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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Graduate FAQ

 Who is the Graduate Advisor for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures?

The current Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) is Dr. Melissa Wallace.


How do I enroll in the Translation Certificate Program?

Enrolling in the Spanish Translation Certificate Program involves three steps. Begin by applying to the Graduate School, either as a degree- or non-degree-seeking student. After you have submitted your application, contact Dr. Melissa Wallace in order to take the entrance exam as well as to apply to the certificate program on the department level.


Do I have to be enrolled in the Spanish MA program if all I want is the Translation Certificate?

No.  You can enroll as a non-degree-seeking student or add the Translation Certificate to another master's program.


What is the Comprehensive Examination?

Every student who completes the MA in Spanish program has to take the comprehensive exam, which currently consists of a 25-page research paper that is presented to the faculty during your last semester.  To complete it you will work closely with your chair and at least two committee members.

Note:  If you are writing a master’s thesis, your comprehensive exam will consist of an oral defense of your thesis proposal, in which case you will be not be required to write the comprehensive exam research paper.


Comprehensive Exam Request Form

The GAR and support staff will work with you to complete the COLFA Comprehensive Exam Request form.  Once the form has been completed and has received all signatures, you will be given a schedule and deadlines.

If you are not enrolled in any other classes during the semester that you are taking your comprehensive exam, you need to enroll in SPN 6961.

Once you have applied for graduation and taken your comprehensive exam, you will receive a letter notifying you whether you are graduating or not and whether you passed your exam or not. 


Plan for Early Deadlines

You need to plan ahead for your comprehensive exam because the deadlines for final completion generally fall in mid-October and mid-March.  For that reason, you will want to start work on your exam the semester before you plan to complete it.

When you have completed your final paper for the comprehensive examination, please provide three paper copies of your research for the committee members.  These should be hand-delivered to the department support office in MH 4.01.01.


I was admitted as a non-degree seeking student.  How can I change it to a degree seeking?

Please contact the Graduate School.


I need a Program of Study. Where do I get it?

You should work with the GAR to complete a Program of Study and with the support staff to submit it in the proper format.


How do I transfer classes toward my Master’s Degree?

Under certain circumstances classes taken previously can be applied to your UTSA Master’s Degree plan.  If you want to do this, you first need to work with the GAR to fill out a Transfer of Graduate Credit towards Master’s Degree form.  You will need to provide official transcripts and syllabi for those classes you wish to transfer.   Keep in mind that classes that have been applied to another degree are ineligible. 

The final decision is made by the Graduate School.


I received a letter stating that I am on probation, but my grades are good. Why?

This could occur if you were admitted to the program with conditions that require you to get a certain grade level for a certain number of hours.  Once you fulfill your obligation, the conditions will be removed.   If this continues after the conditions are met, please contact the GAR or the department support office.


I plan to write a thesis. What do I have to do?

Graduate students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis option. Please review the detailed instructions and timeline on the Thesis Proposal pages.


How do I apply for graduation?

Most of the information you need can be found on the Graduate School’s website.  Keep in mind that you need to apply for graduation and the deadlines are early, so plan ahead.  If you are graduating with your Master’s Degree and getting your Translation Certificate you will have to apply for both. If you fail to apply within the deadline you most likely will not be able to graduate.   Check the Graduate School website for application dates. If you do not receive notification in a timely manner, please let the support office or the GAR know and we will help you get the information you need.