PhD Admission

The University of New Mexico offers the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with major concentrations in Hispanic Literature and Hispanic Linguistics, with graduate-level coursework offered in Portuguese.  The Ph.D. is a research-oriented degree, requiring the completion of a dissertation, which represents a major original scholarly contribution. Financial assistance in the form of a teaching assistantship is available for the most highly qualified candidates.  Ph.D. students holding a teaching assistantship are normally supported for six semesters of support, providing that they remain in good academic standing, have satisfactory teaching and the availability of University funding.  A limited 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 for Fall semester.

PhD Application require materials:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Narrative statement of intent – following the department guidelines The Ph.D. is a research-oriented degree which presupposes both the ability and the interest in undertaking sustained original research including publication, scholarly presentation, and teaching.  Applicants to the Ph.D. program should outline their previous graduate studies with as much detail as possible.  They should also describe their specific interests, including possible dissertation topics, collateral areas, and related research.  To the extent possible, they should identify specific faculty members and/or university and community resources that would make their doctoral project feasible at the University of New Mexico, and should justify the choice of UNM as the appropriate institution for their doctoral career.  Finally, and most importantly, they should elaborate on their academic background and their abilities to conduct original in-depth research, and should describe their future professional plans and aspirations.
  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. Writing Sample – A sample research paper prepared in accordance with the MLA Style Sheet for literature students or the LSA Style Sheet for linguistics students.
  6. 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 Spanish and Portuguese 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.
  7. 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.

  8. Relevant Coursework - All prospective Ph.D. candidates must hold the M.A. in Spanish or Portuguese or an equivalent degree from another country.

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.

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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