The degree programs in Spanish provide an optimal academic environment for students interested in advanced studies and research in the fields of Hispanic literatures and linguistics. M.A. students in the Spanish programs pursue a course of study designed to develop a broad knowledge of the subject matter within the framework of traditionally established intellectual concepts, as well as in the light of current developments in the field. Ph.D. students are encouraged to devise individualized programs of specialization in keeping with the highest standards of scholarship. The Spanish graduate programs are integrated with other programs in the university, (e.g., comparative literature and general and applied linguistics), providing a nationally competitive center for advanced studies in Hispanic literatures and linguistics.
Master of ArtsAn undergraduate major in Spanish is required; however, programs may be arranged for promising students who have not completed such a major. A formal application, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample should be submitted to the department. All applicants are required to take the complete Graduate Record Examinations.
Doctor of PhilosophyIn addition to the admission requirements for the master's degree, a high level of accomplishment at the master's level is required.
Degree RequirementsGraduate degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation section and the Graduate School section of the catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.
Master of Arts in SpanishThirty-two units, including SPAN 511 and either SPAN 595 (literature emphasis) or SPAN 596 (linguistics emphasis), are required. A minimum of 21 units must be at the 500‑level or higher. For those specializing in literature, broad coverage of all periods and genres of both Spanish and Spanish American literature is expected. For those specializing in linguistics, coverage of major areas, both theoretical and applied, is required. Combinations of literature and linguistics are possible.
Eight units may be taken in other departments with approval of the graduate advisor.
Facility and correctness in the use of spoken and written Spanish are required. All applicants for the degree must pass a comprehensive written examination, with an added oral component, in either literature or linguistics or a combination of these. Reading knowledge of one language in addition to Spanish and English is required. Evidence of such knowledge must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee, upon petition by the student. Such reading knowledge may be demonstrated by the completion of courses in the foreign language, with the passage of an exam testing proficiency in reading comprehension and translation, or by such other methods of evaluation as may be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee upon petition by the student. All candidates for the M.A. in Spanish are encouraged to teach a Spanish course in the department. A screening procedure is conducted at the end of the first year in residence.
Doctor of Philosophy in SpanishAll applicants for the Ph.D. in Spanish are encouraged to teach a Spanish course in the department.
Course RequirementsIn addition to fulfilling the requirements listed for the master's degree, applicants for the doctorate must complete 28 additional units of course work (60 unit minimum). Students who have not taken SPAN 511 and either SPAN 595 or SPAN 596 or their equivalents elsewhere, must take SPAN 511 and the other relevant course in addition to the minimum of 60 units.
Minor RequirementStudents must fulfill a minor requirement consisting of two graduate courses taken at the 500-level or above in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. These two courses must be in Hispanic linguistics for students specializing in literature, and in Hispanic literature for students specializing in linguistics. In one of these courses a grade of B- or better must be achieved; the other course may be taken pass/no pass.
Screening ProcedureAt the end of each student's first year of course work at the doctoral level, a screening procedure is conducted by all faculty members with whom the student has studied in order to determine whether the individual is progressing satisfactorily toward the degree objective.
Foreign Language RequirementReading knowledge of two languages in addition to Spanish and English is required; each student's guidance committee specifies which languages are to be offered. Reading knowledge may be demonstrated by the completion of courses in the foreign language, with the passage of an exam testing proficiency in reading comprehension and translation, or by such other methods of evaluation as may be approved by the student's guidance committee.
Guidance CommitteeImmediately after a student's screening committee declares, after the first year of doctoral course work, that the student is making good progress toward the degree objective, the student and a graduate advisor select a guidance committee. The members of the committee advise the student in the selection of course work and conduct the qualifying examination.
Qualifying ExaminationLiterature: A four-hour comprehensive exam on both Spanish and Spanish American literature, based on an initial core list to which additional titles will be added by the student, in consultation with the guidance committee, to reflect Peninsular or Spanish American emphasis; two, three-hour exams selected from among the following: an approved field outside the department, a genre, a period, critical theory, a movement, a figure; one of the two exams just mentioned may be replaced by a paper presented at a national conference or a paper accepted for publication by a nationally-circulated, refereed journal, either option to be reviewed and approved by the guidance committee; an oral exam consisting of an explication de texte, clarification of the written sections and a defense of the dissertation prospectus.
Linguistics: A six-hour comprehensive examination, based on an initial core reading list to which additional titles will be added, for three different areas in the field (applied, historical, sociolinguistics, syntax, etc.); one of the three areas just mentioned may be replaced by a paper presented at a national conference or a paper accepted for publication by a nationally-circulated, refereed journal, either option to be reviewed and approved by the guidance committee; a four-day take-home exam in the major area of concentration; students choosing a second minor in literature may instead elect to be examined on an area in this field (a genre, a period, a movement, etc.); an oral exam clarifying the written portions and also a defense of the dissertation prospectus.
DissertationWhen the student passes the qualifying examinations and advances to doctoral candidacy, a dissertation committee of three members is appointed by the department chair in consultation with the candidate and the guidance committee. One faculty member serves as the dissertation director and aids the candidate in developing a dissertation on a topic in Hispanic linguistics or literature which can be considered to be original and of significance to scholarship.
Defense of the DissertationThe department utilizes a defense oral examination in which the candidate, after completing the dissertation, discusses it with the committee and makes any changes required prior to typing in final form.
Certificate in Foreign Language TeachingThe Certificate in Foreign Language Teaching provides certification in the theory and practice of second or foreign language teaching for student language teachers concurrently enrolled in graduate degree programs in foreign languages or related graduate programs at USC; for graduates of such programs who are teaching languages; for external candidates concurrently enrolled in similar programs in accredited colleges or universities; or for graduates of such programs who are teaching languages. The certificate is meant to supplement graduate study in the literature or linguistics of foreign languages. It is also meant to supplement classroom teaching. Therefore all candidates for this certificate are required to have taught a second or foreign language for at least one academic year at USC or elsewhere. At USC, this requirement and the course work requirements can be fulfilled concurrently, but external candidates are required to show proof of such teaching experience as a condition of admission.
In addition to teaching, certificate candidates must complete a minimum of four courses (minimum of 12 units) in four areas of study — linguistics, language acquisition, language teaching methodology, and the teaching of literacy or the literature or culture of a second or foreign language.
Requirements for CompletionThe program consists of a practicum and a minimum of four courses: one each in linguistics, language acquisition, language teaching methods, and the teaching of literacy, literature or culture.
Linguistics: (minimum of 3 units) LING 411x Linguistics and Education or, with permission of instructor, an appropriate course in the linguistics of a particular language.
Language Acquisition: (minimum of 3 units) CTSE 409 Foundations of Language Education or, with permission of instructor, LING 527 Second Language Acquisition or an appropriate alternative course.
Language Teaching Methods: (minimum of 3 units) CTSE 537 Methods in Bilingual Education and in Teaching English as a Second Language or EALC 562 Teaching of the East Asian Languages or SPAN 511 Techniques and Procedures of Teaching Spanish as a Second Language or an appropriate alternative course.
Literacy/Literature/Culture: (minimum of 3 units) EDHP 586 Teaching Reading and Writing in a Second Language for the Literate Student or an appropriate course in teaching of the literature or culture of a particular language.