MA in Spanish

Units required for the MA:  30

Program Description

The Master of Arts program in Spanish affords an opportunity for specialized work in Spanish linguistics, Peninsular and Latin American Literature, and in the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The program is of particular value to those who plan to teach Spanish at the secondary school level (or already do so) or in a community college, and to those who plan to continue working toward a doctorate in Spanish.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Spanish requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted;
  • a satisfactory score on the Graduate Examination designed and administered by the Spanish Area of the Department of Foreign Languages. The student must take the Graduate Examination prior to entrance into any 200 series graduate course and must successfully pass the entire examination before being advanced to candidacy. The student may pursue graduate work while concurrently correcting any deficiencies noted as a result of the examination and must retake the exam sections failed only after the passage of one semester. Three-summer MA applicants will take the Graduate Exam during their first summer in the program and will retake any sections not passed during the second summer that they attend the program. Consult the Graduate Coordinator in Spanish regarding steps to complete this requirement; and
  • completion of the following Sacramento State courses (or equivalents):
    SPAN 100Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Literature3
    SPAN 102Spanish Phonetics3
    SPAN 103Advanced Spanish Grammar3
    One upper division course in Peninsular Literature3
    One upper division course in Latin American Literature3
    One upper division course in Hispanic culture3
    Total Units18

Students not meeting all these requirements may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status and work toward the MA degree while the admission requirements are being completed. (SPAN 102 and SPAN 103 may be met by challenge examination.) Units taken to remove admission requirement deficiencies do not count toward the MA program. Any such deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the admission application.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as room for new students exists during the application filing period. The University operates under a completion deadline system; all transcripts and materials must be received by the filing deadline of March 1st. Only completed applications will be reviewed. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • an online application for admission; and
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit the Office of Graduate Studies Website.

At the same time, each applicant must complete a supplemental application that includes:

  1. A cover letter.
  2. A one-page Statement of Purpose.
  3. A five-page writing sample in Spanish that was graded by an instructor.
  4. Two letters of recommendation if their BA is not from Sacramento State.

Departmental recommendation for Office of Graduate Studies acceptance into the MA in Spanish program is based on overall student scholastic achievement, the number of completed prerequisites, the quality of the applicant's writing in Spanish, and letters of recommendation.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please the Office of Graduate Studies website and the Department of World Languages and Literatures website.

A decision regarding admission will be mailed from the Office of Graduate Studies approximately 6 weeks after the completion deadline.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 18 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA, including at least four 200-level courses; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

The Advancement will list all of the courses presented for the degree and must be approved by the Spanish Graduate Coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Culminating Requirement

The comprehensive exams for the MA in Spanish can be taken in November or April. Students take an exam in each of the following areas: Spanish Linguistics, Spanish Peninsular Literature, Latin American Literatures, and Hispanic Culture. A passing grade is considered to be 80% or higher, and a student may only fail one exam, which must be re-taken the following semester.

Program Requirements

Required Courses (24 Units) 1
Latin American Literature
Select two of the following:6
Latin American Literature, Beginnings to Modernism
Latin American Literature, Modernism to Present
Magical Realism
Contemporary Mexican Literature
The Short Story in Latin America
Spanish-American Literature to 1825
Spanish-American Literature, 1825 to 1880
Spanish-American Literature, 1880 to 1945
Spanish-American Literature, 1945 to Present
Spanish Literature
Select two of the following:6
Survey of Spanish Literature to 1800
Survey of Spanish Literature from 1800 to the Present
Topics in Spanish Literature
Spanish Literature in the Middle Ages
Spanish Literature in the Golden Age
Spanish Literature in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Contemporary Spanish Literature
Hispanic Culture
Select two of the following:6
Civilization and Culture of Hispanic America
Civilization and Culture of Spain
Civilization and Culture of Mexico
Civilization and Culture of Spain
Civilization and Culture of Modern Spain
Civilization and Culture of Hispanic America
Civilization and Culture of Mexico
Select two of the following:6
General Spanish Linguistics
History of the Spanish Language
Contrastive Grammatical Structures of Spanish and English
Applied Spanish Linguistics
Other Course Requirements (2-6 Units)
Select 2-6 units of Spanish courses or a related field in consultation with the Spanish Graduate Coordinator 22 - 6
Culminating Requirement (4 Units)
SPAN 500Culminating Experience (Thesis, Project, or Comprehensive Exam)4
Total Units30-34