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Foreign Languages and Cultures Graduate Studies

Master of Arts In Hispanic Studies

Program  Description

The DFLC MA 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 (i.e. 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, History, to mention a few. Admission is competitive and qualifying graduate students are 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 scholarship support that allows them to attend professional conferences, and/or study abroad during the summer.

To encourage and facilitate quality performance in all their activities, we provide students with semi-private offices, including computer stations and easy access to our Language Learning Resource Center, in one of the most beautiful buildings in the University, Thompson Hall, which is included in the National Register for Historical Buildings and was remodeled recently to become a state-of-the art teaching and working facility.

DFLC MA students complete their program prepared to pursue a career as community 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, Univ. of California-Berkeley, and many others. The program also provides an excellent background for future K12 Spanish teachers, although additional training and state certification is required outside our program.

We invite you to come and see what WSU and the M.A. in Hispanic Studies can do for you!

Note: This MA’s 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 program prepares students for:

  1. success in Ph.D. programs 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 Certificates 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 223C
Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures
P. O. Box 642610
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2610


Application  Requirements

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

  • Complete the “Application for Admission to the Graduate School.” Apply online at the Graduate School Website (click for link).
  • Complete the “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/university.
  • Three current letters of recommendation.
  • Two brief (3-5 min.) 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 to this department – see address below.
  • Two written 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 papers must be sent to this department – see address below.

Applicants must be admitted to the Graduate School before we can accept you into our program, but you may submit your application materials to us in the meantime. Once you have gained admission to the Graduate School, and should there be a vacant Teaching Assistant position available in the program, then we can consider your application for a Teaching Assistantship. Admittance into the program does not necessarily mean you have or will be awarded a TA.

Please send the additional requested materials of mp3 recordings and the two written samples to:

Laurie Heustis
Graduate Studies Academic Program Coordinator
Thompson Hall 110
Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures
P. O. Box 642610
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2610


Graduate Teaching  Assistantships

A graduate Teaching Assistantship is a half-time position (20 hours per week including preparation). You would be 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 foreign 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 room board, 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 Assistant duties, contact:

Dr. Michael Hubert
Graduate Teaching Assistant Program Director
Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures
P. O. Box 642610
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2610

Teaching Assistant Eligibility Requirements

If you are admitted to our program and offered a TA, you will need to provide proof of your eligibility to work before we can actually appoint you to the position. This applies to both permanent and temporary appointments. To verify your identity and work eligibility, you need to do the following:

  • Complete Form I-9- The University is required, under the Immigration Reform control Act of 1986, to complete Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for all employees. We will provide you with this form when you arrive on campus. Since TAs need to take a special course the week before the semester starts (see Schedule of Activities), this will provide sufficient time for the Form to be processed.
  • Identity Verification- at the time you complete Form I-9, you must present the following documentation to the departments representative: one document from List A or one document from List B and List C:

List A: U.S. Passport; Certification of Naturalization; unexpired Foreign Passport with attached Employment Authorization; or Alien Registration Card with photograph.


List B: State-issued drivers license or a State-issued I.D. card with photograph, or information, including name, sex, date of birth, height, weight, and color of eyes; U.S. Military Card; other documentation that establish identity.


List C: Original Social Security Card; a birth certificate issued by the State, county or municipal authority bearing a seal or other certification; or unexpired INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Employment Authorization form.

After Form I-9 is completed, it takes 10 days to 2 weeks for the form to be processed. Your name cannot be placed on the payroll until this form is processed so we encourage you to fill it out as soon as possible.


Summary  Of Requirements For An M.A. in Hispanic Studies

1. Course work

42 hours min.; 30-39 graded other than S/F or P/F. [1]Students entering in the Fall, with a two-year TA 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 students, is 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:

A. One of these two:
i. Literary analysis of a given text
ii. Civilization
B. History of Literature
C. Essay on an assigned topic
D. Pedagogy

* If you chose the thesis option, or if you choose to study a second foreign language, you need only take exams B, C, and D. For students doing both things (theses andsecond foreign language, the written examinations requirement remains the same.

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

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


Spanish Faculty & Instructors

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

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

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

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

Graduate Program Academic & Advising Services

Laurie Heustis
Thompson Hall, Rm 110C
(509) 335-4136



Helpful Contact List for Graduate Students

Daniel Liera-Huchim
DFLC Office Assistant

Thompson 110
(509) 335-4135
Ben Weller
Finance/Personnel Manager
Avery 202D
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2630
(509) 335-8687
Help Desk (for Students)
WSU Info Technology

Bldg Room 2110
Pullman, WA 99164-1222
(509) 335-4357
Fax: (509) 335-0540
 WSU Student Accounts
French Admin Room 342
Pullman, WA 99164-1039
(509) 335-1891
Fax: (509) 335-1928
WSU Payroll Office
WSU Tax Comp/Controllers Office
French Admin Room 236
Pullman, WA 99164-1024
(509) 335-1277
Fax: (509) 335-1472

LLRC = Language Learning Resource Center
IP = International Programs Office
DFLC = Department of Foreign Languages & Cultures
IT = Information Technology Department
CUB = Compton Union Building

[1] The Graduate School requires a minimum of nine graded hours per semester for graduate students on half-time appointment as TAs. 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, but our program still requires 9.