Department of Languages and Literatures

M.A. Program in Spanish

About the Program

A graduate degree in Spanish can open many career doors. Some students decide to follow a teaching track at the high school or college level, where they teach a range of courses in language, culture and literature. Others pursue paths including international business and communication fields, medical fields, translation, law enforcement and social work. 

The M.A. in Spanish at UNI allows students to study a broad range of topics (linguistics, translation, literature, culture, and teaching methods) as well as issues that draw from broad geographical regions. Our program also has notable opportunities for community engagement (volunteer and outreach opportunities) and for professionalization (attendance and presentations at conferences).  Our students work with a diverse faculty whose research and creative work covers geographic areas ranging from Spain to Latin America, Central America and the U.S., where Latinos are the fastest growing minority group.

Our graduates can be found throughout the U.S. and the world:

  • Studying in Ph.D. programs such as at Cincinnati, Ohio State, Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, Purdue, Tennessee, SUNY-Stony Brook, and Notre-Dame.
  • Teaching in schools, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges
  • Working at global corporations, non-governmental, and political organizations
  • Acting as translators in medical, legal, and judicial fields

Click here for the M.A.-Spanish program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

Notes for Applicants

Students interested in this program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Department of Languages & Literatures for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at

The Graduate Record Examination (General Test) is not required for admission to the program.

For M.A. admission and Graduate Assistant applications the following items are required:

  • major or equivalent in the language of study
  • two letters of recommendation on letterhead
  • Statement of Purpose written in Spanish
  • 550 TOEFL score or higher

This emphasis is available on both the thesis and non-thesis options. A minimum of 32 semester hours is required for either option. A minimum of 18 hours of 6000-level course work, including 6 hours of SPAN 6299, is required for the thesis option. A minimum of 15 hours of 6000-level course work is required for the non-thesis option, including no more than 3 hours of SPAN 6299. In the case of the non-thesis option, a research paper for the UNISSIST M.A. must be approved by the student's committee and filed with the Department of Languages & Literatures before the comprehensive examinations may be taken. Successful completion of a final written and oral comprehensive examination is required for both the thesis and non-thesis options.

Spanish-Teaching Emphasis

This program is offered on the non-thesis option only. A minimum of 34 semester hours is required, of which a minimum of 16 hours must be at the 6000-level; a minimum of 20 credits must be courses taught in Spanish.

Only graduate courses (course numbers 5000 or above) will apply to a graduate degree, even if the undergraduate course number (4999 or less) is listed. No exceptions will be made.

Successful completion of a final written and oral comprehensive examination is required. A research paper, written on an aspect of methodology, must be approved by the student's committee and filed with the Department of Languages & Literatures before comprehensive examinations may be taken.

Prerequisites: Student must hold a valid teaching license and must have documentation of successful teaching experience. The student who has not completed SPAN 3001, SPAN 3003, and either LANG 4090/5090 or LANG 4740/5740, or equivalents, before entering the program must add these courses to the requirements.

Contact Us

Head: Dr. Jenny Cooley
Phone: (319) 273-3897

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Joyce Milambiling
Phone: (319) 273-6099

Secretary: Kristi Knebel
Phone: (319) 273-5965

Click here for information on assistantships within the Department of Languages & Literatures.

Click here for information on the UNISSIST M.A. in Spanish (note: this program is not accepting new students).