Texas Tech University

Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Spanish (Linguistics track) must complete approximately 60 hours of coursework. Hours earned at the MA level are applicable and graduate students may transfer up to 24 hours of credit maximum.

Exam Overview

The doctoral comprehensive exam provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate and integrate comprehensive knowledge of chosen fields of specialization, as well as to demonstrate his/her preparedness to enter candidacy and begin the process of researching and writing the dissertation. The exam must be taken within one calendar year after the completion of all requirements on the degree plan or during the final semester of course work. Students will not be able to register for more than 12 hours of SPAN 8000 before taking the exam. Exams must be scheduled to take place during a period when the student is enrolled.

View the exam procedures.

Required Courses: 3-6 Hours (for new students coming from a different institution)


  • SPAN 5340: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Linguistics (required for TAs and GPTIs but encouraged for all others)

  • LING 5322: Theoretical and Research Foundations of Language Teaching (Fall)

Reading Lists

View the reading lists.

Core Courses: 45 Hours

Students are required to take at least two courses in Hispanic Linguistics, two courses in Acquisition of Spanish as a Second Language, two courses in Research Data Analysis, and at least a course from Literature. Comparable coursework from other institutions will be evaluated.

Graduate Courses Offered in Spanish Linguistics


When content varies, courses may be repeated for credit. SPAN 5355 may be taken up to three times.

Graduate Courses Offered in Spanish Literature

PORTUGUESE MINOR (other minor options need the linguistics faculty approval)

  • PORT 5307: Luso-Brazilian Civilization and Literature (may be repeated when content is different)
  • PORT 5341: Intensive Portuguese for Graduate Students I
  • PORT 5342: Intensive Portuguese for Graduate Students II
  • PORT 5355: Readings in Luso-Brazilian Literature (may be repeated for credit)


A graduate minor in Portuguese is required unless the student possesses reading knowledge of two languages other than English and Spanish (other minor options in different languages need the linguistics faculty approval).

In order to determine standard competency reading knowledge in a language other than English or Spanish:

  • Students may fulfill the reading knowledge requirement by passing with a C- or better the second course of the sophomore sequence of the required language. Those seeking to present a high level of competency will pass with a B- or better any literature course at the third-year level or beyond.
  • How to Satisfy Foreign Language Requirement

Dissertation: 12 Hours Minimum

Does not count towards the 60 required hours.

Dissertation Defenses

The dissertation committee is made up of at least three faculty members who will advise the student during the process, read the dissertation during its various stages and vote during the final examination of the dissertation. In CMLL, a student's dissertation committee is often the same as the committee that was chosen for the comprehensive exams at the doctoral level. However, a student, in consultation with the dissertation director and the graduate advisor, may chose to make a change in the constitution of the committee between the exams and the writing of the dissertation. Such a change may occur when a student wants to add a faculty member to the dissertation for a particular area of expertise related to the dissertation topic, for example. It is not required that the faculty member representing the minor be a member of the dissertation committee.

TTU Graduate School requirements regarding the Doctoral exams and dissertation defense can be located on their website. Dissertation defenses are described in the university catalog as the “Final Examination”:

A final public oral examination, usually over the general field of the dissertation, is required of every candidate for the doctorate and must be held when school is in session. The oral examination must be scheduled by the student and the advisory committee after the committee has read the completed dissertation and prior to the defense deadline during the semester of graduation. Students should present their dissertation to all committee members at least three weeks before the defense date. In addition, the Graduate School requires three weeks notification prior to the oral examination. The required Defense Notification Form noting the time, place, and other information concerning the examination is available here.

Please remember that:

  • The student must be enrolled in the semester of graduation
  • The student must file a doctoral intent form with official title of dissertation listed
  • The student must schedule the final oral defense of dissertation and submit “doctoral final oral examination notification form” at least three weeks before the defense
  • The student's oral defense of the dissertation can only be scheduled once the committee has read the completed dissertation
  • The student's oral defense of the dissertation is a public, formal event that is announced in the department