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Undergraduate Program

Yes, you may take SPAN 3302, but if you take it, you do not receive additional credit. It would be considered a repeated course.

Yes. A 5 in AP Spanish does count toward a major or minor in Spanish. If you have a 5 in AP, you only need 27 additional credits (9 courses) to graduate with a major in Spanish or 15 additional credits (5 courses) to graduate with a minor in Spanish.

Please make an appointment with the director of undergraduates studies to discuss our course offerings and the correct placement for you, depending on your previous academic experience in the fields of Spanish language, literature, and culture.

Yes. First, please take the online Spanish placement test. Once you know the course you should take, please email the instructor. If no instructor is assigned, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.

Please complete the Major Declaration Form and submit it to the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) for approval and signature. Once the form is signed, you will have to submit it to the A&S Office of Academic Services. The DUS will advise you in all matters regarding to your Spanish and Portuguese studies. Refer to these resources for declaring a major or minor.

The director of undergraduate studies will be your adviser.

Graduate Program

No, you do not need to speak Portuguese to apply to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Yes, all transcripts must be official.

It is recommended that the personal statement be between one and five pages in length.

You may write the personal statement in Spanish or in English.

There is no page limit on the writing sample.

There is no required language for the writing sample, although given the nature of the doctoral program Spanish or Portuguese (as appropriate) would be welcome.

They can be written in Spanish or in English.

Typically, admission decisions for fall semester will be communicated by March 31 to all applicants whose files are complete by January 15. The deadline for responses to offers of financial award and admission is April 15. If your reply is not received by April 15, the department may rescind the offer of admission and financial award.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese has waived the GRE for domestic students. The GRE is not required. Proficiency in written and oral English is required for enrollment in an academic program. Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the application, unless they have earned a degree from an American or English-speaking institution. International students transferring from unfinished degree programs of other universities in the United States should present TOEFL scores. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL PBT (paper-based test) is 570, and for the TOEFL IBT (internet-based test), 88.

Vanderbilt offers a College Teaching Certificate from the Center for Teaching, a Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies, a Public Scholars Program at The Curb Center, National Humanities Center programs offered through the Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute, a Mary and Joe Harper Fellowship at the Robert Penn Warren Center, among others.

Yes, after the student has chosen an advisor, and has passed their Comprehensive Examinations and earned their MA in passing.

You can find support for non-tenure track career paths at various university offices and programs including the Vanderbilt Career Center, the Graduate School’s Career Development website, and the graduate life coach. The department organizes some workshops using the resources from these offices.

  • Atrévete te-te salte del clóset: Provocaciones sexuales y políticas en la producción cultural puertorriqueña (Dare to Come Out: Sexual and Political Provocations in Puerto Rican Cultural Production)
  • Disturbing Beauty: Poetry, Performance, and Utopia in Ferreira Gullar, Miguel Piñero, and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez.
  • A Pedagogy of Horror: The Counter-hegemonic Discourse of Latin American Short Fiction of Nation Formation (1830-1920).

No, at this time there is no graduate student housing on campus.

Typically, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese allows the transfer of 15 credit hours.

Yes, everyone who enters the program is required to take the Comprehensive Exam.

Graduate students do not teach during their first year. Typically, they teach one course each semester during their second, third, and fourth years. And they co-teach a literature course in their fifth year, and sometimes teach their own upper-division literature or culture course depending on departmental needs.

The degree requires 6 credit hours of electives; these may be courses taken outside the department. Also, many of our courses are interdisciplinary in nature.

  •  “El yo fragmentado y la agencia en Cuestión de amor propio.” Hispanic Studies Review, vol. 2, no. 2, 2017, pp. 254-68 (refereed journal).
  • “Abyección afectiva y repercusiones coloniales en La charca de Manuel Zeno Gandía.” (“Affective Abjection and Colonial Repercussions in La charca by Manuel Zeno Gandía”) Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, no. VII, 2017, pp. 140-150.
  • “Re-Thinking Todorov: The Fantastic and the Ironic in Memorias Póstumas de Brás Cubas and ‘O pirotécnico Zacarias.’” Chasqui: Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana, vol. 47, no. 2, 2018, pp. 176-89.

You should consult with the director of graduate studies, who can direct you to the graduate student representative for any questions.

The Graduate School offers several health and wellness resources to help graduate students manage their stress and cope with pressure. You can also visit the Student Health Center, the Office of Student Care Coordination, and the University Counseling Center among others.

Graduate students can apply for office and carrel space at the University library. There are public computer stations at Central Library and at the Center for Second Language Study.

Graduate students are expected to co-teach an upper-division literature or culture course with a faculty member in their fifth year. They may also shadow or even teach Introduction to Literature classes depending on the needs of the department.

The graduate student stipend covers the academic year. There are some summer courses available for graduate students to teach, and there are some summer and travel funds that students can apply for in order to pursue their research over the summer months.

Mostly, the university requires graduate students receiving a teaching stipend to teach one course per semester after their first year. The number of students per course varies depending on the nature of the course. They tend to range from 10 to 20 students per class.

50 percent of our students complete their degree in five years or less. 25 percent complete it in 6 years. The average amount of time to completion is 6.05 years.