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Cordoba - España (Cordoue) plaza de las Tendillas
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The Department of Hispanic Studies is at the forefront of research and teaching of Hispanic literature and Spanish linguistics. Our offering in Hispanic literature and Hispanic linguistics now encompasses the literatures written throughout the Americas and Spain. Given Houston’s 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.

For more information about the course work, expectations and the progression of the PhD program please see the PhD Students Handbook.

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)

  • 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 and to the Graduate Admissions Advisor in Hispanic Studies at the addresses included below]
  • A statement of research in Spanish (between 1000 and 1500 words) explaining your academic interests and projects (see this link to find the guidelines you must follow 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)
  • Official transcripts: Two sets of official transcripts reflecting an awarded degree must be sent in sealed envelopes to the following addresses:
    • One set of official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the University of Houston Graduate School (102 E. Cullen Building Houston, Texas 77204-2012).
    • The second set of official transcripts must be sent to the Hispanic Studies Graduate Admissions Advisor (3553 Cullen Boulevard Room 416 Houston, TX 77204-3062) Transcripts that are not in English must be sent along with an official translation made by a certified interpreter.
    • Please see the Graduate School guidelines for transcripts and diploma verification

Additional Requirements for International Students

  • Certified copy of diploma: besides official transcripts and their translation, international students must send a copy of their graduation diploma. If the document is not in English, an official translation made by a certified interpreter must be attached. The diploma must be sent to the University of Houston Graduate School (102 E. Cullen Building Houston, Texas 77204-2012).
  • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language: A score of at least 79 on the (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.
  • Language requirement: Reading knowledge of one language in addition to Spanish and English is required. It may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
    • Four college semesters at the undergraduate level (or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated by testing) in another Romance language.
    • Reading knowledge of Latin or any other approved language, as demonstrated either by satisfactory scores on the Educational Testing Service examinations for that language, or the completion of two semesters of graduate reading courses in the language chosen with a grade of B- or higher.

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 December 1st

For applications and advisement, please write, call, or e-mail:

Dr. Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Graduate Admissions Advisor, at
Dr. Elizabeth Goodin-Mayeda, Director of Graduate Studies, at

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