Spanish M.A. Program
The Spanish Program at the University of Arkansas offers a balanced course of study leading to a Master of Arts degree. Graduate students take courses primarily in Peninsular and Latin American literature and culture. The program also offers courses in foreign language teaching methodology as well as technology enhanced pedagogy. Our MA provides a solid preparation for students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. or wish to teach at the community college or secondary levels. Its comprehensive curriculum also provides a sound base for a career in education, government, or the social services.
With a low student-faculty ratio (5-to-1), our well trained faculty provide support and mentoring to a small body of graduate students. Incoming candidates are offered workshop on how to succeed in academia (i.e. how to research, write, present, and publish papers). The program's extracurricular activities such as the Spanish Tertulia and the Cineclub provide a strong sense of community and collegiality. Although the University of Arkansas does not offer a Ph.D. in Spanish, the Comparative Literature program is an excellent path for those seeking doctoral work in two languages.
Options for the M.A. in Spanish
Students pursuing the M.A. degree in Spanish will chose to follow one of two tracks. Track one is a traditional M.A. in Hispanic literature and culture with a strong emphasis on literary analysis. This track is recommended for students likely to pursue work towards a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies after the completion of the M.A. Track two provides students an alternative that places more emphasis on coursework in pedagogy, technology in the classroom, and second-language acquisition. This track is recommended more for students interested in language teaching, for students who may likely use the M.A. as a terminal degree in preparation for community college or liberal arts teaching, or for secondary teachers seeking further professional development.
Upon admission to this program, the candidate will be assigned an adviser who, in consultation with the candidate, will design a suitable program for the candidate, following these guidelines. The adviser, in consultation with other members of the department, will select an examination committee for the comprehensive oral and written examinations. Detailed program descriptions, including reading lists and examination procedures, are available from the department.
Teaching Assistantships provide valuable teaching experience for graduate students. The program is able to offer teaching assistantships to nearly every qualified applicant accepted into the program. Teaching assistants teach two courses per semester with funding for two years contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree and satisfactory teaching evaluations. They receive a stipend plus tuition remission for as many as 10 graduate credit hours per semester. Teaching assistants enroll in a one-semester course that provides training in both the theory and practice of teaching. Summer teaching is often available but not guaranteed. Since the Spanish graduate program is relatively small, teaching assistants share in the collegiality of a department where good teaching is valued and appreciated.
Admission to the MA program in Spanish requires a Bachelor of Arts degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution with suitable preparation in Spanish. Individuals interested in a teaching assistantship should submit an Application for Graduate Assistantship form to the Department of Foreign Languages by February 1. In order to demonstrate oral and written proficiency in Spanish, English speakers applying for a Teaching Assistantship must send an audio recording reading a literary text in Spanish as well as a writing sample in Spanish on a subject of their choosing (4-8 pages). Applicants requesting an assistantship must also include three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.
Non-native English speakers applying to the program must present satisfactory scores on the TOEFL or the IELTS. The University defines a satisfactory score on the TOEFL as 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or above, or 6.5 on the IELTS or above for admission to the Graduate School. The test must have been taken within the two years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission and be valid at the time of enrollment. In addition to the English proficiency requirement, applicants seeking Teaching Assistantships are required to submit a score of 50 on the TSE. Results from these exams must be received before admission to the Graduate School or an application for a Teaching Assistantship can be considered.
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