The Department of Hispanic Studies is at the forefront of research and teaching of Hispanic literature and Spanish linguistics. Our offering our offering in Hispanic literature and Hispanic linguistics now encompasses the literatures written throughout the Americas and Spain. Given Houston location, as well as Arte Público Press and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Project at UH, our Ph.D. program offers an optimal environment in which to achieve excellence.

General Requirements

Minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the Ph.D. in Spanish

  • A completed M.A. degree in Spanish, or its equivalent
  • Students who have a M.A. degree in a field other than Spanish must take, concurrently with the other courses normally required for the doctoral program, one course from each of the following groups:
  • Hispanic literature of the United States
  • Latin American literature through Modernism
  • Latin American literature since Modernism
  • Peninsular literature through the XVII century
  • Peninsular literature, centuries XVIII through XX

Students with a M.A. degree in a field other than Spanish whose emphasis is linguistics will also be required to take a number of additional courses in the field (they will be advised by the Senior Linguistics Professor)

  • A minimum grade point average of 3.2 (A=4).
  • Completed online application through CollegeNet  [all required documents are to be directly uploaded to your account during the application process.  Please prepare them beforehand.  Official individual mark sheets in certain countries, transcripts, and degree certificates must be sent directly to the Graduate school at the address below]
  • A statement in Spanish (between 1000 and 1500 words) explaining why you wish to study Spanish at the graduate level (follow this link to see guidelines for writing your statement).
  • Three letters of recommendation from the applicant’s professors detailing the potential of the applicant at the Ph.D. level (sent directly by recommenders via CollegeNet)
  • Writing sample (Graded)
  • Acceptable scores on the General Aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • A score of at least 79 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, international students only, unless they have earned a college degree from an American university).

For information on the GRE and the TOEFL visit the Educational Testing Service web site. (UH Code: 6870)

Once admitted to the program

  • No course in which a grade below B- (2.67) is received may count towards Ph.D. degree.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) for all graduate courses attempted is required for a graduate degree; failure to maintain this average will result in a warning, probation, or suspension.
  • Qualifying written and oral examinations are required to obtain admission to candidacy
  • The student must develop a dissertation on a topic in literature which can be considered to be original and of significance to scholarship.

Click here to download the Spanish PhD application checklist

Application Fees

Fees payable by check, money order or online (Credit Card) with application

  • National Graduate
    • Total cost, $75.00
    • Payable to University of Houston
  • International Graduate Student
    • Total cost, $150.00
    • Payable to University of Houston


  • The Spanish PhD Program only has admissions for the Fall semester.
  • All documents and information must be uploaded through CollegeNet and/or sent to the University of Houston by the last Friday of January

Send documentation to the following address:

PhD. in Spanish Program
Department of Hispanic Studies
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-3062

Phone: (713) 743-3007
Fax:(713) 743-0935

Dr. Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Graduate Advisor, at
Dr. Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Director of Graduate Studies, at

* Phone interviews will be conducted after application file is reviewed.

Current students can find complete information about deadlines and the general expected progression of their programs in the current Ph.D. Student Handbook.