PhD Academic Overview

The Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate courses (not including dissertation hours). The degree consists of a departmental concentration and twelve additional hours in a supporting field. All Ph.D. coursework in Spanish must be at the 500- or 600-level, with the exception of SPAN 438 - Mexican Literature, and SPAN 423 - Cervantes’ Quijote.

  1. Departmental Concentration: The two concentrations are Hispanic Literature and Hispanic Linguistics.

    Students may focus on many different areas in Hispanic Linguistics, Hispanic Literature, Hispanic Southwest Studies and Portuguese, and combinations thereof, in the Ph.D. program.
  2. Required Courses:

    For the Linguistic concentration either SPAN 542 - History of the Spanish Language or PORT 561 - History of the Portuguese Language and PORT 461 - Graduate Portuguese Reading. For the Literature concentration SPAN 601 (Literary Theory) and six units of Portuguese 400 level or above are required. These required courses may count toward the 36 hours of coursework.
  3. Language Requirement:

    Research at the graduate and professional levels is enhanced by the mastery of several languages. Students are advised to consider their professional goals in selecting a language to fulfill the department’s requirement. The Portuguese language, as well as Brazilian literature and culture, share many similarities with the Spanish language and Spanish American literature and culture. Coursework in Portuguese is strongly encouraged by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as it will enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of such similarities. Portuguese 277 is recommended.
    All Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to two years of university-level study in a language apart from English and the student’s language of major study. This proficiency is normally demonstrated by completing, in consultation with the Departmental Graduate Advisor, a fourth-semester or above numbered language course with a grade of B or better. Alternately, the student may complete the requirement by demonstrating proficiency equivalent to one year of university-level study in two foreign languages, by completing second-semester or above numbered language courses in both languages with a grade of B or better. This requirement can be met through coursework done as part of the B.A. and/or M.A.
  4. Comprehensive Examination:

    The doctoral examination encompasses both the concentration and the additional 12 hours in a supporting field. The Student will compile a reading list in consultation with his or her Chair of Committee on Studies.
    The examination consists of three parts:
    • A 72-hour written examination covering areas of the concentration as well as the supporting field.
    • An assigned research essay in the student’s concentration. The research question is developed in collaboration with the Committee on Studies and is generally geared to prepare the student to work on the projected dissertation topic. The student will have two weeks to complete the essay.
    • A comprehensive oral examination to be scheduled two weeks after the conclusion of the written examination.
  5. Ph.D. Dissertation:

    Consult the information and requirements specified in the University of New Mexico Catalog. A dissertation proposal will be presented to and approved by the Dissertation Committee in the semester following the comprehensive examination. An approved copy of the dissertation proposal must be turned in to the Graduate Advisor.