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M.A. Requirements


Our M.A. is geared towards recent graduates and professionals seeking to further their knowledge of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. We do not offer funding to complete the M.A. 


  • Coursework: Students need to complete 30 course credits (10 courses of 3 credits). At least 24 credits (8 courses) must be taken in the Spanish and Portuguese Program. Each track has specific coursework requirements, for more details on each of the tracks, see here.
  • Foreign language: Students will demonstrate or develop reading knowledge of 1 foreign language related to their academic needs. This language should be selected in consultation with the advisor and/or the Graduate Program Director (GPD). This requirement should be completed as early as possible in the student's career. The student must inform the GPD as soon as the requirement is fulfilled. It may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

    • By earning a minimum grade of B in a 240-level or above course at UMass within the preceding 5 years.

    • By examinations given either by the departmental units that offer those languages or by qualified faculty members.

    • The GPD will grant waivers to students with formal language training, such as an undergraduate major or minor or appropriate coursework taken outside UMass in the preceding 5 years. Unusual cases will be referred to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).

    • For students concentrating in Spanish, by obtaining a grade of C or better in the intensive courses in Portuguese or Catalan for graduate students offered in the program.

  • M.A. exam or M.A. thesis: Normally by the fourth semester in the program, students have the choice of taking an M.A. exam or writing an M.A. thesis. For the exam’s rules and regulations, see here. For the thesis’s rules and regulations see here.

 


Concentrations and advising

  • Advising: In their first semester, the Graduate Program Director (GPD) will assign students an advisor within their general area of concentration (Hispanic linguistics, Latin American and Latina/o literatures and cultures, Iberian literatures and cultures, or Lusophone literatures and linguistics). By the second semester, students must choose an advisor in their area of specialization. In consultation with the GPD, students may change their advisor when appropriate.

  • Double Concentration Option: Students may request a double concentration, individually designed, in the Literatures and Cultures of both the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. The request must be submitted for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with the student's advisor.


Coursework Requirements

M.A. (30 cr)

1. Language Pedagogy in SpanPort  (3 cr)

Literatures and Cultures

Linguistics

2. Literary Theory in SpanPort (3 cr)

2. SpanPort Courses in Ling.  (21 cr)

3. SpanPort Courses in Lits. and Cults.  (18 cr)

3. Electives (6 cr)

4. Electives (6 cr)

 

 

Notes

  • Major and minor fields need to be defined in consultation with the advisor.
  • Electives may be taken inside or outside of SpanPort.
  • Electives may include a maximum of 1 Independent Study within SpanPort per course of studies. This IS needs to be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.

M.A. Exam - Rules and Regulations:

  • Pre-requisites: Students must have completed all requirements for the degree, except for currently enrolled courses. All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

  • Credits: In order to maintain their full-time status, M.A. candidates opting for the exam may register for Master’s Practicum credits (HISPAN 698) beyond the 30 credits required for the degree.

  • Committee: The student’s advisor will serve as chair of the examining committee. The examining committee will consist of two permanent members: the advisor and another member of the graduate faculty. The student’s advisor must be a member of the Spanish and Portuguese graduate program faculty. The committee members will be chosen by the student and will be appointed by the Graduate Program Director. Changes in committees already appointed may be effected with the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

  • Exam date: The exam will be administered twice a year, during the 10th week of each Semester.

  • Reading list: Students are examined in two areas, a major area and a minor area. Each area includes 3 reading lists (of 15 texts each). Students choose 2 reading lists per area. For the reading lists, see here.

  • Format: In-class exams taken over 2 days (3 hours per day) on 4 reading lists. The student answers questions on 2 lists per day. The student may choose to write the exam in either the target language (Spanish or Portuguese) or English.

  • Grading: Students may obtain a High Pass, Pass, or a Fail. If a student fails, the student is allowed to take the exam one more time at the following term.

 


M.A. Thesis - Rules and Regulations:

  • Pre-requisites for the Thesis Defense: Students must have completed all requirements for the degree, except for currently enrolled courses. All incompletes must be cleared and grades recorded prior to the administration of the exam.

  • Credits: In order to maintain their full-time status, M.A. candidates opting to write a thesis may register for Master’s Thesis credits (HISPAN 699) beyond the 30 credits required for the degree.

  • Proposal: an M.A. Thesis proposal must be approved and signed by the committee at least 4 months in advance of the defense.

  • Format: The text of the thesis should be of approximately 75-100 pages in length. For the format, please follow the Graduate School Guidelines for Preparing Thesis Manuscripts.

  • Committee: Students are expected to choose the members of the thesis committee in consultation with their advisor. The student’s advisor must be a member of the Spanish and Portuguese graduate program faculty. The GPD, in consultation with the Director of the unit, will recommend the thesis committee to the Graduate Dean, who will make the appointment. The thesis committee will consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty. The chair of the committee must be a member of the unit in the area of specialization of the thesis.

  • Defense: The candidate has the option of a closed or an open thesis defense. In a closed defense, only members of the unit’s faculty may attend and participate. In a open defense, any graduate student or faculty member may attend and participate. In any case, only committee members may participate in the evaluation of the thesis. The student must indicate the open or closed status of the defense as part of the notice of intent to defend the thesis. The Thesis Director will inform the office manager of the results of the thesis defense.

  • Grading: Students may obtain a High Pass, a Pass, or a Fail. If a student fails, the student is allowed to defend a revised thesis one more time at the following term.