Basic Program Requirements:

A minimum of 52 graduate credits is required for the M.A. All courses counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements must be taken on a graded basis. Courses receiving a grade below B- and courses with a grade of “Incomplete” do not count toward fulfillment of degree requirements. The grade point average (GPA) of all graded courses must be 3.00 or better.

Students whose knowledge of the language(s) (French and/or Italian and/or Spanish) is found to be deficient will be required to supplement this 52-hour program with an advanced writing class or additional study abroad/immersion.

All M.A. students must take the Second Language Teaching Methods course (RL 608) in the fall of their first year of graduate studies, and the Introduction to Literary Studies in Romance Languages (RL 620) in the winter term of their first year. All M.A. students must also take Romance Languages Colloquium (RL 623) as a two- or four-credit graded course. Finally, students must take one 2-credit Preparatory Reading course (RL 605) during the summer following their first year in the program. The remaining course work should be done in French or Italian or Spanish or Romance Language courses. Students pursuing an M.A. in French, Italian, or Spanish must complete at least one 4-credit graduate-level courses in each of the four literary periods listed below.

Distribution of Literary Periods:




Medieval and RenaissanceMedievalSpanish Pre-modern, Renaissance, and pre-Columbian America (11th century to 1605)


17th and 18th centuriesRenaissance and BaroqueEuropean and American Early Modern (1605 to 1810)


1830 to 194518th and 19th centuriesFrom the Independence Movements to the Spanish Civil War (1810 to 1939)


1945 to the present20th and 21st centuriesFrom the end of the Spanish civil war to the present (1939 to the present)


Students doing an M.A. in Romance Languages must take:

  • at least one 4-credit graduate-level course in each of the four literary periods in their major language
  • one additional course in each of two periods of their choosing in their major language
  • at least one 4-credit graduate-level course in each of the four literary periods in their minor language

for a total of 24 credits in the major language and 16 credits in the minor language.

Upon written permission from their advisors or the Director of Graduate Studies, students may take as many as two courses outside of the Romance Languages Department toward the degree.

Graduate Employment Coursework:

Students who hold a Graduate Employment (GE) position may register for two credits of Practicum or one credit of Research in order to complete the nine credits per term required by the graduate school (two graduate courses constitute 8 credits). During the first quarter of their first-year, GEs use Practicum to develop their teaching skills in practical application. Students not holding a GE position are encouraged to take a third course (for a total of 12 credits) or one credit of Research to work on an independent research project.

Reading and Conference Courses:

Students may request to do a reading and conference course in order to address a specific problem or project on which no course currently exists; they may not request to do as a reading and conference a course which is simply not being taught in a given academic year. Before the end of the term preceding the term in which the reading and conference course would be taken, the student will prepare a project proposal and submit it to the faculty member with whom he or she wants to work. The project proposal should include a statement of the problem the student wants to explore and a tentative reading list of primary and secondary sources. The student who requests a reading and conference course, in other words, should be largely self-directed and self-motivated, with an independently conceived project in mind for which he or she requires only moderate guidance. Only one four-credit reading and conference course may be used to satisfy requirements for the M.A. degree.

Incomplete Policy:

Incompletes are strongly discouraged. However, students who find it necessary to ask for an incomplete are urged to complete their incompletes as rapidly as possible. Agreements for obtaining and completing incompletes must be filed with the department. Graduate students must convert a graduate course incomplete into a passing grade within one calendar year of the assignment of the incomplete. Any student who has more than 5 credits of incompletes is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree.