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Master of Arts In Hispanic Studies
Program  Description

The Masters of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies focuses on the fields of Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literatures, film, and cultures, as well as on the teaching of Spanish as a second/foreign language. Our program offers graduate courses in Medieval, Golden Age, and Colonial literature, 19th-21st Century Latin American literature and film, 19th-21st Century Peninsular literature, culture, and film, foreign language teaching methods (e.g., pedagogy), and classroom second language acquisition.

The program provides a theoretical foundation and practical application to conduct research in the different areas aforementioned. Besides preparing students in literary theory, criticism, and research methods, the program emphasizes an interdisciplinary and trans-regional approach to all the Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literary and cinematic traditions, epochs, genres, and cultural expressions (both, high, and popular).

Our approach to literature, film, and culture bridges theoretical frames provided by fields of studies as diverse as Gender Studies, Psychology, Cultural Studies, Queer Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, Fine Arts, and History, to name a few. Admission is competitive and qualifying graduate students can be financially supported by teaching assistantships. Graduate student teaching assistants also receive practical training in the teaching of Spanish as a second/foreign language.

We strongly encourage the professional and academic advancement of our graduate students and, for that purpose, we offer funding support that allows students to attend professional conferences, and/or study abroad programs during their academic career at Washington State University.

To encourage and facilitate quality performance in all student activities, we provide students with semi-private offices, including computers and easy access to our Language Learning Resource Center. Located in Thompson Hall, our department is the oldest building on the Pullman campus, and is included in the National Register for Historical Buildings.  It has been remodeled to better accommodate teaching, scholarly activity, and to provide quiet spaces for students to study.

Our M.A. students complete their program prepared to pursue a career as college educators, or to pursue doctoral studies at the university of their choice. We have been very successful in placing our students in some of the top programs in the Nation, including Yale, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and the University of California-Berkeley, among others. Our program also provides an excellent background for future K-12 Spanish teachers, although additional training and State certification is required in addition to our graduate program degree.

We invite you to come and see what WSU and the M.A. in Hispanic Studies program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures can do for you!

Please Note: This M.A. program will not fulfill your expectations if your primary interest is a graduate program in:

  • Spanish Linguistics
  • Spanish Education and/or Teaching Spanish as a Second Language
  • Spanish Translation and Interpretation
  • Spanish for the Professions
  • Creative Writing
Program Objectives

This Masters Program prepares students for:

  1. Success in a Ph.D. program in Spanish and other areas of advanced graduate education.
  2. Teaching careers as instructors in community colleges or universities. In the case of students who have earned their Teaching Certificate(s) at the undergraduate level awarded by the College of Education, completion of the MA will increase their knowledge and preparedness to teach Spanish at the K-12 level, and increase their chances for promotion.
  3. Careers outside academia that require advanced analytical and communication skills.
Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Develop and demonstrate a broad critical and integrative knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literature, literary theory, disciplinary research methodology, and Applied Linguistics/ Spanish pedagogy.
  2. Develop and demonstrate the ability to conduct critical thinking of literature and other artistic expressions such as film, in a cultural context.
  3. Develop and demonstrate the ability to conduct disciplinary research.
  4. Demonstrate the potential for developing original research in the discipline.
  5. Develop and demonstrate the ability to communicate their acquired knowledge in Spanish at an advanced/superior (near-native) level.
  6. Develop and demonstrate the ability to teach Spanish at various skill levels.
For more information, please contact

Dr. Francisco Manzo-Robledo
Graduate Program Director
Thompson Hall 224C

(509) 335-4612


Application  Requirements

To apply for our Masters Program, you will need to submit the following application materials, online unless otherwise noted:

  • Complete the Application for Admission to the Graduate School.
  • If you are interested in a Teaching Assistantship, please indicate that in the funding area in the Application for Admission.  Additional funding information can be found at this website:  Application for Fellowship and/or Assistantship.
  • Official transcripts from all the institutions you have attended are required. Original transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the institution in a sealed envelope.
  • A TOEFL score is required if English is not your native language  The score should be sent to the Graduate School. This requirement is waived if you hold an undergraduate degree from an American college or university.
  • Three current letters of recommendation.
  • Two brief (3-5 minutes) mp3 recordings of two informal dialogues; one between yourself and a native speaker in Spanish, and the other one in English. These recordings must be sent directly to the department – see address below.
  • Two writing samples – one in English and one in Spanish. It may be a copy of a term paper or a narrative on any topic, and should be at least two pages in length.  These writing samples must be sent directly to the department – see address below.

Applicants must be admitted to the Graduate School before we can accept a student into the program, but students may submit their application materials to us in the meantime. Once an applicant has gained admission to the Graduate School, the department will consider the student for a teaching assistant position, if available. Please keep in mind that admittance into the Hispanic Studies Masters of Arts program does not necessarily mean a teaching assistantship will be awarded.


Please send the required materials of mp3 recordings and two writing samples to:

ATTN: Laurie Heustis

Washington State University
Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures
Thompson Hall 110
P. O. Box 642610
Pullman, WA 99164-2610


Graduate Teaching Assistantships
A graduate Teaching Assistantship is a half-time position (20 hours per week, including preparation). Graduate student teaching assistants are required to teach three classes per academic year (one class one semester and two the other semester) and enroll in 12-18 hours of course work per semester. Teaching Assistants receive an annual stipend (figure changes slightly from year to year), plus a waiver of resident tuition (Non-residents and international students who will reside in the State of Washington may be eligible for a tuition waiver of non-resident tuition). The student will be required to pay approximately $878 in fees each semester. The stipend is more than sufficient to pay for housing, books, and other costs, but students are encouraged to bring at least $1,000 for initial expenses (including fees), since they will not receive their first paycheck until September 10th.
For more information on Teaching Assistantships, contact:

Dr. Francisco Manzo-Robledo
Graduate Teaching Assistant Program Director
Thompson 224C
(509) 335-4612

Teaching Assistant Eligibility Requirements

For information regarding graduate student assistanships offered at WSU, please consult the Graduate School.


Summary  Of Requirements For An M.A. in Hispanic Studies
1. Course work

42 hours minimum; 30-39 graded other than S/F or P/F. [1] Students entering in the Fall, with a two-year teaching assistant appointment, must take 39 graded credits. Students entering in the Spring with a 1 year appointment, must take 30 graded credits. Students participating in the UDLA graduate student exchanged may transfer 6 graded credits hours on that semester, instead of the 9 required by the program. This will lower their required graded credit hours to 36.

Students must take all graduate courses offered by the department in a given semester, unless permission has been granted by the graduate and/or M.A. committee advisors to take an outside course.

Students must carry a load of 12 graded (other than P/F) credits their first semester, and 9 graded (other than P/F) credits the next three. These credits will be increased to 18 credits per semester with the addition of non-graded credits: Span 542, Span 600, and/or Span 702.

Coursework load for thesis, non-thesis, or second foreign language tracks are the same.

2.  Maximum hours permitted in supporting courses 10 hours
3.  Bibliography, methodology of research  ForL 597
4.  M.A. Research Paper (non-thesis option)

25 pages minimum, plus notes and bibliography. May be a paper already submitted for a course. The committee must agree that this paper demonstrates familiarity with methods of scholarly research.

5.  Thesis track (optional) 50 pages minimum, plus notes and bibliography
6.  Second Language track (optional)

Four courses (101-204) of a language taught  in the department, other than Spanish, or a 400-level literature course in the second foreign language.

7.  Written exams

Four two-hour written exams* chosen from the following options:

  • One of these two:
    • Literary analysis of a given text
    • Civilization
    • History of Literature
    • Essay on an assigned topic
    • Pedagogy

* If you chose the thesis option, or if you choose to study a second foreign language, you only need to take exams on history of literature, an essay on an assigned topic, and pedagogy. For students doing both things (thesis and second foreign language, the written examinations requirement remains the same).

8.  Oral examination
All requirements listed above must be completed before the oral exam is taken, with the exception of ongoing courses. All incompletes must be removed.

1 to 1 hours (Thesis option: half of the oral exam will be about thesis). The oral examination will cover the reading list, coursework, or general area of interest indicated by written exams or research  paper.



Spanish Graduate Faculty

Dr. Francisco Manzo-Robledo, Graduate Program Director
Thompson 224C
(509) 335-4612

Dr. Ana María Rodríguez-Vivaldi
Thompson 309
(509) 335-6877

Dr. Vilma Navarro-Daniels
Thompson 124C
(509) 335-8672

Dr. Michael Hubert, Graduate Teaching Assistant Program Director
Thompson 124B
(509) 335-4151

Graduate Program Academic & Advising Services

Laurie Heustis
Thompson 110C
(509) 335-4136

[1] The Graduate School requires a minimum of nine graded hours per semester for graduate students on half-time appointment who are teaching assistants. The minimum for all 500-level hours per semester is 12. According to the Graduate School, in the final semester of the degree program the minimum of graded credits hours may be reduced to 6, however, our program requires 9 graded credit hours.