Spanish

Program Overview

The Department of Spanish & Portuguese offers graduate courses leading to two degrees: Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The Master of Arts in Spanish is a freestanding, one-year course of study that may be undertaken as a preparatory degree to apply subsequently to doctoral programs in the field, or as a terminal degree by those interested in pursuing careers in education, publishing, government, journalism, literary translation, or non-profit organizations.

The PhD in Spanish program at the University of Toronto draws on the talents of a diverse faculty to provide students with a rigorous education in order to prepare scholars and teachers of the highest caliber. Through completion of advanced course work and demanding skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to develop innovative research and to present their results to the world in compelling ways.

Students in the Spanish graduate programs are expected to engage in the vibrant and collaborative intellectual life in our Department while completing their courses and conducting their research. Students are also able to join a broadly based community of scholars by participating in a wide variety of working groups, lecture series, graduate conferences, and other opportunities for fruitful intellectual exchange throughout the university.

Students completing a graduate program in Spanish at the University of Toronto can choose one of two concentrations:

  • Hispanic Literatures and Cultures
  • Hispanic Linguistics

The application process for the Master of Arts program is competitive; meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee acceptance. The admissions process for the Doctor of Philosophy program is competitive; it is based on a number of factors in addition to grades. The principal factors include the ability of the department to offer graduate work in the applicant’s preferred areas of interest, the availability of appropriate supervisory resources, and the suitability of the applicant in relation to the academic profile and programs of the department.

The department does not allow direct entry to the PhD program with a BA, nor does it allow MA students to transfer to the PhD program before the coursework for the MA is completed.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA, PhD:

11-Jan-2021

MA, PhD:

11-Jan-2021

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

18-Jan-2021

MA, PhD:

18-Jan-2021

Minimum admission average MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A- average in Master’s

MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A- average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? PhD:

After

PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? PhD:

Grad Unit

PhD:

Grad Unit

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years

MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years


Master of Arts

Program Description

The application process for the Master of Arts program is competitive; meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee acceptance.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Spanish's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree in Spanish or a cognate discipline from a recognized university.

  • Fluency in spoken and written Spanish with a general background in Hispanic literature and/or linguistics, normally demonstrated through undergraduate coursework.

  • Applicants apply online and should arrange for electronic submission of the following materials:

    • A one-page statement of purpose, outlining the applicant's areas of interest (in English).

    • A sample of written work in Spanish (10 to 12 pages).

    • Two letters of recommendation, ideally in English (one of the letters must comment on the applicant's fluency in Spanish).

    • A curriculum vitae in English.

Program Requirements

  • 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) at the graduate level.

  • MA students specialize in one of two fields:

    • Hispanic Linguistics.

    • Hispanic Literatures and Cultures.

  • The specialization requires that each student complete coursework in accordance with distribution requirements for each field, defined in terms of the various areas of the graduate curriculum.

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. With departmental approval, courses may be taken in a cognate unit (e.g., Comparative Literature, French, History, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Women's Studies).

  • It is the department's expectation that full-time students will complete all program requirements in one academic year. The MA program is also available on a part-time basis. Applicants should be aware that part-time students are not eligible for funding.

  • Students in the field of Hispanic Linguistics must have completed an introductory course in linguistics (LIN100Y or an equivalent course). Students who have not completed LIN100Y as part of their undergraduate studies must take this course in the summer directly preceding their admission to the MA program.

Program Length

2 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The admissions process for the Doctor of Philosophy program is competitive; it is based on a number of factors in addition to grades. The principal factors include the ability of the department to offer graduate work in the applicant's preferred areas of interest, the availability of appropriate supervisory resources, and the suitability of the applicant in relation to the academic profile and programs of the department.

The department does not allow direct entry to the PhD program with a BA degree. Students in the MA program in Spanish who would like to continue to the PhD must apply through the regular application process; there is no process for direct transfer from MA to PhD.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Spanish's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree from a recognized university in an appropriate discipline with an average of A– or higher. Applicants apply online and should arrange for electronic submission of the following material:

    • A one-page statement of purpose, outlining the applicant's areas of interest (in English).

    • A sample of written work in Spanish (10 to 12 pages).

    • Two letters of recommendation, ideally in English (one of the letters must comment on the applicant's fluency in Spanish).

    • A curriculum vitae in English.

Program Requirements

  • PhD students specialize in one of two fields:

    • Hispanic Linguistics.

    • Hispanic Literatures and Cultures.

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs). Course selection is proposed to the Graduate Coordinator, who reviews and approves the plan. It is expected that students will complete the required coursework in Year 1. However, with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, up to 1.0 FCE may be taken in Year 2. Each field has distribution requirements. Students must maintain a minimum average of A– in order to remain in good academic standing.

  • By March 25 of Year 1, each student must seek approval from the Graduate Advisory Committee for the proposed area of his/her dissertation and the membership of the Field Examination Committee (normally the proposed dissertation supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty). The Graduate Advisory Committee will respond in writing by May 1 of the same year. The final decision in this matter rests with the Graduate Advisory Committee. In consultation with their committee, students must start their preparation for their field exams in the Summer session of Year 1.

  • The field examination centres on two subfields: the subfield of the student's proposed dissertation research and a subfield relevant to the student's research and general preparation.

  • By October 1 of Year 2, each student must submit to the Graduate Coordinator a brief statement (three to four pages double spaced) concerning the primary and secondary subfields for their field examination and two reading lists (one for each subfield). Each reading list should consist of 25 to 30 items and should include primary and secondary sources. The student's Field Committee will review this material and meet with the student to indicate revisions or additions to the reading lists. The student must file final copies of the two reading lists and statements, as approved by the committee, with the Graduate Coordinator by November 1.

  • The field examination will take place between January 15 and February 15 of Year 2. It has two parts: a written examination of six hours and an oral examination of two hours. Each part will cover the primary and secondary subfields that the student has prepared.

    • The written examination will consist of three questions. At least one of the questions must be answered in Spanish, and at least one of the questions must be answered in English.

    • The oral examination will follow two weeks after the written exam; it will normally be conducted in Spanish, although English may be used to accommodate committee members from cognate units. The Field Committee will grade the two parts of the examination together, on a credit/non-credit basis. A student who does not receive credit on the first attempt must retake both parts of the examination by May 10.

  • Each student must submit a written dissertation proposal to the Graduate Coordinator by April 25 of Year 2 of enrolment in the program. The written proposal articulates the topic, the research questions and methodology of the student's proposed research, and presents a sample of analysis, in approximately 25 pages double spaced. In addition, the proposal should include a bibliography, an outline of the dissertation, and a plan of action which associates the outline with activities of research and writing within a timeline for the three sessions per year. The proposal should be written in the language that the student intends to use in writing the dissertation (Spanish or English).

    • Each student must defend their dissertation proposal (including the outline and plan of action) in a two-hour, public oral examination to be held by May 15, normally conducted in the language of the student's proposal.

    • The student's Field Committee will grade the written proposal and the oral examination on a credit/non-credit basis. A student who does not receive credit on the first attempt must revise and resubmit the dissertation proposal by September 15 of Year 3 of enrolment and retake the oral examination on the proposal by October 15 of that year.

  • Language requirements must be fulfilled before registering for Year 4. Each student must demonstrate a reading knowledge of French and of a third non-English language relevant to their area of research. These language requirements may be satisfied by passing the appropriate reading knowledge courses or examinations offered by the corresponding departments of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto (including the exams offered in-house by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese).

    • Significant prior training in a language (such as an undergraduate major or minor) will also be accepted as demonstration of reading knowledge.

    • Native speakers of languages other than English and Spanish, who have received their formal education in that language (minimum of a high school diploma) may request an exemption for the third-language requirement.

  • Years 3 and 4 are devoted to researching and writing the doctoral dissertation. The Supervisory Committee must normally approve the complete draft of the dissertation before the candidate can proceed to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students fulfil the residence requirement by being registered as full-time on-campus and must reside in sufficient geographical proximity to enable them to fulfil the requirements of the program in a timely fashion. They are also expected to participate fully in departmental activities. While writing the dissertation, candidates are expected to be in residence, with the exception of absences for research purposes and approved leaves.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

Seshu Iyengar

“Beyond the financial stability, being nominated for and receiving this award was an honour which gave me the confidence in my ability to be a graduate students; the Naylor Fellowship demonstrates a strong belief in the contributions Atlantic Canadians can make in academic research.”

Seshu Iyengar
PhD Student, Physics, David Naylor Fellow
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