Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Spanish (SPAN)

Program Home Page

PAOLA E. DUSSIAS, Head of the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
237 Burrowes Building


Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.A.
Dual-Title Graduate Degree in Spanish and Language Science


The Graduate Faculty



The program offers M.A. options in literature and linguistics, as well as doctoral emphasis in either of these two areas.

Admission Requirements

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required of all students educated (high school and college) in the continental United States. Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The minimum requirement for admission normally will be 24 credits of post intermediate work in Spanish language and literature.

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the M.A. degree must take a minimum of 30 credits at the graduate level including 6 credits in a related minor field. An M.A. essay and a comprehensive written examination also are required. The M.A. degree (or equivalent) is normally a prerequisite to doctoral candidacy.

For the Ph.D. degree, a student must complete at least 60 credits (including M.A. credits) of graduate-level work, including a 15-credit minor. Other requirements include (1) a doctoral candidacy examination and written area examinations; (2) reading knowledge of two foreign languages or a comprehensive knowledge of one foreign language; and (3) a doctoral dissertation.

Dual-Title Graduate Degree in Spanish and Language Science

Graduate students with research and educational interests in Spanish may apply to the Spanish and Language Science Dual-Title Degree Program. The goal of the dual-title Spanish and Language Science is to enable graduate students from Spanish to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in Linguistics while at the same time gaining depth and methodological expertise in the areas associated with the language sciences.

Admission Requirements

To pursue a dual-title degree under this program, the student must first apply to the Graduate School and be admitted through the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese (see above for admission requirements for the Graduate Program in Spanish). Upon admission to the Spanish Program and with a recommendation from a Language Science program faculty member in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, the student's application will be forwarded to a committee that will include the Director of the Linguistics Program, one of the Co-Directors of the Center for Language Science, and a third elected faculty member within the Center for Language Science. All three committee members will be affiliated with the Program in Linguistics. Upon the recommendation of this committee, the student will be admitted to the dual-title degree program in Language Science.

Requirements for the Dual-Title Ph.D. Degree in Spanish and Language Science

The doctoral degree in Spanish and Language Science is awarded only to students who are admitted to the Spanish doctoral program and admitted to the dual-title degree in Language Science. The minimum course requirements for the dual-title Ph.D. degree in the Spanish and Language Science, in addition to the Spanish Program requirements, are described below.

Spanish/Language Science Proposed Requirements

Total number of required credits: 60

The minimum course requirements for the dual-title Ph.D. degree in Spanish and Language Science, in addition to the Spanish Program requirements, are as follows:

  • Language Science proseminar courses (LING 521 and LING 522; 6 credits)
  • Research Methods/Statistics (LING 525 or equivalent; 3 credits)
  • Theoretical Linguistics (LING 500 or LING 504; 3 credits)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience or Psycholinguistics (LING/PSY 520, PSY 511 or equivalent; 3 credits)
  • Research internships with two different Language Science faculty mentors (CSD 596, GER 596, LING 596, PSY 596, SPAN 596; 6 credits)

Particular courses may satisfy both the Spanish requirements and those in the Language Science program. Final course selection is determined by the student in consultation with the dual-title program advisors and the major program advisors. Students who already hold a master's degree from another institution may petition to have equivalent course credits accepted.

Student Aid

In addition to the fellowships, traineeships, graduate assistantships, and other forms of financial aid described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin, the following awards typically have been available to graduate students in this program:

The department awards annually an Edwin Erle Sparks Fellowship in the Humanities. In the past several years, graduate students have received external NSF fellowships and awards such as Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grants.



*No graduate credit given for this course.

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

SPANISH (SPAN) course list


Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2010

Blue Sheet Item #: 38-07-010

Review Date: 06/22/2010

Faculty linked: 6/27/14


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Graduate Course Descriptions
  2. Graduate Programs
  3. Doctoral Degree Requirements
  4. Master's Degree Requirements
  5. Application and Admission Procedures
  6. Credit Certificate Programs
  7. General Information
  8. Tuition and Cost
  9. Intercollege
  10. Academic Information and Procedures
Skip PDF and Print Options

Print Options