Program of Study

The Spanish department offers an M.A. and a Ph.D. program. Normally only students intending to work toward the Ph.D. are admitted to the graduate program. While the study and interpretation of literary works is the primary focus of the program,   all our courses incorporate larger cultural, social and theoretical concerns. Students who have recently completed their Ph.D. in Spanish wrote about a wide range of subjects including but not limited to Latino and Latin American literature, poetry, film, ethnicity, environmental issues and gender studies. UCI is renowned for its focus  on critical theory and students may expect to find this interest reflected in the courses of the Spanish department. Additional and specific training in other academic areas is provided by the different emphases offered in the School of Humanities: Gender and Sexuality Studies, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature, Chicano and Latino Studies, Latin American Studies, Visual Culture.

The M.A. Degree: Students entering the Master of Arts degree program in Spanish should complete a minimum of 8 courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with a letter grade. An introductory course in literary and critical theory (Spanish 239A or B) is a requirement for all graduate students . Students are granted an M.A. after the passing of the M.A exam. This exam should take place no later than the fifth quarter of graduate study.

The Ph.D. Program:  A Ph.D. degree requires 16 courses beyond the B.A. or 8 beyond the M.A. There are three mandatory courses in the areas of Linguistic, Luso Brazilian Literature and Culture and Critical Theory. The remaining elective courses are selected with the approval of the student's guidance committee to prepare for the doctoral examination and the dissertation. Students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of required courses. According to School regulations, the normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is seven years; four years to candidacy, three years in candidacy. The maximum time permitted is eight years.

Continuing students and students that transfer into the doctoral program from elsewhere must take a minimum of 8 graduate courses at UCI, of which six must be in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. In the case of students who enter the Ph.D. program with their master's degree from another institution, the Ph.D. guidance committee will determine the number of courses that will be accepted.

Gradaute students participate actively in general discussions regarding the present and future of the department through their student representatives. These elected representatives attend faculty meetings and present the concerns and initiatives of the students to the faculty.

Starting in 2015, the School of Humanities offers a pilot program under which students completing the Ph.D. in five years are offered a two years visiting position appointment in UCI's School of Humanities.