Spanish (M.A.)

Spanish (M.A.)
Spanish professor giving a lecture

Why get a master’s degree in Spanish?

The M.A. program in Spanish lets you pursue a broad range of challenging, advanced studies in linguistics, literature and culture. Students can explore second language acquisition, pedagogy and methodology; Spanish sociolinguistics (language variation and change); and Hispanic literature and cultural studies. The program also supports work in interdisciplinary Hispanic studies. The main goal of the master’s program is to prepare graduates for successful careers or advanced studies at the Ph.D. level through the further development of skills in written and oral communication, intercultural awareness and analysis for students with an undergraduate degree in Spanish or a closely related field.

Why choose UNH for your Spanish degree?

Our faculty are engaged, research-active scholars who work closely with students in small classes. The M.A. in Spanish at UNH offers two options for the program’s concluding experience. For the non-thesis option, students present a seminar paper or project at a local, regional or national conference. The thesis option, designed for those students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Spanish, involves the preparation of a master's thesis or an equivalent research project directed by a faculty advisor. Also available is a graduate certificate in Spanish for graduate students in other degree programs.

Potential career areas

  • Academic administration 
  • Community programs 
  • Diplomacy 
  • Government services 
  • Immigration/migration services 
  • Social work 
  • Speech and language pathology 
  • Teaching 
  • Tourism 
  • Writing/journalism

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Program in Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures offers a Master of Arts degree in Spanish with courses in the following areas: Second Language Acquisition, Pedagogy and Methodology; Hispanic Literature and Cultural Studies; and Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies. The program also supports work in interdisciplinary Hispanic studies.

Degree Requirements

To obtain the degree, the candidate must complete a minimum of 30 credits. To satisfy the course requirements, the candidate must successfully complete ten graduate courses, eight of which should be from the offerings below. Two of the ten courses can be taken in allied fields approved by the department. 

Choose 8 courses from the following:
SPAN 890Topics in Second Language Acquisition/Pedagogy/Methodology3
LLC 891Methods of Foreign Language Teaching3
SPAN 897Topics in Hispanic Literature and Cultural Studies3
SPAN 898Topics in Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies3
SPAN 995Independent Study1-3
Final Project 1
Non-thesis option
Present seminar paper or project at conference
Thesis option
SPAN #899
Master's Thesis (6 credits total)

The MA in Spanish offers two options to fulfill the concluding experience of the program:

1) Non-thesis option (30 credits, ten classes). Students who select this option will present a seminar paper or project at a local, regional, or national conference. Presentation at the UNH Graduate Research Conference is acceptable to fulfill this requirement.

2) Thesis option (30 credits, eight classes plus thesis). Enrollment in SPAN #899 Master's Thesis (6 credits) counts for two of the ten required courses for the M.A. The thesis option involves the preparation of a Master's Thesis directed by a faculty advisor. This research track is specifically designed for those students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Spanish or in a related field.  Students must follow the format requirements and submission procedures as noted in the Graduate School's Thesis Manual.

Examples of Past Seminar Titles: 

  • Econovels of Central America
  • Contemporary Spanish Literature
  • Second Language Acquisition: Technology
  • El Camino de Santiago
  • Cultures of Spain: Basque, Catalan, and Galician
  • Baroque Literature: Sor Juana
  • Latin American Lit. & the Border
  • Spanish Phonetics & Dialectology
  • Latin American Afro Caribbean Lit.
  • The Baroque: Siglo de Oro
  • Structure & Applied Linguistics
  • Baroque to Surrealism & Beyond
  • Spanish Sociolinguistics
  • Literatura comparada
  • Literatura y cultura argentinas
  • La nueva mirada del cine femenino español
  • Mood, Tense & Pronouns: Structure, Meanings, & Variation in Spanish Syntax
  • Literary & Cultural Trends of Contemporary Central America
  • Digital Media in Second Language Acquisition
  • The World of Salvador Dalí
  • Hispanic Literature and Culture in the Digital Age

  • Linguistic proficiency Students will be able to demonstrate a minimum of an Advanced-Mid level of proficiency (as defined in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) in the target language in speaking, writing, listening and reading.
  • Students can express themselves fully on a variety of topics related to home/family; social/community life; school/academic life; current events/issues of public interest; and employment/professional life.
  • Students can deliver organized and detailed oral presentations and produce well-organized and coherent written papers on a wide variety of topics, but particularly around linguistics, literary, and cultural studies.
  • Students have well-developed interpretive skills, both in listening and reading. They are able to understand narrative, descriptive, and argumentative texts, identify main points and supporting details, and understand variations of register, dialect, tone and style.
  • Intercultural and transcultural competence In addition to being able to communicate in the language, students will be able to interact with an awareness of and sensitivity to the perspectives of others.
  • Students will have knowledge of and be able to think critically about cultural differences, and the uniqueness of other cultures and peoples.
  • By the time they complete the M.A., students will be able to: Recognize and describe the major historical, social, economic, and political forces that shape society in the various target cultures that they have directly studies, with a broader base of knowledge in one or more area that was the focus of their thesis.
  • Analyze and critique cultural and social products of the target culture(s), such as film, literature, art, popular culture, media, etc. within their context, including determining appropriate theoretical approach or critical lens.
  • Articulate the value of cultural diversity and locate the place of the self as an individual culturally situated within the global context of the twenty-first century.
  • Interrogate the validity of their own cultural beliefs, behaviors and norms, by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target culture.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: April 1
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: VT ME

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding: 1) reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives, and 2) your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field. It is requested that your personal statement be written in Spanish.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

Typical Program of Spanish Graduate Studies


Year 1

Semester Courses
Fall SPAN 901 Bibliography & Research Methods (continues until degree completion)
SPAN 903 Applied Linguistics—(TA’s onlyfull-year course)
800-level courses from the 800-level course offerings (one or two)
997 Graduate Seminar
Spring 800-level courses from the 800-level course offerings (one or two)
997 Graduate Seminar
Summer 2 courses at an approved graduate level study-away summer program, or complete two courses in approved allied field courses

Year 2 

Semester  Courses
Fall 800 courses from the 800 course offerings (one or two as needed)
997 Graduate Seminar (as needed

At this time no financial support is available for students enrolled in the Spanish MA program. We will provide updates regarding financial support (TA-ships, research assistantships, and scholarships) as they are available.

Applicants whose permanent residence is Maine or Vermont are eligible for the New England Regional Program for which tuition is assessed at the in-state New Hampshire rate plus 50%.

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