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M.A.-Ph.D. in Spanish with a Concentration in Spanish Linguistics and/or Literature

The M.A- Ph.D. program in Spanish offers a perfect academic environment for students interested in advanced studies in the fields of Hispanic, Latin American and Peninsular literature, Spanish linguistics or creative writing. The program has been designed to provide knowledge and develop critical thinking on traditional and modern approaches used in these fields to students that have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in earning their M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish in a continuum process. 

For more information about the coursework, expectations and the progression of the Ph.D. program, please see the Ph.D. Students Handbook.

General requirements for unconditional admission to the M.A.-Ph.D. in Spanish Literature or Linguistics

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in Spanish, or its equivalent 
  • Students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than Spanish must take the following courses before entering the M.A. program. (Students must have the appropriate level of Spanish to take these courses either by taking the prerequisites or placing into them via the placement-credit exam; equivalent courses taken in other institutions are accepted. Please refer to the department of Hispanic studies course catalog for course details)

    • SPAN 3306: Intro to the Study of Span Lang
    • SPAN 3384: Introduction to Hispanic Literature
    • Two 4000-level courses according to the student's interest
  • 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 address included below.)
  • A statement of research in Spanish (between 1,000 and 1,500 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 professors detailing your potential at the Ph.D. level (sent directly by recommenders via CollegeNet)
  • Writing sample (Graded)
  • 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 in all Concentrations

  • Certified copy of your 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).
  • English certifications options:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Required by iinternational students only, unless they have earned a college degree from an American university, earning at least a 79.
    • Duolingo English Test needed 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 Educational Testing Service. (UH Code: 6870)


Once admitted to the program:

  • No course where a grade below B- (2.67) is received will 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 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 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 payable by check, money order or online (credit card) with application

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


  • The Spanish MA-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 January 15th.

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

Interim Graduate Director Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Ph.D. at

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