MA in Spanish

Why a Master of Arts in Spanish from Cal State Fullerton?

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers a wide range of programs in language and cultural study to meet the varying needs of today's students. The ability to communicate effectively is essential for success-oriented graduates, and acquiring the competence to communicate in a language other than English can often provide a competitive edge in today's global economy.

Communicating effectively in another language requires more than the acquisition of language skills. For this reason, students enrolled in our courses also gain insight into another culture, which often provides invaluable perspectives and a greater sense of appreciation for alternate ways of life and thought. The Department views language, culture and literature as integrally-related facets of communication that help us to achieve a better understanding of ourselves and others in the rapidly-changing world in which we live.

The Master of Arts in Spanish is a practical program in that Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the U.S., and the need for bilingual professionals will continue to grow in today's interactive world. Career opportunities are available for those who plan to teach or work in a number of fields, including international business, travel, and diplomacy, as well as for those who want to pursue doctoral studies. The degree also provides an opportunity to those who simply want to expand their knowledge through advanced academic training.

The Master of Arts in Spanish offers:

Flexibility: The program offers courses to fit the needs of both full- and part-time students. Classes meet in the afternoon and early evening to accommodate varying schedules.

Outstanding Faculty: Our nationally- and internationally-known faculty members are experienced educators who hold advanced degrees from prestigious universities in the United States and abroad. They are also active in research and publication, although their main focus is teaching.

Language Lab: We boast a state-of-the-art foreign language lab, which includes interactive computer-assisted instructional equipment.

What types of career opportunities are available?

Our master's program is designed to develop the teacher-scholar and to prepare those who plan to pursue more advanced studies in the field or to use the language and its cultural background in their profession. In addition to providing advanced studies for teachers at the high school and community college level, the program also helps to prepare students who plan careers in fields such as international relations, international business, and foreign service.

What is required for admission to the M.A. in Spanish program?

Students who wish to begin work in the Department's graduate program must first apply and declare their objective as Master of Arts in Spanish. Applications are completed online at Cal State Apply.

Students who did not complete the Spanish Bachelor of Arts degree at Cal State Fullerton must also send a 5-7 page Spanish writing sample and two letters of recommendation to the graduate adviser in order to complete the application for admission to the program.

For admission for the fall semester: Apply by the preceding April 1
For admission to the spring semester: Apply by the preceding November 1


Minimum university and departmental requirements include:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units attempted
  • Good standing at the last college attended
  • Major in Spanish consisting of 33 units (or equivalent) of upper-division studies
    with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Upper-division English writing course with a grade of "C" or better
  • Satisfactory evaluation of language proficiency

A candidate holding a Bachelor of Arts degree that has fewer than 24 units of upper-division coursework in the language, or whose background is otherwise lacking, will be required to take additional prerequisite courses and/or proficiency exams to build a full undergraduate major before beginning the graduate program. Prerequisite courses must be completed in order to attain classified standing and cannot be applied toward the graduate study plan.

Adaptations of certain admission requirements may be made for promising foreign students. Please consult the university catalog for more details regarding graduate admission.

Following admission, students develop a study plan in consultation with the graduate advisor prior to completing nine units applicable to the degree. Upon approval of the study plan, the student is eligible for classified graduate standing.

What courses are required for the degree?

The program offers two tracks: the Master of Arts in Spanish, and the Master of Arts in Spanish, Concentration: Chicana/Chicano Studies. The study plan for both tracks consists of 30 units of graduate study (at least 18 in 500-level courses), distributed as follows:

Study Plan: Master of Arts in Spanish

       Required Core Courses (6 units)

SPAN 510 – Grad Seminar: Advanced Structure and Style (3)
SPAN 530 – Grad Seminar: Historical Linguistics (3)

Graduate Seminars in Literature (12 units)
Peninsular Literature (6 units required)

SPAN 556 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Poetry (3)
SPAN 571 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Prose and Narrative Fiction (3)
SPAN 575 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Drama (3)

Spanish American Literature (6 units required)

SPAN 557 – Grad Seminar: Spanish American Poetry (3)
SPAN 567 – Grad Seminar: Spanish American Novel (3)
SPAN 576T – Grad Seminar: Hispanic Topics (3)

Other Electives (12 units)

May be chosen from either 400- or 500-level courses
(up to 6 of the 12 units may be taken in a related field with the approval of the adviser):

SPAN 430 – Spanish Literature to Neoclassicism (3 units)
SPAN 440 – Spanish American Literature to Modernismo (3)
SPAN 441 – Spanish American Literature Since Modernismo (3)
SPAN 461 – Spanish Literature Since Neoclassicism (3)
SPAN 466 – Spanish Phonology and Dialectology (3)
SPAN 467 – Spanish Morphology and Syntax (3)
SPAN 468 – Spanish-English Bilingualism and Language Contact (3)
SPAN 475T – Senior Seminar: Topics in Spanish Peninsular Literature (3)
SPAN 480T – Senior Seminar: Topics in Spanish Linguistics (3)
SPAN 485T – Senior Seminar: Topics in Spanish American Literature (3)
SPAN 556 – Graduate Seminar: Spanish Poetry (3)
SPAN 557 – Graduate Seminar: Spanish American Poetry (3)
SPAN 567 – Graduate Seminar: Spanish American Novel (3)
SPAN 571 – Graduate Seminar: Spanish Prose and Narrative Fiction (3)
SPAN 575 – Graduate Seminar: Spanish Drama (3)
SPAN 576T – Graduate Seminar: Hispanic Topics (3)
SPAN 598 – Thesis (3-6)
SPAN 599 – Independent Graduate Research (1-3)

Study Plan: M.a. in Spanish, Concentration: Chicana/Chicano Studies

Required Core Courses (6 units)

SPAN 500 – Graduate Seminar: Advanced Structure and Style (3)
SPAN 530 – Graduate Seminar: Historical Linguistics (3)

Graduate Seminars in Literature (12 units)
Peninsular Literature (6 units required)

SPAN 556 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Poetry (3)
SPAN 571 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Prose and Narrative Fiction (3)
SPAN 575 – Grad Seminar: Spanish Drama (3)

Spanish American Literature (6 units required)

SPAN 557 – Grad Seminar: Spanish American Poetry (3)
SPAN 567 – Grad Seminar: Spanish American Novel (3)
SPAN 576T – Grad Seminar: Hispanic Topics (3)

Concentration Courses (12 units)

CHIC 450 – Contemporary Issues (3)
CHIC 500 – Chicana/o Studies Paradigms (3)
SPAN 468 – Spanish-English Bilingualism & Language Contact (3)

Choose One From:

SPAN 440 – Spanish American Literature to Modernismo (3)
SPAN 441 – Spanish American Literature Since Modernismo (3)
SPAN 466 – Spanish Phonology and Dialectology (3)
SPAN 467 – Spanish Morphology and Syntax (3)
SPAN 485T – Senior Seminar: Topics in Spanish American Literature (3)
SPAN 515 – Spanish Culture in the Southwest (3)
SPAN 516 – Early Modern Trans-Atlantic (3)

Changes in Study Plan

If a classified graduate student wishes to make a change in the approved M.A. study plan, a request should be made to the appropriate graduate program adviser. Requests must be made prior to registration in any course work to be substituted or added. No course may be removed from the study plan after a student has taken it. The request for change in study plan form is available from graduate advisers.

Additional Program Requirements

All students are required to obtain a reading list from the Department office (Humanities 835-C). Prior to preparing the appropriate sections of the reading list, the students should read the "Spanish M.A. Comprehensive Exam Rules and Policies" and consult with the graduate adviser.

Upon completion of all requirements, a final evaluation by a comprehensive written examination must be taken to demonstrate mastery of the fields. The examination consists of three separate tests: Peninsular Literature, Spanish American Literature and Linguistics. A student who passes two of the three sections and receives a C on the section not passed may take only the section not passed during the next semester, and may retake this section only once in order to successfully pass the exam. A student who fails to pass two or all three sections or who receives lower than a C on any section must retake all three sections during the next semester, and may retake the exam only once, in order to successfully pass the exam. Full-time students normally complete the program in two-three years.

Who advises me?

The Department graduate adviser provides academic and career advisement. Advisement takes place during the adviser's office hours or by appointment. All students must meet with the adviser prior to or during the first semester of graduate coursework to develop a study plan. No more than nine (9) units may be counted toward the Master's degree before developing an approved study plan and applying for classified standing.

Graduate Adviser

For more information, please contact the graduate adviser:

Dr.Reyes Fidalgo
Humanities 810-C
(657) 278-4563
rfidalgo@fullerton.edu