Romance Languages: Hispanic Studies, PhD

The Graduate Program in Hispanic Studies, a five-year Ph.D. program within the Department of Romance Languages, offers a rigorous professional formation in academic research, writing, and pedagogy. The program prepares students in a range of critical and methodological approaches to the study of literature, culture, and theory in Spain and Latin America. Students may complement their areas of specialization with course work in a second Romance language or in other disciplines such as Comparative Literature, English, History, and Philosophy.

Interdisciplinary study is also invited through participation in the many lectures and colloquia sponsored by the various Graduate Groups and affiliated research institutes and centers at Penn. All graduate students teach undergraduate courses in Spanish language and Hispanic culture, for which they attend extensive teacher training seminars and workshops. Faculty members are committed to enhancing graduate students' preparation for professional life through annual seminars on professional concerns and through comprehensive job placement support. The Department of Romance Languages publishes The Hispanic Review, and graduate students in Hispanic Studies may serve as editorial assistants to the journal.

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

Requirements

The Ph.D. program in Spanish is planned as a five-year sequence. Requirements for the Ph.D. include:

  • A total of twenty (20) graduate courses, including:

    • A course in Literary Theory

    • SPAN 606 Pedagogy Across the Spanish Curriculum

    • SPAN 800 Field Exam (Comprehensive Exam preparation)

  • A Qualifying Evaluation—In order to be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, students must pass successfully a qualifying evaluation. At the beginning of a student's second year, the faculty will evaluate all aspects of the student's performance during his or her first year in the program.

  • Foreign Language Requirements—translation exams in two (2) foreign languages appropriate to the student's prospective field of specialization.

  • Comprehensive Exams—an oral exam in the fall of the third year and a written exam in the spring semester of the third year.

  • Dissertation Proposal—following successful fulfillment of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations, the candidate will shape a dissertation project and writing schedule by September 15th of their fourth year.

  • Dissertation—the presentation of a dissertation is the final requirement for the Ph.D.

    Dissertation Defense—a public, oral presentation of the dissertation will take place during the semester in which the student will graduate.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2018 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

Year 1- Educational Fellow
Fall Semester
4 courses; no teaching assignment
Spring Semester
4 courses; no teaching assignment
Foreign Language Requirement 1 Satisfied
Year 2- Teaching/Research Fellow
Fall Semester
3 courses (including a SPAN606)
1 teaching assignment
Qualifying Evaluation
Spring Semester
3 courses
1 teaching assignment
Year 3- Teaching/Research Fellow
Fall Semester
3 courses (including SPAN800)
1 teaching assignment
Comprehensive Oral Exam
Spring Semester
3 courses (including SPAN800); no teaching assignment
Comprehensive Written Exam
Both Foreign Language Requirements Satisfied; 20 Courses Completed
Year 4- Teaching/Research Fellow
Fall Semester
ABD Status
1 teaching assignment
Dissertation Proposal due September 15th
Spring Semester
ABD Status; no teaching assignment
Dissertation Research and Writing
Year 5- Educational Fellow
ABD Status; no teaching assignment
Dissertation Defense by the end of spring semester