The doctoral program in Hispanic Language & Literatures will help you work toward a comprehensive knowledge of Hispanic literatures, their histories, and their major works. It will provide you with a theoretical framework for research on specific areas of Spanish and/or Spanish American literature and culture and will help develop the conceptual and communicative skills needed to conduct and disseminate original research and to achieve excellence in teaching.

Financial support

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Romance Studies guarantee five full years of financial support for doctoral students who maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Degree Requirements

  • Fulfill all requirements of the MA in Hispanic Language & Literatures
  • Eight courses on Hispanic literatures, cinema, theory or cultural studies at the 500-level or above (in addition to those required for the MA degree). The department’s theory seminar is required, as are all offered 800 level Spanish classes. The LP 631 and LP 632 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers courses cannot be used for this requirement.
  • Successful completion of two semesters of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (LP 631, LP 632), or demonstrated equivalent proficiency.
  • Successful completion of the Written Qualifying Examination Sequence
  • Successful completion of the Oral Qualifying Examination, including its written component
  • Successful completion and defense of the Doctoral Dissertation
  • Completion of the Curricular Practical Training Requirement
  • Completion of appropriate coursework (LL 690) and training in pedagogy, as per departmental and and GRS policies
  • Native or near-native command of written and spoken Spanish

Post-BA & Post-MA Admission

We welcome applications to the doctoral program both from students who have already earned an MA elsewhere and from those who wish to enter the program directly after completing their BA.

Post-BA students complete the requirements of the master’s degree first, then proceed to the doctorate requirements, earning their MA en route to the PhD.

Pending review, post-MA students can typically fulfill the MA requirement of eight courses through the coursework they did for their MA degree.


Following is a general optimal timetable for the completion of the PhD.

  • Year 1
    • Eight courses, consisting of: One theory seminar; One pedagogy class; and Six classes on Hispanic literature and film.
  • Year 2
    • Post-BA:  Six classes on Hispanic literature and film; Two courses of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (LP 631 & LP 632)
    • Post-MA:  One class on Hispanic literature or film; Two courses of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (LP 631 & LP 632); First two written qualifying examinations
  • Year 3
    • Post-BA:  Three classes on Hispanic literature and film; First two written qualifying examinations.
    • Post-MA:  3rd and final written qualifying examination; Qualifying paper and oral defense thereof; Dissertation prospectus finished by end of year.
  • Year 4
    • Post-BA:  3rd and final written qualifying examination; Qualifying paper and oral defense thereof; Dissertation prospectus and beginning of work on dissertation
    • Post-MA:  Research and writing of the dissertation
  • Year 5
    • Completion of the dissertation, including oral defense thereof, by the end of the year.

Under Graduate School policy, students may take up to seven years to complete their doctoral degree. 

Learning Outcomes

  • A mastery and appreciation of language and literature in Spanish in a global context and from all historical periods.
  • A near-native mastery of the Spanish language, as well as intermediate knowledge of the Portuguese language.
  • The skilled application of research methodologies and techniques that enable them to produce and defend an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the field
  • The ability to communicate and teach language, specific literary works and critical concepts at the college and university level
  • Adherence to ethical standards in the discipline

Additional details can be found in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Bulletin.