accordance with research interests. The written examination lasts 10 hours. The preliminary examination should be completed no more than one term after the student completes the coursework component of the program.

Examination areas are drawn from the three fields of study within the department: Spanish Peninsular Literature, Spanish American Literature, and Hispanic Linguistics. Graduate Faculty members specializing in the subject areas selected for the examination write the questions for the preliminary examination and evaluate the examination. Each member grades examination answers on a scale of "A" to "F." A grade of "B-" or higher must be achieved in response to each question. The evaluators look for breadth and depth of understanding of specific research areas; the critical application of knowledge in response to specific exam questions; and an ability to write in a clear and concise manner using appropriate terminology.

The preliminary examination is given over a period of two weeks. Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations must meet with the Graduate Chair to register and confirm.

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal typically consists of the presentation of the context and background surrounding a particular research question or problem; a survey and review of pertinent literature; and a detailed methodological plan for carrying out the proposed research. The proposal should be completed and approved by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee no more than one year after the student completes coursework.

The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical or theoretical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Hispanic Studies. It should expand existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's mastery of research methods and of her/his primary area of research. The dissertation should be rigorously investigated, uphold the ethics and standards of the field, and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of research and the broader field of Hispanic Studies.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's dissertation research and is comprised of three Graduate Faculty members. One is the Committee Chair, who has responsibility for directly overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional examiner from outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The outside examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the term in which the student plans to defend the dissertation. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and public oral examination, including the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public oral defense.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's Graduate Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation must confirm a time and date with their Doctoral Advisory Committee Chair at least one month before the defense is to be held. After the Chair has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms,” must be delivered to the Graduate School by the student at least 10 days before the defense. The department posts flyers announcing the defense.