Chairperson: Anne M. Pasero, Ph.D.
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures website

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts, Plan B only

Program Description

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures’ graduate program in Spanish is designed to provide students with a broad background in Spanish language, literature, culture and language teaching methodology. The majority of the department’s graduates have entered teaching careers, continued on to doctoral studies or secured a position in business or government. Students in the program form a small and relatively intimate group. Graduate seminars are kept small, averaging ten students, and students are given individual guidance throughout their course of study.

Teaching assistantships in Spanish are available to candidates on a competitive basis. Teaching assistants are required to take FOLA 5000 Teaching World Languages and Cultures (3 sem. hrs.) their first fall semester in the program.

Prerequisites for Admission

Applicants for the master of arts program must have a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent foreign degree, from an accredited institution.

Applicants with an undergraduate major in Spanish are expected to have completed 24 credit hours of course work beyond the intermediate level, including work in composition, conversation and advanced work in literature. Applicants with an undergraduate minor in Spanish are expected to have completed 15 credit hours of course work beyond the intermediate level, including a survey course in literature and a course in composition and conversation. Applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average equivalent of B or above (3.000 on a 4.000 scale). Native speakers of the language, who have an undergraduate degree in the humanities, are also eligible.

Application Deadline

To be considered for admission, all application requirements must be completed and received in the Graduate School by Dec. 15.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit, directly to the Graduate School:

  1. A completed application form and fee online.
  2. Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges/universities except Marquette.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. A writing sample in Spanish. This can be a term paper from one of the applicant’s undergraduate Spanish courses.
  5. (For international applicants only) a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  6. (For teaching assistantships in Spanish) a tape recording (no longer than 5 minutes) of their foreign speaking voice. The tape should include a reading from a prose passage and some free conversation. Foreign applicants should make a similar recording in English. The recording should be submitted directly to the director of graduate studies or the chair of the department. 

Foreign Languages and Literatures Master's Requirements

Specialization: Spanish

Students must pursue the Plan B course of study. Plan B students are required to complete 30 credit hours of course work. A thesis is not required.

Course Work

At least half of the student’s work as a graduate student must be in courses numbered 6000 and above. Students are required to complete a total of 30 credit hours with one 5000-level or 6000-level course in each of the five areas listed below. The remaining 15 credits are to be chosen from the courses offered in each area in fulfillment of the requirements for the master of arts degree.

1. Literature and Culture Studies

A. Early Peninsular

B. Early Spanish-American

C. Modern and Contemporary Peninsular Spanish

D. Modern and Contemporary Spanish-American and U.S. Latino/a

2. Linguistics

A. Linguistics

Note: A course may not be used to fulfill more than one area of study. Depending on the topic, SPAN 6931 Topics in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature may be repeated, and can be used to fulfill the appropriate area of study. All 5000-level courses will require additional work at the graduate level, such as readings, writing assignments and oral presentations.

Comprehensive Examinations

Candidates for the master of arts degree must pass written and oral comprehensive examinations based on the master’s reading list to complete the program. Examinations are normally given in November and March. Exceptions must be approved by the director of graduate studies and the department chair.

The exam must be written in Spanish. The oral portion of the comprehensive examination will take place approximately one week following the written exam. The student will be asked to respond to the questions on the written exam. The student’s overall performance will not be evaluated until after this session.

The examining committee will be composed of at least three faculty members chosen by the department chair in consultation with the Spanish faculty. Details on examinations, the master’s reading list, and sample questions are available from the department office.

Reading Knowledge Courses

Reading Knowledge Courses, preparatory to doctoral language examinations, are offered in the following languages:

FREN 6204French for Reading Knowledge3
GRMN 6204German for Reading Knowledge3
GREK 6204Greek for Reading Knowledge3
LATN 6204Latin for Reading Knowledge3
SPAN 6204Spanish for Reading Knowledge3


Students registered for 6204 Reading Knowledge Courses and wishing to withdraw must do so formally in the Graduate School office.

Graduate Foreign Language Proficiency Exam

Students taking the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam outside of the 6204 courses offered must register for the Graduate Foreign Language Proficiency Exam for the specific language (FREN 9831, GRMN 9831, etc.) through CheckMarq. Upon prior approval from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, students must register for FOLA 9830 for languages other than Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin or Spanish. Exams will be offered once per term. A $100 processing fee will be charged per exam.

Foreign Language Courses

FOLA 5000. Teaching World Languages and Cultures. 3 cr. hrs.

Study and application of the fundamental principles of effective second language instruction through the exploration of second language acquisition theory, the development of skills for selecting, organizing, providing, and assessing effective second language learning opportunities; practice of instructional technique within the classroom teaching environment; and reflection on teaching performance. Offered fall term. Prereq: Consult with director of graduate studies in Spanish and meet with course instructor; or cons. of dept. ch.

FOLA 5951. MU Led Travel/Study Abroad. 3 cr. hrs.

Course taught in an international setting by Marquette professors and where students earn Marquette credit. Study Abroad expenses apply. Prereq: cons. of the Office of International Education. Prereq: Cons. of the Office of International Education.

FOLA 6995. Independent Study in Foreign Language and Literature. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Provides opportunities to investigate and study areas of interest through readings, research, field experience, projects, and/or other educational activities under the direction of a faculty adviser.

French Courses

FREN 5110. Advanced Grammar and Written Expression in French. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines advanced structures, forms and style of the French language through contextual practice.

FREN 6204. French for Reading Knowledge. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of French grammar, reading comprehension of basic texts and translation practice for graduate students who plan to use French in their field of research. May only be taken for credit and may not be audited. Prereq: Enrolled in the Graduate School.

German Courses

GRMN 5110. Advanced German Grammar. 3 cr. hrs.

Grammatical structure of the German language in context with other linguistic areas.

GRMN 5525. German Literature: Twelfth to the Eighteenth Century. 3 cr. hrs.

Principal works of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods in German literature.

GRMN 6204. German for Reading Knowledge. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of German grammar, reading comprehension of basic texts and translation practice for graduate students who plan to use German in their field of research. May only be taken for credit and may not be audited. Prereq: Enrolled in the Graduate School.

Greek Courses

GREK 5931. Topics in Greek Language, Culture and Literature. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary. Subject to be announced.

GREK 6204. Greek for Reading Knowledge. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of Classical and New Testament Greek grammar, reading comprehension of basic texts and translation practice for graduate students who plan to use Greek in their field of research. May only be taken for credit and may not be audited. Prereq: Enrolled in the Graduate School.

Italian Courses

ITAL 5931. Topics in Italian Language, Culture and Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary. Subject to be announced. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

Latin Courses

LATN 5100. Latin Prose Composition. 3 cr. hrs.

Systematic review of Latin syntax. Exercises of increasing difficulty in writing Latin prose. Analysis of prose of selected Roman authors. Creative writing in Latin.

LATN 5115. Medieval Latin. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading, translation, and analysis of a wide selection of Medieval Latin texts in prose and verse.

LATN 5505. Vergil: Aeneid. 3 cr. hrs.

Translation of selections from Books 1-12 of Vergil's great national epic, the Aeneid, telling of the journey of Aeneas from fallen Troy to the shores of Italy. Background readings and discussions on Vergil's literary debt to Homer, The Aeneid as a national epic, and the Roman view of the Trojan legacy.

LATN 5510. Horace: Odes. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading, translation, and analysis of selected lyric poems of Horace.

LATN 5515. Roman Elegiac Poetry. 3 cr. hrs.

Translations of selections from the love poems of Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. Background readings and discussions on the origin and conventions of Roman elegiac poetry. Study of the elegiac couplet.

LATN 5520. Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading in Latin of several comedies from the works of Plautus and Terence, Rome's surviving comic playwrights. Comedies translated may include Plautus' Miles Gloriosus, Menaechmi, and Mostellaria; and Terence's Adelphi and Woman of Andros. Background readings and discussion on the origin and conventions of Roman comedy and the technicalities of staging a Roman comedy.

LATN 5525. Tacitus: Germania and Agricola. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading, translation, and analysis of selections from the shorter works of Tacitus, with additional selections from the Annales.

LATN 5530. Cicero: Political and Philosophical Writings. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading, translation, and analysis of selections from the speeches and dialogues of Cicero.

LATN 5550. Advanced Studies in Latin Poetry. 3 cr. hrs.

Reading, translation and analysis of a major Latin poet such as Catullus, Ovid or Juvenal.

LATN 5560. Advanced Studies in Latin Prose. 3 cr. hrs.

Readings translation and interpretation of a major Latin prose author such as Sallust, Livy, Seneca, Quintilian or St. Augustine.

LATN 5931. Topics in Latin Language, Culture and Literature. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary. Subject to be announced. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

LATN 6204. Latin for Reading Knowledge. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of Latin grammar, reading comprehension of basic texts and translation practice for graduate students who plan to use Latin in their field of research. May only be taken for credit and may not be audited. Prereq: Enrolled in the Graduate School.

Spanish Courses

SPAN 5110. Structure of Spanish from a Linguistic Perspective. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of Spanish grammar from a linguistic framework with emphasis on the reasons why Spanish speakers make the structural choices they make. Focuses on the continued mastery of the most difficult points of Spanish grammar, also addresses grammatical variation. Provides an introduction to morphosyntax of Spanish and background for advanced courses in linguistics.

SPAN 5120. Spanish Phonetics. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of Spanish phonetic and phonological systems. Fundamental principles of phonetic analysis are introduced in a simple and concise manner in order to show how Spanish sounds are produced, how they fall into patterns and how they change in different environments. Emphasis on articulation, conditioned, dialectal variation, introductory training in phonetic transcription and the contrast between Spanish and English sound patterns.

SPAN 5140. Acquisition of Spanish. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to the field of second language acquisition. Students participate in a critical examination of second language acquisition theories and research, discussion of the role of individual differences in language learning, consideration of the effect of study abroad on the development of second language acquisition, and discussion of the role of instruction in Spanish second language learning. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5150. Spanish in the United States. 3 cr. hrs.

Descriptive and critical overview of the linguistic practices of different Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Focus on the characteristics of Spanish in contact with English, as well as the role that social factors like age, education, gender, race, nationality, and socioeconomic status have on the use of the language. Also examines social issues such as language attitudes, bilingualism and the role of education. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5310. Hispanic Film and Society. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on Spain and/or Latin America. Introduces the fundamentals of film history, film analysis and cultural analysis. Examines key elements of twentieth- and twenty first-century cultures of the Spanish-speaking world: national and regional identity formation, transnationalism, territory, technology and modernization, gender, class and race.

SPAN 5320. Contemporary Issues in the Hispanic World. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on the study and discussion of current topics, preoccupations, trends and issues pertaining to various Hispanic societies of today in areas such as religion, educational reforms, ethnicity, race, identity, social stratification, and economic development.

SPAN 5350. Nobel Prize Winners of the Hispanic World. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the literary achievements and representative works of such Hispanic Nobel Prize recipients as Aleixandre, Asturias, Benavente, Cela, Echegaray, García Márquez, Jiménez, Mistral, Neruda and Paz.

SPAN 5400. U.S. Latino/a Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

A comprehensive study of U.S. Latinos/as' struggle for identity based on the ethnic, economic, historical, and cultural position of the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. Readings generally include Anaya, Castillo, Chavez, Cisneros, Diaz, and Rodriguez, among others.

SPAN 5450. Afro-Hispanic Caribbean Literature and Culture. 3 cr. hrs.

Exploration of the relationship between literature and culture in the Afro-Hispanic Caribbean by focusing on themes of slavery, race, class, identity, religion, immigration and politics through the works of such writes as Manzano, Gómez de Avellaneda, Villaverde, Barnet, Rodríguez Juliá, Palés Matos, Guillén and Morejón.

SPAN 5500. Race, Culture and Religion in Early Spanish Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

A study of representative literary texts from the Spanish Middle Ages to the 16th century with emphasis on both literary and cultural issues. Works studied generally include Poema del M'io Cid, Libro de Buen Amor, La Celestina and lyrical poetry.

SPAN 5505. The Spanish Renaissance. 3 cr. hrs.

Readings and analysis in literary historical context of selected, significant works from representative authors such as Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Fray Luis de Leon, San Juan de la Cruz, Santa Teresa de Jesus, and Gongora.

SPAN 5510. Cervantes' Don Quijote. 3 cr. hrs.

In-depth study and analysis of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quijote within the historical, political, and cultural context of the Spanish Golden Age. Special attention to his life, his novelistic theories, his literary works and importance in the creation of the modern novel.

SPAN 5525. Spanish Literature: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

The major figures of the Enlightenment, Neoclassic, Romantic, Realist and Naturalist movements in Spain. Readings include Cadalso, Larra, Pardo Bazan, Clarin, and Galdos.

SPAN 5550. Spanish Literature: Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Non-dramatic literature after 1898 with emphasis on the social significance of literary production in contemporary Spain. Readings include Unamuno, Laforet, Matute, Delibes, Goytisolo, and Vazquez Montalban.

SPAN 5560. Hispanic Theater and Performance. 3 cr. hrs.

Studies the major formal and thematic developments in peninsular Spanish theater and/or Spanish American theater with emphasis on the works of such dramatists as Sor Juana, Marqués, Triana, García Lorca, Valle Inclán, and Sanchis Sinisterra, among others. Texts and authors vary per term.

SPAN 5600. Spanish-American Literature: Pre-Columbian to Baroque. 3 cr. hrs.

Presents a panoramic overview of the major writers and relevant literary manifestations present in the Hispanic World from the pre-Columbian days (e.g. Aztecs, Mayans and Incas) to the Baroque. Writers studied generally include: Colon, Cortes, Las Casas, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sor Juana, among others.

SPAN 5610. Spanish-American Literature: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Overview of the development of literature in Spanish-America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Major movements studied include Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism. Topics of particular interest include the promotion of independence, the search for national identity, and efforts to reform colonial practices such as slavery. Writers studied generally include: Fernandez de Lizardi, Bello, Bolivar, Echeverria, Isaacs, Gomez de Avellaneda, Sarmiento, and Marti, among others.

SPAN 5615. Spanish-American Literature: Modernismo and Vanguardismo. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of Modernismo and the avant-garde movements in Spanish-America. Writers studied include: Darío, Rodó, Huidoboro, Storni, Vallejo and Borges among others. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5620. Spanish-American Literature: The Boom to the Twenty-First Century. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of various literary modes of thought and tendencies present in Spanish-America throughout the 20th century to the present in areas such as poetry, the short story, the short novel and the essay. Emphasis on the Boom and post-Boom tendencies. Writers studied generally include: Paz, Borges, Fuentes, García Márquez, Allende, Poniatowska and Menchú, among others. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5640. Novels and Novelists in Spanish-America. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on the different trends, forms, and contents of the Spanish-American novel as a genre, with emphasis on the works of such modern and cosmopolitan writers as Sabato, Fuentes, Carpentier, Ferré, Allende, Esquivel, Vargas Llosa and García Márquez.

SPAN 5660. Spanish-American Theatre. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of Spanish-American theatre from Colonial times to present. Writers studied include Sor Juana, Díaz, Gambaro, Marqués, Sánchez, Usigli and Wolf, among others. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5670. Spanish-American Short Story. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the evolution of the Spanish-American short story. Writers studied include Borges, Cortázar, Donoso, Ferré, Fuentes, García, Marquéz, Quiroga, Rulfo and Valenzuela, among others. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5705. Advanced Spanish for Business. 3 cr. hrs.

An advanced course designed to train students to deal successfully with a linguistic, geographic and commercial context with business components and practices closely related to the Hispanic business world of today.

SPAN 5715. Advanced Spanish for the Health Professions. 3 cr. hrs.

An advanced course in medical Spanish to train students who plan to work in a health-related area to communicate effectively in their field. Service Learning is required.

SPAN 5931. Topics in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary. Subject to be announced. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 5951. MU Led Travel/Study Abroad. 3 cr. hrs.

Course taught in an international setting by Marquette professors and where students earn Marquette credit. Study Abroad expenses apply.

SPAN 6100. History of the Spanish Language. 3 cr. hrs.

Historical development of the Spanish language from its origins to the present in Spain and Spanish-America.

SPAN 6110. Applied Linguistics. 3 cr. hrs.

Systematic study of language aimed at the application of descriptive, comparative, and historical linguistics to the language teaching situation. Applied linguistics in phonology, morphology, syntax, and contrastive analysis.

SPAN 6150. Strategies and Techniques of Written and Oral Communication. 3 cr. hrs.

Spanish syntactical and stylistic problems, plus advanced oral-aural work based on topical material of a literary, artistic, or cultural nature.

SPAN 6204. Spanish for Reading Knowledge. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of Spanish grammar, reading comprehension of basic texts and translation practice for graduate students who plan to use Spanish in their field of research. May only be taken for credit and may not be audited. Prereq: Enrolled in the Graduate School.

SPAN 6300. Hispanic Cultural Studies. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of a given topic in Hispanic Cultural Studies, such as film, Spanish culture, Spanish-America culture, or U.S. Latino literature and culture. Topics to be announced.

SPAN 6391. Topics in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary.

SPAN 6500. Medieval Spanish Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

Literary texts of Spain prior to the 16th century.

SPAN 6505. Studies in Spanish Renaissance Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

The major trends in Spanish literature during the 15th and 16th centuries.

SPAN 6525. Studies in Spanish Literature: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Significant trends and authors of the 18th and 19th centuries in Spain.

SPAN 6550. Studies in Spanish Literature: Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Contemporary Spanish literature from the Generation of 98 to the present.

SPAN 6575. Studies in Spanish Literature: Genre Study. 3 cr. hrs.

In-depth study of the development of a major genre in Spanish literature, such as theatre, short story, poetry or essay. The particular genre will vary.

SPAN 6600. Studies in Spanish-American Literature: Pre-Columbian to Baroque Period. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of major trends in Spanish-American literature since the Pre-Columbian period, with particular emphasis on the Cronicas and baroque poetry.

SPAN 6610. Studies in Spanish-American Literature: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of major trends and genres in Spanish-America during the 18th and 19th centuries, with particular emphasis on Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism and Modernismo. Writers studied generally include: Fernández de Lizardi, Bello, Bolívar, Echeverría, Isaacs, Gómez de Avellaneda, Sarmiento, Martí and Darío, among others.

SPAN 6650. Studies in Spanish-American Literature: Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of major trends in Spanish-American literature in the 20th and 21st centuries. Particular emphasis on the representative poets, dramatists and prose writers of the modern period.

SPAN 6675. Studies in Spanish-American Literature: Genre Study. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the development of a major genre in Spanish-American literature, such as theatre, short study, poetry or essay. The particular genre will vary.

SPAN 6931. Topics in Spanish. 3 cr. hrs.

SPAN 6995. Independent Study in Spanish. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9970. Graduate Standing Continuation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9974. Graduate Fellowship: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9975. Graduate Assistant Teaching: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9984. Master's Comprehensive Examination Preparation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9985. Master's Comprehensive Examination Preparation: Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

SPAN 9986. Master's Comprehensive Examination Preparation: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.