Spanish PhD


Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy in Spanish.

About the Program

The graduate program in Spanish integrates the established fields of Literature and Linguistics. At the PhD level, the program provides opportunities for advanced study and research in Spanish Peninsular Literature, Spanish American Literature, and Hispanic Linguistics as it trains scholars for careers in higher education.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Areas of Specialization: Areas of specialization include:

  • Spanish Peninsular Literature
  • Spanish American Literature
  • Hispanic Linguistics

Job Prospects: The department has an excellent record of placing graduates as full-time faculty in public and private universities.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may take up to three courses with approval of the department or Graduate Chair.

Financing Opportunities: Teaching Assistants typically teach basic and intermediate Spanish or conversation, composition and reading courses. Assistantships carry a stipend and tuition remission. Candidates for Teaching Assistantships should express their interest and special needs in an addendum to the personal statement of the application to the graduate program.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15
Spring: September 30

Applications are evaluated as they arrive, with attention paid to deadlines. Late applications may be considered.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members with personal knowledge of the applicant's academic and scholarly achievements.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Literature and/or Linguistics is required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 2 to 3 pages, share your interest in Temple's Spanish program, future career goals, research goals, academic achievements, and any related experience. Applicants interested in Teaching Assistantships, fellowships or other financial support may describe special needs in an addendum to their personal statement.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional. Scores may be submitted if available.

International applicants are required to provide scores from one of the following tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS™), or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic™).

Resume: Current resume required.

Writing Sample: A paper or journal article in Spanish is required as a writing sample.

Advanced Standing: Students are awarded advanced standing based on a review of transcripts and descriptions of previous graduate coursework in Spanish Literature or Spanish Linguistics at another institution. Advanced standing credits count toward the elective credit requirements of the PhD program.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 30; 24 for students who earned their Spanish MA at Temple
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 54

Required Courses:

Core Courses
8000-level Course in Hispanic Linguistics3
8000-level Course in Latin American Literature3
8000-level Course in Spanish Peninsular Literature3
Electives 139
Research Courses6
Preliminary Examination Preparation
Pre-Dissertation Research
Dissertation Research
Total Credit Hours54

Language Examination: Students must pass written reading-comprehension examinations in two foreign languages other than Spanish. Examinations are usually taken in the Romance languages or German. Other languages may be accepted with approval.

Culminating Events:
Preliminary Examination:
The purpose of the written preliminary examination is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in two specific areas of Hispanic Studies chosen by the doctoral student and approved by the faculty. The doctoral student may customize the reading lists for the examination in accordance with research interests. The written examination lasts 10 hours. The preliminary examination should be completed no more than one term after the student completes the coursework component of the program.

Examination areas are drawn from the three fields of study within the department: Spanish Peninsular Literature, Spanish American Literature, and Hispanic Linguistics. Graduate Faculty members specializing in the subject areas selected for the examination write the questions for the preliminary examination and evaluate the examination. Each member grades examination answers on a scale of "A" to "F." A grade of "B-" or higher must be achieved in response to each question. The evaluators look for breadth and depth of understanding of specific research areas, the critical application of knowledge in response to specific exam questions, and an ability to write in a clear and concise manner using appropriate terminology.

The preliminary examination is given over a period of two weeks. Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations must meet with the Graduate Chair to register and confirm.

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal typically consists of the presentation of the context and background surrounding a particular research question or problem, a survey and review of pertinent literature, and a detailed methodological plan for carrying out the proposed research. The proposal should be completed and approved by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee no more than one year after the student completes coursework.

The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical or theoretical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Hispanic Studies. It should expand existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's mastery of research methods and of their primary area of research. The dissertation should be rigorously investigated, uphold the ethics and standards of the field, and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of research and the broader field of Hispanic Studies.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's dissertation research and is comprised of three Graduate Faculty members. One is the Committee Chair, who has responsibility for directly overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of their academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional examiner from outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The outside examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the term in which the student plans to defend the dissertation. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and public oral examination, including the student's ability to express verbally their research question, methodological approach, primary findings and implications. The Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public oral defense.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's Graduate Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation must confirm a time and date with their Doctoral Advisory Committee Chair at least one month before the defense is to be held. After the Chair has arranged the time, date and room for the defense, a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms,” must be delivered to the Graduate School by the student at least 10 days before the defense. The department posts flyers announcing the defense.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese

428 Mazur Hall

1114 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Victor Pueyo, PhD


Program Coordinator:

Annette Vega


Graduate Chairperson:

Victor Pueyo, PhD



Montserrat Piera, PhD