Texas Tech University

Graduate Studies in Spanish and Portuguese

Welcome to our Graduate Programs!

Texas Tech University offers both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish. The graduate program in Spanish and Portuguese has two tracks: Literature & Cultural Studies and Linguistics. In addition, a Portuguese minor (encompassing language, literature, and cultural studies) either at the M.A. or at the Ph.D. level is strongly encouraged. Our programs balance general training in Spanish language, pedagogy and cultural criticism with specialized research and uphold a firm commitment to professional development and mentoring. We have a dynamic and internationally recognized faculty whose teaching and research cover a wide variety of topics and subdisciplines. Our faculty and students maintain strong ties to a number of programs on the Texas Tech campus such as the Comparative Literature Program, the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center, Gender and Women's Studies, Media and Communication, the Humanities Center and the Archeological Institute of America.

Financial assistance to graduate students is provided in the form of teaching and research assistantships and instructorships. Additional funding is available in the form of university-wide competitive scholarships from the Texas Tech University Graduate School. Summer teaching assignments are available to all students as well as opportunities to teach in Texas Tech University's Sevilla Study Abroad Program.

Spanish Doctoral Program

The mission of the Spanish doctoral program at Texas Tech University is to enable graduate students to fully appreciate the languages, literatures and cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, Iberia and the Latino, Chicano and Latinx United States. Our global and interdisciplinary approaches explore the Luso-Hispanic cultures of the past and present through courses in linguistics, literature, film, cultural studies and critical theory. Our graduate students actively engage in their fields of study and learn to apply their knowledge in a variety of ways such as teaching, producing peer-reviewed scholarship and becoming multilingual professionals in and outside of academia.

Spanish Doctoral Program Description

With expert mentoring from renowned faculty, PhDs in Spanish from Texas Tech University master the key concepts of cultural studies, literary and film studies, linguistics, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, digital humanities, just to name a few of the areas of strength the program enjoys.

Our alumni have found teaching positions, research positions, translation work and job opportunities in diplomatic service, government, and international business as well as academia. Our PhDs in Spanish are open-minded and culturally aware Spanish and Portuguese speaking professionals ready to make a difference in an ever-changing world.

The literature and cultural studies curriculum promotes the study of the production, distribution and reception of texts, either written or visual (photography, films, visual narratives); the study of their structures and functions; and the study of the internal and external forces that shape our understanding of the Luso-Hispanic world.

The linguistics curriculum promotes interdisciplinary approaches to several areas of investigation: second-language acquisition, instructional approaches to second and heritage language learning and second language multiliteracies; heritage language research; psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, phonetics / phonology, bilingualism, and languages in contact.

Who to Contact

The current CMLL Spanish Graduate Advisor, Dr. George Cole, coordinates the Graduate Program, advises students regarding degree programs, and assists students in making sure that requirements and deadlines are met.

Prospective students can contact the Spanish Graduate Recruiters for more information:

Program Admission

Apply Now

You will need to apply to the Graduate School. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for Fall admission.

The CMLL priority application deadline for the Fall is February 1st. However, we strongly encourage candidates to apply by January 10th in order to be considered for university-wide fellowships. To complete the CMLL application, submit the following required documents on https://texastechgrad.liaisoncas.com/:

  1. CMLL MA/PhD Program Application
  2. CMLL Teaching Assistantship Application
  3. GRE scores (optional)
  4. Unofficial TOEFL/IELTS scores (for International Students or students whose native language is other than English)*
  5. Official transcripts from all previously-attended universities
  6. Copies of all diplomas and certificates
  7. Official English translations of your transcripts & diploma (if necessary)
  8. Statement of Purpose (500-700 words in Spanish): State the reasons why you are applying to this program, including a) your experience with the Spanish language, b) your experience with Hispanic cultures and literatures and c) their relationship to your future plans
  9. Three letters of recommendations from university professors.
  10. Brief curriculum vitae (1-2 pages)
  11. Academic writing sample in Spanish (8-10 pages); if you have any questions about this requirement, contact Dr. Alicia Miklos

* Admitted students whose native language is other than English, and who do not submit GRE scores must complete one of the Texas Tech University approved English exams with a score of:

  • 550 for the TOEFL paper exam
  • 79 for the TOEFL Internet exam
  • 6.5 for the IELTS

If the student has a degree from a U.S. university, the TOEFL and/or IELTS may be waived provided that he/she is proficient in English. Students' English proficiency will be determined by an approved ITA (International Teaching Assistant) staff member through a performance test or a Skype interview. All non-native speakers of English should contact Carla Burrus to comply with TTU requirements.

More information can be found in the CMLL Spanish Graduate Manual.

Estimated Monthly Financial Planning Guide for International Teaching Assistants: MA | PhD

The Spanish Literature & Cultural Studies Track

The Spanish Literature & Cultural Studies track focuses on literary and cultural studies while integrating a variety of theoretical frameworks and interdisciplinary approaches that reflect the research and teaching interests of our dynamic and professionally active faculty. As a community of active scholars, we strive to offer to all our graduate students the opportunity for intellectual growth, for the development of critical and analytical skills, for the acquisition of a theoretical foundation for their work, and for the attainment of their professional development as teachers. In our M.A. program, we strive to provide our students with a comprehensive knowledge of major fields of expertise in the discipline through a curriculum that will encourage them to learn broadly and think deeply. At the doctoral level, we endeavor to help our students build on that comprehensive knowledge as they strengthen their theoretical framework and achieve a more advanced level of expertise in a chosen area of research in which they will make a contribution to the field through their doctoral dissertations.

Courses are taught in these main areas: Peninsular Literatures (Medieval, Golden Age, 18th and 19th-Centuries, and 20th-21st Centuries) and Latin American Literatures (Colonial, 19th-Century and 20th-21st Centuries) including Caribbean, Chicano and Southwest Literatures.

  • For detailed information on the M.A. in Romance Languages - Spanish Literature, click here.
  • For detailed information on the Ph.D. in Spanish Literature, click here.

The Spanish Linguistics Track

The Spanish Linguistics track provides a rich academic environment in which students have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to become a competitive professional in the field. Our students can attain either an M.A. or Ph.D., or both. In our M.A. program, we strive to provide our students with a comprehensive knowledge of major fields of expertise in the discipline through a curriculum that will encourage them to read and think critically. At the doctoral level, we build on that comprehensive knowledge as they become familiar with diverse theoretical framework and achieve a more advanced level of expertise in a chosen area of research in which they will make a contribution to the field through their doctoral dissertations.

Our faculty encourages excellence in scientific research from the beginning of the M.A. and Ph.D. by engaging in collaborative projects with students and other scholars here and abroad that examine questions related to the acquisition of Spanish as a second language, bilingualism, language in contact and language variation, as well as linguistic aspects related to new literacies, technology and heritage language learners. Faculty is known not only for the implementation of diverse research methodologies in their investigation, but also for the development of the research itself and its subsequent publications.

Additionally, this track also places emphasis on instruction for students with an interest in teaching Spanish as a second and as a heritage language. The objective of this program, therefore, is for faculty and students to work collaboratively in order to create research and pedagogical arenas in which ideas can be developed and explored and where students become active participants in this endeavor.

  • For detailed information on the MA in Romance Languages - Spanish Linguistics, click here.
  • For detailed information on the PhD in Spanish Linguistics, click here.

The Portuguese Minor

Graduate students in Spanish should consider minoring in Portuguese as the Luso-Brazilian languages, literatures and cultures share many similarities with those of Spanish America. Coursework in Portuguese will enhance students' understanding and appreciation of all Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.

At the M.A. level, a minor in Portuguese is obtained by taking 6-9 hours of coursework. At the Ph.D. level, students need 15-18 hours of coursework with the possibility of earning a teaching certificate.

For detailed information on Portuguese, click here.

Job Placements

To view a list of our recent Spanish & Portuguese PhDs job placements, please click here.