M.A. in Spanish

The Master of Arts degree in Spanish offers the student the opportunity for an in-depth view of Hispanic studies in three specialized areas: literature, culture, and language, underscoring the unity of the Hispanic world rather than its national components. Elective courses in Linguistics (LNG) and Foreign Languages (FL) offer an opportunity to further the student’s grasp of the Spanish language in its geographical, cultural, and social variations. The M.A. can serve as a means to an immediate career path and as preparation for further graduate study.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to satisfying the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have 12 or more upper-division hours in Hispanic culture, literature, or linguistics and a mastery of oral and written skills in Spanish in an academic register. Upper-division grammar, oral communication, and language skills courses may not be included in this requirement. Students will have written and oral proficiencies assessed via performance in coursework during their first semester of study.

A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required in undergraduate coursework in Spanish. These requirements may be waived in unusual circumstances upon the approval of the Graduate Program Committee.

Admission determinations are based on the grade point average, undergraduate coursework, fluency in Spanish, the personal statement, and the letter(s) of recommendation.

How to Enroll

To enroll in the graduate program at UTSA, visit the Graduate School at the Multidisciplinary Studies Building 4.01.52 or online at the graduate school website.

In addition to the regular University application for admission, all applicants must submit to the Spanish Graduate Committee, for evaluation, a one- to two-page statement written in Spanish describing the objectives of proposed graduate study and at least one letter of recommendation from a prior teacher or professional colleague.

Graduate Advisor

For more information about the M.A. in Spanish degree, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literature Graduate Advisor, Dr. Melissa Wallace.

Other Modern Languages Graduate Programs

Graduate Scholarships

Teaching Assistant Positions

Please contact Annele Gonzalez at annele.gonzalez@utsa.edu if you are interested in a TA position.

Qualified applicants must:

  • Have completed 18 hours of graduate work in Spanish
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Be enrolled for at least 6 hours for the corresponding Fall semester (an exception can sometimes be made for students in their final semester)

Return completed application forms via email to the department chair's office.

Scholarships are occasionally offered to students in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Details can be found here.

UTSA Scholarships

Academic and need-based scholarships are offered for qualified first-time incoming freshmen, college transfers, and currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $15,000. For more information, visit the UTSA Scholarship Office.

Other Financial Aid

Paying for your college education can be a challenge so be sure to seek assistance from the UTSA Financial Aid Office.

The Financial Aid Office administers federal, state and institutional funds such as grants, loans, work-study and scholarships. To apply for these funds, students must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable aid year.

The Laura Bassi Scholarship was established in 2018 with the aim of providing editorial assistance to postgraduates and junior academics whose research focuses on neglected topics of study, broadly construed. The scholarships are open to every discipline and the next round of funding will be awarded in Spring 2024:

  • Application deadline: 24 March 2024
  • Results: 10 April 2024

All currently enrolled master’s and doctoral candidates are eligible to apply, as are academics in the first five years of full-time employment. Applicants are required to submit a completed application form along with their CV through the application portal by the relevant deadline. Further details, including previous winners, and the application portal can be found at: https://editing.press/bassi

Graduate FAQs

The current Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) is Dr. Melissa Wallace. Dr. Wallace advises for the MA in Spanish as well as the Graduate Certificate in Spanish Translation and Interpreting Studies. Dr. Whitney Chappell advises for the Graduate Certificate in Linguistics.

Students who are already enrolled in a Master’s Degree at UTSA and would like to add on the Graduate Certificate in Spanish Translation and Interpreting Studies should contact Dr. Wallace. Students who are already enrolled in a Master’s Degree at UTSA and would like to add on the Graduate Certificate in Linguistics should contact Dr. Chappell.

New graduate students should begin by applying to the Graduate School, either as a “special” (non-degree seeking) or as a degree-seeking student. If interested in translation studies, after you have submitted your application contact Dr. Melissa Wallace in order to take the entrance exam.

No.  You can enroll as a “special” graduate student or add the Translation Certificate or the Linguistics Certificate to another Master's program.

Graduate students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis option. Please review the detailed instructions and timeline on the Thesis Proposal pages and discuss your options with the GAR or another faculty member.

Specifically, your first option is to write a comprehensive examination, 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.

The second option is the master’s thesis, which consists of a 65-page research paper. If you are writing a master’s thesis, your comprehensive exam requirement will be satisfied by an oral defense of your thesis proposal, and you will be not be required to write the comprehensive exam research paper. Instead, you will write your master’s thesis and defend it before your chair and at least two committee members.

More information is available about the comprehensive exam option as well as the thesis option for our graduate students. See resources under the “graduate” tab on the department’s web site or contact the GAR.

The GAR and support staff will work with you to complete the COLFA Comprehensive Exam Request form. Once the form has been completed with all necessary 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 and whether you passed your exam. 

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, electronic copies should be sent to all committee members well in advance of stipulated deadlines. Committee members must receive the comprehensive exam for evaluation at least two weeks before COLFA’s deadline.

Please contact the Graduate School.

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

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.

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.

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 a graduate certificate in translation or linguistics, you will have to apply for each individually. At this time, you can apply for graduation for the MA in Spanish online through ASAP. However, application for graduation for one of the graduate certificates is a separate process which involves a physical paper form. 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.


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