Master of Arts in Spanish

Major: SPAN
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The Master of Arts in Spanish at the University of Louisville offers broad-based coverage of fields in Hispanic studies, including literary/cultural studies, Spanish linguistics, and translation/interpretation. Through a combination of core courses taught exclusively in Spanish, electives taken either in Spanish or in contiguous programs of study, and faculty directed research, students develop mastery in one of these fields, preparing themselves for greater competitiveness in doctoral programs in Hispanic studies, Spanish linguistics, or translation/interpreting; more effective service to the Hispanic community; and/or increased cultural competence in the global workplace. The Spanish M.A. also serves current primary and secondary school teachers of Spanish seeking to deepen their knowledge of the discipline. Study abroad opportunities are available and may be supported by one of several departmental travel grants.

Admission Requirements

A prerequisite for admission to the Spanish M.A. is advanced proficiency in Spanish (speaking, aural comprehension, reading, and writing) and significant previous study of the Spanish language and Hispanic literatures and cultures. Applicants who do not hold a B.A. in Spanish or the equivalent by their intended start date may be required to take remedial coursework to make up for any deficiencies.

Applications are considered throughout the academic year for admission in fall, spring, or summer, although priority will be given to applications received at least six weeks prior to the intended start date. The Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish reviews applications and, in consultation with the Spanish graduate faculty, makes all admission decisions. In rare cases, applicants may be admitted on a conditional basis even though application materials are incomplete.

The complete application includes:

  • School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies application and application fee.
  • Transcripts from all accredited institutions where undergraduate and/or graduate credit was earned (submitted directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies by the institution). Minimum GPA required for undergraduate work: 3.0 on a four-point scale.
  • Two letters of evaluation (submitted directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies by the evaluators). Detailed comments should accompany the evaluation form and address specifically the applicant’s proficiency in both Spanish and English, preparation in Hispanic studies, and potential to do graduate work.
  • A personal statement of 400-500 words, written in Spanish, discussing how the M.A. in Spanish relates to the applicant’s professional or personal goals.
  • A sample of academic writing of at least five pages, preferably a research paper written as part of the requirements for a university-level course. (May be in English or Spanish.)
  • (for applicants for whom English is a second language) TOEFL scores. Minimum required: 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or 550 or higher on the paper-based test. Applicants holding a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.

NOTE: While submission of GRE scores is not required for admission to the Spanish M.A. program, it is strongly recommended for applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship or other university-awarded fellowship.

All application materials should be submitted to:

School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
Graduate Admissions
Houchens Building, Suite 105
Louisville, KY 40292

or submitted via the online application at

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate teaching assistantships most often take the form of a one-year appointment (renewable for a second year) awarded to students just beginning the Spanish M.A. program. GTAs are expected to perform a variety of duties (including teaching) in conjunction with a full-time load of nine (9) credit hours (fall and spring), six (6) credit hours (summer), completing their degree at the end of their second year.

Exceptionally, the program awards one-year assistantships to current Spanish M.A. students who will have completed 18 credit hours of graduate credit by the start date of the appointment.  Such GTAs are assigned immediately to teach basic language and are expected to complete their degree by the end of the appointment year.

Competition for graduate teaching assistantships takes place in the spring, with appointments beginning in fall of the next academic year. Applicants to the Spanish M.A. program who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship must submit a separate graduate teaching assistantship application (available on the program webpage) in conjunction with their application for admission to the Spanish M.A. For full consideration, all application materials must be submitted by February 28th.

Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Spanish

The combined B.A./M.A. program is an accelerated option for motivated and highly prepared undergraduates at the University of Louisville who wish to prepare themselves for the global economy, a multicultural community, and a changing workplace through the study of language, culture, linguistics, translation, and interpreting. Students admitted to the program may apply up to nine (9) credit hours of graduate course work towards both the B.A. in Spanish and the M.A. in Spanish. After completing the undergraduate program and receiving the B.A., the student will enter the graduate program and complete the remaining requirements for the M.A.

To be considered for admission to the accelerated program, students must:

  • have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.35.
  • complete an application for admission to the Spanish B.A./M.A. (including two letters of evaluation) no later than the end of the junior year.

Full details are available on the program website.

Admission in non-degree status

Applicants who do not seek the Spanish M.A. but wish to take graduate course work in Spanish may apply for admission in non-degree status. Application credentials must include the application form, application fee, and an official transcript showing the award of a baccalaureate degree. Should a non-degree student be admitted at a later date into the degree program, up to nine hours of course work taken in non-degree status may be applied to the degree with departmental approval. No more than 15 credit hours may be accumulated while in non-degree status.


The M.A. in Spanish requires 30 credit hours of academic coursework at the graduate level, of which at least 18 credit hours must be taken at the 600-level. Upon approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, up to six (6) credit hours of graduate-level coursework taken at another institution or through an accredited study abroad program may be applied toward the degree.

NOTES: Students must take SPAN 611 (Introduction to Methods and Research in Hispanic Studies) within the first year of their admission to the program. In their final semester, all students are required to complete a Directed Research Project under the direction of a faculty mentor and present their findings in a public forum.

Credit Hours

SPAN 524

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics


SPAN 554

Hispanic Culture through Film and Media


SPAN 611

Introduction to Methods and Research in Hispanic Studies


SPAN 624

Special Topics in Hispanic Linguistics


SPAN 634

Spanish for the Workplace and Community


SPAN 644
Approaches to Hispanic Literatures


SPAN 648Hispanic Cultural Studies


SPAN 661

Foundations of Translation and Interpreting



Two electives in Spanish or in contingent fields (with Director of Graduate Studies' approval)



Directed Research Project
No credit

Total Credit Hours



Lluís Baixauli Olmos

Assistant Professor

Rhonda L. Buchanan

Director Latin American Studies

Thomas Wayne Edison

Assistant Professor

Gregory S. Hutcheson
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Mary Makris

Associate Professor

Manuel F. Medina

Director of Brazilian Studies

Frank Nuessel


Regina Roebuck

Associate Professor

Clare Sullivan

Associate Professor

Lisa Wagner

Associate Professor