Master of Arts in Spanish
The MA or Master of Arts in Spanish supplements an interdisciplinary study of literature with the structure and complexity of the language. The MA program banks on several other departments and subjects, such as political science, social sciences, history, etc. This degree type usually requires a thesis to be submitted towards the end of the program and is preferred for those looking to teach Spanish at the college level, prepare for a Ph.D., or enhance their research and writing skills.
Master of Science in Spanish
The MS or Master of Science in Spanish emphasizes the technicalities of the language, such as applied linguistics, history/dialectology, phonology/morphology, syntax, and semantics. This degree type is preferred for those who want to engage in cultural-based careers, work in diplomatic, tourist, or government sectors, or take up research as a profession.
Specializations in Masters in Spanish Programs
Graduating with a concentration or specialization ensures that students are well-prepared for careers in academia and research. Some such concentrations that lead to specific and rewarding careers are:
- Spanish Literature
- Hispanic Linguistics
- Hispanic Literature and Linguistics
- Spanish Literature and Culture
- Spanish Translation and Interpretation
- Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language
Curriculum and Skills Gained in a Masters in Spanish Program
The master’s degree program in Spanish may have a different curriculum depending on the chosen specialization or concentration. Spanish language classes that obtain and develop hearing, reading, speaking and writing skills may be included in introductory course work. Additional classes may help to improve Spanish reading comprehension and prepare students for Spanish literature and culture classes. Phonetic analysis and research methodologies in sociolinguistics, Spanish movies, and specific cultural and literary periods in Spanish history may be covered in advanced courses. It is always best for a prospective student to check with the graduate coordinator or Spanish department about the actual course work in the master program. In general, however, prospective students can expect the following graduate-level Spanish courses online:
- Historical Linguistics
- Graduate Seminars in Literature
- Peninsular Literature
- Prose and Narrative Fiction
- Spanish-American Novel
- Spanish-American Literature
- Spanish-American Poetry
- Spanish Grammar
- Hispanic Topics
- Advanced Structure and Style
- Teaching Heritage Languages
- Sociolinguistics for Teaching Spanish
- Grammar for Teaching
- Spanish Curriculum Design
- Bibliography and Methods of Research
- Research Literature and Techniques
Some Elective Courses include but are not limited to:
- Literature to Neoclassicism
- American Literature to Modernismo
- American Literature Since Modernismo
- Literature Since Neoclassicism
- Phonology and Dialectology
- Morphology and Syntax
- Culture in the Southwest
- Spanish-English Bilingualism and Language Contact
- Hispanic Literature
- Spanish Teaching Methodology
- History of the Spanish Language
- Semantics & Pragmatics
- Phonology and Morphology
- Generative Syntax
- From Multiculturalism to Nationalism: Early Spanish Literature & Culture
- Spanish Literature & Film of the 20th & 21st Centuries
Additionally, some colleges require students to submit a thesis or conduct independent graduate research as part of their master’s.
Those who obtain a master’s degree in Spanish may reap numerous rewards. Students can often increase their ability to converse in multiple languages, which can be beneficial in various vocations. Studying a language can also help students develop their cultural awareness and interpersonal skills, which are both helpful in a career as well.
Among other skills, graduates:
- would have received advanced and specialized training that would enable them to develop teaching and research activities in Spanish as a foreign language at home and abroad.
- have a strong understanding of Spanish and will be conversant with the most effective teaching approaches and methodologies.
- can teach and research Applied, Computational, and Forensic Linguistics, and the use of ICTs in Linguistics study.
- will be able to demonstrate translation and interpretation skills.
Accreditation for Masters in Spanish Programs
Accreditation means that a program or institution has attained or exceeded the established standards to which it must adhere. It is a mark of trustworthiness, excellence, and reliability. For the degree to be acknowledged by the industry, it must be earned from an accredited Masters in Spanish online school. While some schools offer programmatic accreditation, the majority are regionally accredited. Some organizations that provide accreditation regionally are:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Graduate Spanish students should look for an accredited college or program accredited by at least one agency. The Accreditation Guide provides more information on accreditation.
Timeline for Graduating from an Online Spanish Masters Program
The intake for Spanish master’s programs is generally year-round, with programs beginning with the spring semester or fall semester. In general, most programs require about 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the course work and college. Full-timers who also study during the summer session can finish within a year or so. The upper limit to complete the master’s degree is 3 to 5 years.
Admission Requirements for an Online Spanish Masters Program
The application process and admissions requirements for graduate-level studies in Spanish are pretty standard across universities. For a student to seek admission to a graduate school that offers a master’s in Spanish, they are required to meet specific eligibility criteria, as well as complete required courses for entry into the program. Some such criteria and requirements are:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Official transcripts
- A Grade Point Average (GPA) minimum score of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units attempted
- Major in Spanish consisting of 33 units (or equivalent) of upper-division studies
with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Upper-division English writing course with a grade of “C” or better
- Satisfactory evaluation of language proficiency
- Two letters of recommendation
- A Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
Where an applicant did not earn a bachelor’s in Spanish, they are required to submit a 5 to 7-page Spanish writing sample additionally. Most universities do not ask for GRE scores. International students may have to fulfill certain additional requirements as well.
In some instances, before beginning the graduate program, the college may require a candidate with a Bachelor of Arts degree who has less than 24 units of upper-division language coursework or whose background is otherwise lacking to take additional prerequisite courses and/or proficiency exams to complete a full undergraduate major.