Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Graduate Studies in Hispanic Linguistics

Note: There is a temporary pause in accepting new Ph.D. students into our Hispanic Linguistics program. We are still accepting new M.A. students into our Hispanic Linguistics program, and very much look forward to speaking with you about our M.A. program and how it can serve your professional goals and interests.

Below you will find all the program and application details. If you have further questions, please contact the linguistics recruiter Dr. James Lee with program-specific questions or the Spanish Academic Advisor Stephanie Santos with application-specific questions.

M.A. Program Career Goals

  1. teachers of secondary education
  2. obtaining a job in the Language Industry
  3. preparing students for PhD programs
  4. lectureships at universities/colleges
  5. publishing, textbook writing, & editing
  6. educational testing services/ standardized testing

M.A. Program Skills & Knowledge Goals

  • Linguistic knowledge (Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Phonetics/Phonology, Bilingualism/Multilingualism)
  • Pedagogical knowledge (teaching practice and theory; curriculum design; multiliteracies)
  • Classroom-based action research
  • Quantitative analysis (e.g., psycholinguistic, phonetic, statistics, sociolinguistic coding, data visualization)
  • Qualitative analysis (e.g., discourse analysis, grounded theory, case study research, open coding, mixed methods research, ethnography, conversation analysis, narrative inquiry)
  • Translation and/or interpretation skills
  • Research & Pedagogical Technology skills (Eye tracking, Praat, R, Eprime, PsychoPy, SPSS, Qualtrics, Nvivo, Social tools, Social interaction tools)
  • Professional skills (conference style presentations, tailoring skills to jobs outside of academia, L2 advocacy work)
  • 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.

• Required courses:

  1. LING 5322-004: Foundations of Language Teaching (i.e. Methods)
  2. SPAN 5343: Introduction to SLA I
  3. SPAN 5340 Intro to Hispanic Linguistics OR LING 5312: Intro. to Linguistics

• Other requirements:

  • One SPAN Literature or Cultural Studies course
  • 3rd language requirement (or reading exam)

• Remaining courses are tailored to each student's professional career goals
• Comprehensive exams and/or MA thesis (4th 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 3 comprehensive exams or (ii) take 2 comprehensive exams and write a M.A. thesis with the supervision of a faculty mentor. 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. Students are required to take Second Language Acquisition exam and all other exam areas are selected by students based on their own interests.

Reading lists for each comprehensive exam area:

Frequently Offered Courses

  • Foundations of Language Teaching (Methods)
  • Multimedia & SLA
  • Intercultural Communicative Competence
  • Introduction to SLA
  • Multiliteracies: Digital Writing
  • Spanish Applied Linguistics
  • Heritage Instructional Perspectives
  • Spanish Phonetics & Phonology
  • Spanish Quantitative Sociolinguistics
  • Language Ideologies
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Eye tracking I
  • Eye tracking II
  • Instructed SLA
  • Theory of Translation
  • Bilingualism & Language Contact


All accepted students receive a fellowship so that they are teaching courses while taking courses, 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 wavier. The current funding is the following for a 9-month appointment, with the ability to also teach in the summer and receive extra funding:
MA TA1: $11,000
MA TA2: $12,500
MA GPTI: $14,000
-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.
Note: Additional funding ($1,000-$5,000/year) is also available through the TTU Graduate School and the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures for competitive applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pursue the M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics as an online degree?
At the current moment we do not offer an online degree. Thus, all students need to be present in Lubbock, TX during the fall and spring semesters. However, the faculty is currently discussing the possibility of an online M.A. degree beginning Fall 2021 (applications due January 2021). Details will be made available in Fall 2020.

When should I apply? When does the program begin?
The deadline for applications is January 4, 2021 in order to begin Fall 2021. 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. Most students take PORT 5341: Intensive Portuguese for Graduate Students I (offered each spring semester) and PORT 5342: Intensive Portuguese for Graduate Students II (offered each fall semester) in order to fulfill this requirement. For more information see the Portuguese Language & Area Studies page and contact the Portuguese Program Director Dr. Antonio Ladeira.

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. 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 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. 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 questions, please see the Graduate Student Manual for the Spanish & Portuguese Program.

Access the Application Here

Application for M.A in Hispanic Linguistics at Texas Tech

Application materials required:

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

Click HERE to apply now.

Research Labs

  • Psycholinguistics Eye Tracking Lab (Director: Dr. Jim Lee)
  • Sociolinguistics & Bilingualism Research Lab (Director: Dr. Brendan Regan)
  • Language Lab & Research Center (Dr. Chris Vasquez-Wright)

Recent Events

Nov. 14 & 15, 2019: Invited guest lecture & workshop
Dr. Mark Amengual (UC-Santa Cruz)
• Talk: Cross-linguistic influence in bilingual and trilingual speech: static and dynamic interference
• Workshop: The Bilingual Language Profile (BLP): A tool for assessing bilingual language dominance

Nov. 29, 2018: Invited guest workshop
Dr. Miranda Scolari (Texas Tech University)
• Workshop: An introduction to eye tracking: The way, Why and How

September 26, 2018: Invited guest lecture
Dr. Daniel Erker (Boston University)
• Talk: Stability in the speech community: Why speaking Spanish in U.S. isn't a zero-sum game

May 2, 2018: Invited guest lecture
Dr. María Carreira (California State University)
• Talk: The State of Research on L2-Heritage learner interaction: Mixed results on mixed classes

Faculty of Hispanic Linguistics

Graduate Students of Hispanic Linguistics

This information is forthcoming