Texas Tech University

Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Spanish (Linguistics track) must complete approximately 60 hours of coursework. Hours earned at the M.A. level are applicable and graduate students may transfer up to 21 hours of credit maximum. They will also need attend two professionalization workshops offered by either the Graduate School or the TLPDC per semester.

Hispanic Linguistics Track (60 hours)

1. Required Courses: 6-9 Hours (for new students coming from a different institution)


  • SPAN 5340: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
  • SPAN 5343: Introduction to Second Language Acquisition

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

  • LING 5322-004: Theoretical and Research Foundations of Language Teaching (Fall)

2. Core Courses: at least 45 hours must come from the core courses designated as Hispanic Linguistics and/or Second Language Acquisition sections.

Students are required to take at least three or four courses in Hispanic Linguistics, three or four courses in Acquisition of Spanish as a Second Language, two courses in Research Data Analysis (quantitative and qualitative), a course in translation, and at least a course from Spanish Literature or Cultural Studies. Comparable coursework from other institutions will be evaluated.

3. Hispanic Literature/Cultural Studies

When content varies, courses may be repeated for credit. SPAN 5355: Seminar in Hispanic Literature may be taken up to three times.

4. Minor

A Minor at the Ph.D. level for candidates in Spanish Linguistics is strongly encouraged in the department's program in Applied Linguistics. Any minor consists of 15- 18 hours of coursework (of non-SPAN courses) as part of the 60 hours for the degree. A student can choose a minor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies or the chair of their committee of studies, or linguistic faculty approval if the student has not chosen a committee of studies.

The recommended minor for Spanish Linguistics is Applied Linguistics. Other possibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Portuguese
  • Comparative Literature
  • Women's Studies
  • Classics, Greek or Latin
  • German, French or Russian

5. Foreign Language Requirement

All Ph.D. candidates must possess reading knowledge of one language other than English and Spanish. This requirement can be met in one of the following ways:

  • Passing with a grade of C or better the second course of the sophomore sequence of the required languages. Intensive language courses at the graduate level are usually offered in the summer sessions. Students that complete Summer I and Summer II of two languages other than Spanish and English at the graduate level can waive this requirement.
  • Passing an examination for a third language. Consult with the advisor in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures for proficiency exams furnished by the department or the Educational Testing Service. Arrangements for these examinations should be made in the applicable unit. The CMLL faculty in charge will provide test results using a "Foreign Language Requirement for the Ph.D. Degree Form." Arrangements for testing for foreign languages not offered in CMLL will be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • Minoring in a third language other than English and Spanish during the Ph.D.

6. Exam Overview

The doctoral comprehensive exam provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate and integrate comprehensive knowledge of chosen fields of specialization (the minor can be an area in the dissertation), as well as to demonstrate their 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 of 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 by clicking here

7. Dissertation: 12 Hours Minimum

These hours do not count towards the 60 required hours. Please, note that ABDs need to be enrolled during the summer (at least in a one-credit-hour course).

8. Dissertation Defense

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 choose 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

CMLL Spanish Program

  • Address

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