Texas Tech University

Romance Languages MA - Spanish Literature & Cultural Studies

Below you will find all the program and application details. If you have further questions, please contact the Literature and Cultural Studies recruiter Dr. Susan Larson with program-specific questions or the Spanish Academic Advisor Stephanie Santos with application-specific questions.

M.A. Program Career Goals

  1. Train secondary education teachers
  2. Train teachers and researchers for positions at universities/colleges
  3. Prepare students on how to obtain a job in the Language Industry
  4. Prepare students for Ph.D. programs
  5. Develop skills for careers in publishing, textbook writing, & editing

M.A. Program Skills and Knowledge Goals

  • Core Knowledge, Methods, and Scholarship (Students will acquire general knowledge in a wide range of theories, methods, research protocols, and scholarly practices that are necessary for strong research, teaching, and service in our discipline).
  • Specialization Knowledge, Methods, and Scholarship (Students will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of Spanish and Spanish American literature and cinema from a variety of theoretical perspectives).
  • Critical Thinking (Students will learn strategies for analyzing individual examples of literature and film and how to produce original insights)
  • Research/Methods (Students will learn how to design and carry out original and persuasive research in Spanish and Spanish American literature and culture)
  • Independent Learner (Students will demonstrate an ability to conduct research independently)
  • Translation and/or Interpretation Skills
  • Professional Skills (conference style presentations, tailoring skills to jobs outside of academia)
  • Intermediate knowledge of an L3
  • Advanced Spanish Level (minimum) in all four skills for non-native Spanish speakers on the ACTFL proficiency scale

M.A. Curriculum Requirements

The M.A. requires 36 credits within the Spanish program.

Required courses:

  1. LING 5322: Foundations of Language Teaching (Language Teaching Methodology). Should be taken in first year of graduate school.
  2. SPAN 5352: Methods of Literary Criticism
  3. One SPAN Linguistics course

Other requirements:

  • 3rd language other than English and Spanish (or reading proficiency exam)
  • Remaining courses are tailored to each student's professional career goals and Comprehensive Exams or M.A. thesis, and they must be completed by the 4th semester.
  • Attend two professionalization workshops offered by either the Graduate School or the TLPDC per semester.

M.A. Comprehensive Exams

Students take the comprehensive exams in their 4th semester (mid-March in spring semester or mid-October in fall semester).

For the comprehensive exams, students have two options:

  1. take three comprehensive exams or
  2. take two comprehensive exams and write a M.A. thesis with the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Note: Students will also have an oral exam no later than ten business days after the written exams.

Students should speak with faculty about which option would better serve their professional goals. For example, for students planning to continue into a Ph.D. program, the M.A. thesis is recommended as students receive in-depth feedback from professors and then are encouraged to send the revised thesis to a journal for publication.

Additionally, in the semester before taking the exams (a student's 3rd semester), students should speak directly with the professors who administer each exam so that students know exactly how to best study for each exam.

A reading list is available for each comprehensive exam area:

  • Golden Age Spanish Literature
  • 18th & 19th-Century Peninsular Literature
  • 20th & 21st-Century Peninsular Literatures
  • Colonial Spanish American Literature
  • 19th-Century Spanish American Literature
  • Spanish American Modernism and early 20th-Century Literature
  • 20th & 21st-Century Spanish American Literature
  • US Latinx Literatures, Southwest Literatures
  • Border Studies
  • Portuguese (if selected as a minor; see details below)

Frequently Offered Courses

Frequently Offered Courses in Spanish Literature and Culture

  • Afro-Cuban Literature and Culture
  • Advanced Readings in Critical Theory; Image, Text, and Power
  • Border Studies
  • Central American Literature and Cultural Studies
  • Colonial Spanish American Literatures and Cultures
  • Colonial Blackness: Race and Identity in the Spanish American Colonial World
  • Contemporary Theatre in the Spanish Speaking World
  • Contemporary Poetry in the Spanish Speaking World
  • Chicano Literature
  • Contemporary Mexican Narrative
  • Cultural Resistance in Social Space
  • Don Quixote
  • Hispanic Caribbean Literature
  • Hispanic Cinema
  • Hispanic Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy
  • Hispanic Urban Cultural Studies
  • Hispanic Detective Fiction
  • Indigenous Intellectuals in the Colonial ‘Lettered Cities'
  • Literature of the Spanish Golden Age
  • Mass Media in Latin America
  • Nineteenth-Century Spanish Literature
  • Spanish-Speaking Cultures and Animals Studies
  • The Boom in Latin American Literature
  • The Women of Colonial Latin America

Frequently Offered Courses in Luso-Brazilian Literature and Culture

  • 19th and 20th Century Luso-Brazilian Literatures
  • Women Authors of Portugal and Brazil
  • Lusophone African Literatures
  • Portuguese and Brazilian Poetry
  • Travel Literature
  • Luso-Brazilian Cinema and Culture
  • Portuguese Empire


All accepted students who have received an assistantship will teach face to face and/or online courses while taking courses. This includes excellent online teacher training, which forms part of their professional development. There is also the possibility of being a research assistant with faculty. Depending upon the level of previous teaching experience, students become a TA1, TA2, or a GPTI (with the possibility to move up from TA1 to TA2 to GPTI). These fellowships provide students with a living stipend as well as a tuition waiver. The current funding is for a 9-month appointment, with the ability to also teach in the summer.

- A Teaching Assistant (TA) position is supportive in nature, both on the employment and professional development levels. Teaching Assistants typically provide support to a faculty member's instruction (completing a variety of duties) or may act as the leaders of discussion sections (which run in concert with large enrollment courses). Graduate students receive training, guidance, and mentoring on how to teach effectively in their discipline, manage a classroom, devise materials, and other important related tasks. A TA is not eligible to be the instructor of record for a course, and commonly has less than 18 graduate credit hours in the subject area being taught.

- A Graduate Part-time Instructor (GPTI) is usually an instructor of record, meaning that the individual is generally responsible for the teaching and care of her or his own class(es). GPTIs also receive training, guidance and further professional development. As opportunities allow, advanced Graduate students (i.e., Ph.D. students and ABDs) may have the opportunity to teach upper-level courses (beyond the lower-level "two-year" language sequence).

GPTIs are eligible to teach in our Sevilla study abroad program at the TTU Sevilla Center after their first year of teaching at the TTU Lubbock campus.

Note: Additional funding ($1,000-$5,000/year) may be available through the TTU Graduate School and the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures for competitive applications.

To explore further funding opportunities, click here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pursue the M.A. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies as an online degree?

At the current moment we do not offer an online degree.

When should I apply? When does the program begin?

The deadline for applications is early January in order to begin in the Fall. We strongly prefer that students begin during the Fall semester (late August) as there are specific first-year courses offered in the fall semester. Additionally, there are several orientation programs prior to the first week of Fall courses that familiarizes new students with the Spanish & Portuguese program, the CMLL department, and the university.

What transcripts are required with the application?

Students must submit undergraduate degree transcripts, and when possible graduate degree transcripts. If these transcripts are in a language other than English, they will require an official translation.

What do I need to do to be considered for a fellowship or scholarship?

In order to receive a fellowship or an extra scholarship, all students have to do is apply to the program with all the required materials by the January deadline. The admissions committee will review these materials and decide which students to accept full time (which comes with a teaching fellowship) as well as decide which students with the most competitive applications receive additional scholarships.

Can I transfer any credits from another M.A. degree?

Graduate transfer credits are conferred upon the discretion of the faculty. For credit transfer consideration, upon receiving admission into the program, students must send course syllabi of previous graduate classes to the admissions committee. At this time the faculty will review the syllabi and decide which previous courses get credit.

How do I complete the 3rd language (L3) requirement?

Students may complete this requirement by either taking a comprehensive exam in a 3rd language or take two graduate level courses in a 3rd language offered at CMLL.

Is it possible to teach in The Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla?

GPTIs are encouraged to apply for the possibility to teach in a long-semester (Fall or Spring) or a summer session in Sevilla, Spain after their first year teaching experience at the TTU Lubbock campus. For more information please click here and contact the Sevilla program director Dr. Idoia Elola with any questions.

While GRE scores are optional, how much does this matter for acceptance into the program?

In terms of admission into the program, the most important documents are the statement of purpose, a CV, strong letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. GRE scores are optional for our program and are given very little weight. Applicants should not feel pressure to take a GRE in order to apply.

How do I get assigned a Teaching Assistant (TA) position versus a Graduate Part-Time Instructor (GPTI) position?

In the application, students must fill out the CMLL Teaching Assistantship Application document. This allows the admissions committee and the Director of the Foundation Spanish courses to evaluate a student's prior teaching experience and determine which fellowship to award to each student. Students with prior teaching experience at the university-level are assigned to a GPTI position, while those with minimal teaching experience a TA2 position, and those with no previous teaching experience a TA1 position. Not only is there mobility from TA1 to TA2 to GPTI positions, but it is the goal of our program for students to move up as soon as possible for professional development. Instructors must be proficient in Spanish and English to receive this funding.

For example, if a student doesn't have prior teaching experience, they are normally assigned to the role of TA1 where they shadow faculty members and help with educational materials. The goal is that by their second semester this student would then move up to TA2 and be able to teach one Spanish course at the 1000 or 2000-level (intro or intermediate levels) while still having some shadowing experience. Then in year two (semesters 3 &4), the goal is that the student would then be a GPTI and teach two 3-credit courses per semester.

For any additional information, please see the Graduate Student Manual for the Spanish & Portuguese Program.

Access the Application Here

Application for M.A in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies at Texas Tech

Application materials required:

  1. Personal Statement (in Spanish)
  2. CV
  3. CMLL Teaching Assistantship Application
  4. Academic Transcripts
  5. At least 2 Letters of Recommendation
  6. Writing Sample
  7. TOEFL scores (for international students)
  8. GRE scores (optional)

Click HERE to apply now.

Research Spaces

  • The Janet Pérez Reading Room

CMLL Spanish Program

  • Address

    CMLL Building, 2906 18th St, Lubbock, TX 79409
  • Phone