The graduate program in Spanish offers programs of study leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in Spanish. Candidates for either degree may choose a program with an emphasis on either Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies or Spanish Linguistics.

The M.S. and Ph.D. Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies field areas include: medieval and renaissance peninsular literature and culture; Golden Age/Baroque peninsular literature and culture; 18th- and 19th-century peninsular literature and culture; 20th-century peninsular literature and culture; Latin American literature and culture to 1880; modern and contemporary Latin American literature and culture; and culture and cultural theory. The department has a strong multidisciplinary approach to cultural studies, incorporating ethnography and historiography.

The Spanish Linguistics program, one of the strongest in the U.S., includes courses in applied linguistics, history/dialectology, phonology/morphology, syntax and semantics. The program is offered in close collaboration with the department of linguistics.

Graduate students are encouraged to present their work at scholarly meetings and to publish in refereed media, often in collaboration with faculty members. The department has had considerable success in placing its graduates in tenure-track jobs.

Concentration in Cognitive Science
Furthermore, Ph.D. applicants to Spanish Linguistics can choose to apply for a secondary concentration in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and deals with the nature of perception, motor organization, memory, language, thinking, consciousness, and learning and development.  It investigates these topics from a number of methodological perspectives, including behavioral evidence for how these systems operate and formal, symbolic, and biological evidence on the computational and neural machinery that underlies them. Research on these topics comes centrally from several traditionally distinct fields: psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience. Other relevant disciplines – biology, anthropology, economics, and decision sciences – are also part of this burgeoning field. Spanish Linguistics students in the Cognitive Science concentration at Georgetown will obtain their Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics and will also develop an individualized interdisciplinary program of study, with a supervisory committee of faculty who come from their fields of interest.

For more information, please see the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Concentration in Cognitive Science (ICCS) page at:

Degrees Offered

  • M.S.
  • Ph.D.
  • B.A./M.S.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021

January 1, 2021

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Application Materials required:

  • Application Form
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Official Recommendations (3)
  • TOEFL/IELTS  (please see below)
  • Writing Sample – no more than one sample for Literature applicants; maximum 30 pages


All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English). All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without TOEFL/IELTS scores.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 80 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  TOEFL information:

IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information:

Degree Requirements

M.S. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies

  • Thirty three credits
  • All master’s students must show reading proficiency in a language other than English or Spanish. The language requirement must be completed prior to submitting the Master’s qualifying paper.
  • First-year exam
  • Qualifying paper

Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies

  • Ph.D. students must have completed successfully the 11 courses required for Master’s candidates, as well as passed the first-year examination, completed the qualifying paper and received departmental approval to advance to the doctorate.
  • Complete four additional courses beyond the Master’s. Students with a Master’s from another institution may be required to take additional courses or pass the Master’s examination.
  • First-year evaluation
  • Two qualifying papers: qualifying paper during the fourth semester and a doctoral qualifying paper during the fifth semester
  • All Ph.D. students are required to teach under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
  • Completion of a dissertation

M.S. in Spanish Linguistics

  • Nine courses plus one elective in linguistics or a related area, such as philosophy, cognition, anthropology or bilingual education
  • Qualifying paper
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • All M.S. students must pass an oral proficiency exam in a language other than English or Spanish.

Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics

  • Students authorized to pursue the Ph.D. must complete six further content courses beyond the M.S. chosen in consultation with their graduate adviser for a total of 16 courses (48 credits) beyond the B.A. (excluding all enrollments in Thesis Research). At least three of these courses must be seminars, which are typically advanced courses in a field.
  • Prior to taking the Ph.D. examination students must demonstrate reading proficiency in a language other than English, Spanish and the one used to satisfy the language requirement for the Master’s degree.
  • A minimum grade of B+ on the graduate examination
  • Completion of a dissertation