Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers the Master of Arts Degree in Spanish and a Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies.

Master of Arts Degree in Spanish

The Master of Arts degree in Spanish offers the student the opportunity for an in-depth view of Hispanic studies in three specialized areas: literature, culture, and linguistics, underscoring the unity of the Hispanic world rather than its national components. Elective courses in Linguistics (LNG) and Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) offer an opportunity to further the student’s grasp of the Spanish language in its geographical, cultural, and social variations.

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to satisfying the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have 12 or more upper-division hours in Hispanic cultures, literatures, or linguistics and a mastery of oral and written skills in Spanish in an academic register. Upper-division grammar, oral communication, and language skills courses may not be included in this requirement.

A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required in undergraduate upper-division coursework in Spanish. These requirements may be waived in unusual circumstances upon the approval of the Graduate Program Committee.

Admission determinations are based on the grade point average, undergraduate coursework, fluency in Spanish, the personal statement, and the letters of recommendation.

Application Materials

In addition to filing the regular University application for admission, all applicants must submit to the Spanish Graduate Committee, for evaluation, a one- to two-page statement written in Spanish describing the objectives of proposed graduate study and at least two academic letters of recommendation which address the candidate's potential for research and suitability for graduate-level work.

Degree Requirements

The number of semester credit hours required for this degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies, is 36. A maximum of one grade of “C” shall be applicable toward coursework for the Master of Arts degree.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

A. 3 semester credit hours of required coursework:3
Introduction to Graduate Hispanic Studies (This course must be taken within the first 18 hours of graduate work.)
B. 27 semester credit hours distributed as follows:
9 hours in culture (SPN)9
9 hours in Spanish language and linguistics (SPN and LNG)9
9 hours in literature (SPN)9
C. Electives6
6 semester credit hours of electives in Spanish (SPN), Linguistics (LNG), Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) or other courses as approved by the Graduate Advisor of Record. TIS 6013 Practicum in Translation cannot be applied towards the degree.
D. Comprehensive Examination
The satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination, to be taken toward the end of a student’s 36-hour program. Students are advised to speak with the Graduate Advisor of Record when close to 27 hours.
E. Thesis Option
Master’s Thesis (The satisfactory completion of a thesis in accordance with University regulations as stated under “Options for Master’s Degrees” in Chapter 4, Master’s Degree Regulations. If this option is chosen, up to 6 semester credit hours of thesis credit may be used in place of the electives in item C.)
Total Credit Hours36

Graduate Certificate in Linguistics

The Graduate Certificate in Linguistics is a 12-semester-credit-hour concentration available to degree-seeking students who have been admitted to any UTSA graduate program and who qualify for admission to the certificate program, as well as special graduate students who meet all the requirements outlined in the UTSA Graduate Catalog. 

The Graduate Certificate in Linguistics offers coursework in the advanced, interdisciplinary study of language for students working at the masters or doctoral level. This certificate will also enhance students’ employment credentials as college and university writing instructors, editors or professional writers in corporate, non-profit, and educational settings. Requirements: One foundations course (LNG 5003, SPN 5903, ENG 6033, ESL 5003) and 9 additional semester credit hours of approved graduate linguistics courses. Courses may be repeated when topics vary but not more than six (6) hours of any one course may be applied to the certificate without the approval of an advisor. No course in which a grade lower than “B” is earned may be used to complete a Graduate Certificate in Linguistics. In order to receive this certificate, students must maintain a 3.0 average GPA in the above courses. 

Individuals interested in the Graduate Certificate in Linguistics should contact the Graduate Office of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Program Requirements

A. Foundation Course 3
Select one course from the following:
Introduction to Linguistics
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
Language and Linguistics
Linguistics for Second Language and Bilingual Specialists
B. Elective Courses 9
Select three of the following courses:
Sociolinguistics
Topics in Contemporary Linguistics
History of the Spanish Language
Spanish of the United States
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
Spanish Morphology and Syntax
Spanish Dialects
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
Language and Linguistics
Linguistics for Second Language and Bilingual Specialists
Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
Pedagogical Grammar
Second Language Acquisition Research
Sociolinguistics and Education
Seminar in Advanced Research Methods
Seminar in Second Language Learning & Multilingualism
Seminar in Applied Linguistics
Total Credit Hours12

Graduate Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies

The Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies is a 15-hour option in Spanish graduate studies which introduces students to the theory and practice of translation (written) and interpreting (oral) between Spanish and English. Offerings include training in translation and interpreting studies theory, cultural competency, ethics, the practice of language mediation in various settings, and current best practices.

Entrance and Exit Requirements

In addition to meeting University-wide admission requirements either as a special graduate student or a degree-seeking student in a graduate program, all prospective students who are not already admitted to the M.A. in Spanish must pass a written entrance examination in Spanish and English to determine linguistic competence and general cultural preparation.

Entrance- and exit-level skills in both languages will be no lower than Level 3 and Level 4, respectively, according to the U.S. Government’s Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Skill Level Descriptions for Translation Performance.

Program Requirements

The Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies consists of 15 semester credit hours including an introduction to theory and practice and the meta-language of translation studies. Courses in Spanish linguistics strengthen the interdisciplinary underpinnings of the Certificate, and the practicum, TIS 6013 Practicum in Translation, provides training in and reinforcement of written and/or oral translation skills by means of a translation case study, a supervised internship, or a service learning project. A maximum of one grade of "C" shall be applicable toward coursework for the Certificate in Spanish Translation Studies.

Students must complete the following requirements:

A. 9 semester credit hours from the following:9
Principles of Translation and Interpreting
Theory and Practice of Translation or Interpreting
Topics in Translation and Interpreting Studies
B. 3 semester credit hours from the following:3
Writing and Editing in Spanish
History of the Spanish Language
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
Spanish of the United States
Spanish Morphology and Syntax
Spanish Dialects
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
C. Practicum in Translation3
Practicum in Translation
Total Credit Hours15

Students will take the Practicum during their last semester of enrollment in the Certificate Program. In consultation with the instructor, they will select an area of interest and define a task within that area. Project translation work will normally be exclusively into the student’s dominant language.

Foreign Languages (FL) Courses

FL 5003. Foreign Language Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Consideration of second language acquisition research and classroom applications. Topics may include theory and practice of language skills development, methods of language instruction, foreign language anxiety, and technology-assisted language learning. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

FL 5013. Foreign Language Testing. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Consideration of content and approaches for measuring achievement and proficiency in various sub-skills of language and culture.

FL 5114. Individual Instruction in Elementary Language I. (0-0) 4 Credit Hours.

Opportunity to develop basic oral and written communication skills in the target language, along with enhanced comprehension skills in listening and reading.

FL 5124. Individual Instruction in Elementary Language II. (0-0) 4 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: FL 5114 or the equivalent in the selected foreign language. Opportunity to develop basic oral and written communication skills in the target language, along with enhanced comprehension skills in listening and reading.

FL 5213. Individual Instruction in Intermediate Language I. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: FL 5124 or the equivalent in the selected foreign language. Opportunity to develop intermediate-level oral and written communication skills in the target language, along with increased comprehension skills in listening and reading.

FL 5223. Individual Instruction in Intermediate Language II. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: FL 5213 or the equivalent in the selected foreign language. Opportunity to develop intermediate-level oral and written communication skills in the target language, along with increased comprehension skills in listening and reading.

FL 5313. Individual Instruction in Advanced Language I. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: FL 5223 or the equivalent in the selected foreign language. Opportunity to develop advanced-level oral and written communication skills in the target language, along with enhanced comprehension skills in listening and reading.

Linguistics (LNG) Courses

LNG 5003. Introduction to Linguistics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Basic principles of analysis and description of the structure of language, including phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Also, overview of selected subfields of linguistics, such as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and bilingualism.

LNG 5013. Sociolinguistics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: LNG 3813, an equivalent, or consent of instructor. Theory, research, and methods for the study of linguistic variation and language use in context. Quantitative and qualitative approaches are included.

LNG 5153. Topics in Contemporary Linguistics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: LNG 3813, an equivalent, or consent of instructor. Contemporary approaches to language analysis and description. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Spanish (SPN) Courses

SPN 5023. Writing and Editing in Spanish. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Theory and practice of advanced Spanish stylistics. Development of writing skills and practice in editing Spanish texts. Can be repeated for credit up to 6 hours with approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record.

SPN 5123. Hispanic Film. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Hispanic societies, history, culture, and language of film as interpreted by representative directors. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5373. Introduction to Graduate Hispanic Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

An introduction to graduate studies in Spanish. Emphasis on critical writing and research skills, including bibliography and electronic media. Incorporates critical and methodological approaches to Hispanic literature, culture, and linguistics. This course must be taken within the first 18 semester credit hours of graduate studies.

SPN 5413. History of Ideas in the Hispanic World. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Selected Spanish, Latin American and/or U.S. Latina/o issues representative of major currents of thought affecting the evolution of Hispanic cultural history. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5463. Spanish Civilization. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

A study of the social, political, and cultural history of Spain from prehistory (the Caves of Altamira) to the present.

SPN 5473. Latin American Civilization. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

A study of the social, political, and cultural history of the Latin American countries from pre-Columbian civilizations through the Conquest, Colonial period, and Independence to the present.

SPN 5483. Topics in Hispanic Cultures. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Studies of different facets of Hispanic culture not normally available as part of regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, as reflected in their literature and arts.

SPN 5633. Spanish Medieval-Golden Age Literature. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Study of Medieval, Renaissance, and/or Golden Age Spanish texts in a variety of contexts that may include historical, cultural, or theoretical approaches. Topics may include poetry, narrative, drama, and Don Quijote. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5703. Modern Spanish Literature. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Selected Spanish literary works from 1700 to the present. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5763. Latin American Literature to Modernism. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

In-depth study of selected literary works by Indian, Spanish, and Creole authors. Topics may include the Conquest, the Colonial period, and the nineteenth century. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5773. Latin American Literature from Modernism to the Present. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Studies in contemporary prose, poetry, and/or drama. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5803. Mexican American Literature. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

The consideration of Mexican American literature in the context of the Hispanic tradition. Different genres, themes, and authors will be examined in terms of ethnic, social, and linguistic characteristics as well as artistic merit. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5813. Topics in Hispanic Literatures. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Study in selected areas of Hispanic literature not normally available as part of regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 5843. History of the Spanish Language. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Chronological development of the Spanish language, focusing on areas such as phonology, morphology, and lexicon.

SPN 5853. Spanish of the United States. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

An in-depth study of the contact variety of Spanish spoken by Mexican Americans in the U.S. Southwest, including San Antonio. Complementary descriptive and sociolinguistic approaches are incorporated.

SPN 5863. Spanish Phonetics and Phonology. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

The framework of articulatory phonetics, its application to Spanish and analysis of its phonological system. Additional areas may include theoretical approaches to phonology, applications for teaching, appreciation of regional variation, acoustic phonetics, etc.

SPN 5883. Spanish Morphology and Syntax. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

An opportunity for in-depth analysis of the Spanish language, focusing on the levels of word, phrase, and sentence.

SPN 5893. Spanish Dialects. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

A study of regional and social variation in Peninsular, Latin American, and U.S. Spanish, including phonology, grammar, and lexicon of vernacular dialects. Perspectives of traditional dialectology and modern sociolinguistics.

SPN 5903. Topics in Hispanic Linguistics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Study in selected areas of Hispanic linguistics not normally available as part of regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SPN 6011. Supervised Teaching in Spanish. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Development and implementation of an undergraduate course in Spanish under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. May be repeated for credit.

SPN 6813. Seminar in Hispanic Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 24 semester credit hours of graduate-level Spanish. In-depth study and major research project in areas such as Hispanic cultures, literatures, and/or languages. May be repeated once for credit as an elective.

SPN 6951. Independent Study. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish.

SPN 6952. Independent Study. (0-0) 2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish.

SPN 6953. Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish.

SPN 6961. Comprehensive Examination. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination. Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination). Credit earned in SPN 6961 cannot be counted in the 36 semester credit hours required for the Master of Arts degree in Spanish.

SPN 6976. Special Problems. (6-0) 6 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish.

SPN 6983. Master’s Thesis. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor of Record and thesis director. Thesis research and preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress.

Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) Courses

TIS 5043. Principles of Translation and Interpreting. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Previous coursework or experience in translation or consent of instructor. Introduction to current and fundamental research in translation and interpreting studies. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (Formerly FL 5043).

TIS 5123. Theory and Practice of Translation or Interpreting. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

A survey of approaches to the practice and theory of translation and interpreting with hands-on practice in a variety of genres (for example, literary prose, poetry, essay, narration) and vocabularies (e.g., legal, medical, business). May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (Formerly SPN 6083).

TIS 5973. Topics in Translation and Interpreting Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

A seminar in advanced and specialized topics in translation and interpreting studies. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

TIS 6013. Practicum in Translation. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: TIS 5043 or TIS 5123 or faculty approval. Students will take this course during their last semester of enrollment in the Certificate Program. In consultation with the instructor, they will select an area of interest and define a task within that area. Project translation work will normally be exclusively into the student’s dominant language. (Formerly FL 6013).