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Ph.D. in Spanish with a Concentration in Creative Writing (Ph.D. en Español con Concentración en Escritura Creativa)

General Requirements

Minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the Ph.D. in Spanish with a concentration in creative writing program

  • A completed M.A. (in Spanish) or an MFA degree
  • Completed online application through CollegeNet (All required documents are to be directly uploaded to your account during the application process. Please prepare them beforehand. Once admitted, official individual mark sheets in certain countries, transcripts and degree certificates must be sent directly to the graduate school and to the graduate admissions adviser in Hispanic studies at the addresses included below.)
  • 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)
  • A statement of personal poetics in Spanish (between 1,000 and 1,500 words) (See this link to find the guidelines you must follow for writing your statement.)
  • Creative writing sample in Spanish (15 pages)
  • Academic writing sample in Spanish (15 pages)
  • A short essay on the relationship between writing and community in Spanish (between 1,500 and 2,000 words)
  • Official transcripts: A 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).
  • 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: In addition to 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).
  • English certifications options:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) A score of at least 79 on the iBT test (international students only, unless they have earned a college degree from an American university). Students must score at least 25 points on the Speaking section to be considered for teaching and research assistantships.
    • Duolingo English Test for English proficiency exams. The exam costs $49 (USD) and may be taken from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. The exam portion of the Duolingo English Test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises. Following the exam, there will be an interview portion that will ask you to respond to various prompts in 30 to 90 seconds. The exam will take about 45 minutes to complete, and you will need either a passport, driver's license or national or state ID to show the camera. The score results are generally received within a few days of exam completion. A minimum score of 105 is required.

For information on the TOEFL, visit the Educational Testing Service website. (UH Code: 6870)


Once admitted to the program:

  • No course in which a grade below B- (2.67) is received may count towards a 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 creative writing dissertation with a substantial theoretical analysis, which can be considered to be original and of significance to the field, in order to receive a Ph.D. in Spanish with a concentration in creative writing.
  • 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.

Application Fees

Fees are payable by check, money order or online (credit card) with application.

  • National Graduate
    • Total cost, $50
    • Payable to University of Houston
  • International Graduate Student
    • Total cost, $80
    • Payable to University of Houston



  • The Ph.D. in Spanish with a concentration in creative writing 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 January 15th.

For applications and advisement, please write, call or email:

  • Dr. Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Interim Graduate Director, at
  • Dr. Cristina Rivera Garza, Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Studies, Director of Creative Writing Program, at