MA Admission

The University of New Mexico offers the M.A. degree in Spanish with three areas of concentration: Hispanic Literature, Hispanic Linguistics, and Hispanic Southwest Studies.  UNM offers an M.A. degree in Portuguese as well.  Departmental financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships are available for the most highly qualified candidates. Teaching Assistants in the M.A. program are normally guaranteed four semesters of support, as long as they remain in good academic standing.  A small number of summer teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

You must apply for admission through the Graduate online application. You will have the ability to upload various requirements for consideration by the admission committee.

Deadline: January 15 & March 15 for the Fall semester.

Announcement: Deadline Extended for MA Application until April 1, 2023

** Applications submitted on or before January 15th will be evaluated for admission and be given priority for Teaching Assistantships.

** Applications submitted between January 16th & March 15th will be evaluated for admission on March 15th but Teaching Assistantship opportunities may be reduced.

M.A Application Require Materials

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Narrative statement of intent – Following the department guidelines. All applicants to the M.A. program in Spanish or Portuguese must submit a narrative statement of intent.  This document is one of the most important components of the application and should be prepared thoughtfully.  It may be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese. The statement should include a description of their undergraduate studies in Spanish and/or Portuguese and related areas, any additional experiences which bear on their qualifications or interest in graduate studies, and a clear indication of the reasons for pursuing a graduate degree.  Applicants should describe their specific interests within the programs offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and should indicate why they have chosen the University of New Mexico.  In addition, applicants should outline their future career plans in as much detail as possible.  Simply stating “I have always enjoyed Spanish,” “I want to learn more about Spanish/improve my abilities,” or “Portuguese is my native language” is not adequate.  The M.A. is a professional degree, and applicants need to indicate why they are qualified to undertake this professional training and how they intend to use it in the future.
  3. Transcripts – Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to the online application. An official transcript from all institutions attended must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.  All foreign transcripts/diplomas for admission to the University of New Mexico must be sent with a certified English translation.
  4. Letters of Recommendation – Applicants must provide three letters of recommendation. Letters should be written by professors or scholars who can attest to your abilities and qualifications and inform us of your academic potential in your chosen area.
  5. Teaching Assistantship (TA) If interested, all Spanish and Portuguese TA candidates, both native and non-native speakers, must submit a 5-10 minute recorded statement in Portuguese or Spanish (depending on program of interest) and should consist of free, spontaneous narration. Appropriate topics include a brief biographical sketch, accounts of travel or other experiences that bear on graduate study in Spanish or Portuguese, reasons for deciding to pursue a graduate career, specific research interests, and awareness of the programs and resources offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico.  Applicants should try to use as wide a range of grammatical structures as possible, including past, present, future and hypothetical reference, and an appropriately professional vocabulary.  No portion of the recording should be read or memorized, nor should the recorded statement be edited in any way.  If the submitted recording does not adequately demonstrate the candidate’s linguistic abilities, additional demonstration may be required, such as a supplemental recording, or a telephone or personal interview. The recording statement must be uploaded to the online application under the Teaching Assistantship essay section.
    Those students who receive a teaching assistantship will (unless the letter of offer stipulates otherwise) normally be eligible for - two years - (4 semesters) of TA support (excluding summer teaching), contingent upon academic progress in departmentally approved classes, satisfactory teaching, and the availability for University funding.  There will be no extensions to the four-semester limit of assistant support.
  6. English Language ProficiencyNative speakers of languages other than English who graduate from non-U.S. universities must successfully pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Duolingo English Test, Pearson Test of English (Academic), or Cambridge CPE or CAE. Official test results must be sent directly to the University of New Mexico. (The ETS school code for the University of New Mexico is 4845.)


    Minimum Score Required

    TOEFL  (internet-based)


    TOEFL (paper-based)




    PTE Academic


    Duolingo English Test


    Cambridge C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency


    The CPE or CAE test may also be accepted with a satisfactory score of C.
  7. Relevant Coursework – Students seeking admission to the program who do not have a B.A. major in Spanish or Portuguese must present an equivalent, i.e. 24 hours of advanced courses such as Spanish Phonetics, Advanced Grammar, and surveys of Latin American and Peninsular literature, or the equivalent in Portuguese.

Contact Information

Department of Spanish and Portuguese: Martha Hurd,

Global Education Office:

Office of Admissions:

Frequently Asked Questions

Access your UNM online application account and under Addendum you may upload additional material.

The Office of Graduate Studies provides a questionnaire that can be filled out. However, most professors will also provide an additional letter on official letterhead.

January 15th is the deadline if you are an international student or a domestic student requesting departmental funding. March 15th is the final deadline for all applications.

When the Department of Spanish and Portuguese makes an admissions decision we notify both the student and the Admissions Department which has a heavy volume of Admissions each semester. If there is a delay in your paperwork please contact Martha Hurd, Academic Advisor at, so that she can check on the paperwork.

We apologize for not contacting you sooner. Sometimes we forward many decisions to the Admissions Department before we have had a chance to contact the student.

The first thing that you need to do upon being admitted to UNM is to set up your NETID. This is not the same as your 9 digit student ID. The NET ID is similar to a USERID and is chosen by you. It becomes the first part of your UNM email address. For example John Doe is the NET ID. To set it up please go to MY UNM. You can get there through as well. Scroll down to set up your NET ID and password. Once you have your net ID you can register for classes, set up your financial plans etc. all through LoboWeb.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese requires the same supplemental materials for all students. However, the Office of International Admissions does have additional requirements for international students including the TOEFL exam. Please visit the Office of International Admissions website to make sure that you supply all of the necessary paperwork.

We offer assistantships to our students on a limited basis, click *here for more info.

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