The department offers several options for advanced study. The M.A./Ph.D. option in literature prepares students for careers in research and teaching in Hispanic literatures and cultural studies. The M.A./Ph.D. option in bilingualism and second language acquisition prepares students for careers in research and teaching in the areas of linguistic, psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic approaches to bilingualism and second language learning. The M.A. option in translation prepares students for careers in commerce, industry, and the judicial system. The M.A.T. program is designed for individuals already teaching Spanish at the secondary or junior college level. Both the M.A. option in translation and the M.A.T. are terminal degrees.
The M.A./Ph.D. option in literature deals primarily with Spanish and Spanish-American literature and culture. It also may include course work in Luso-Brazilian literature. This program is open to applicants with distinguished academic records and high Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Doctoral candidates are expected to complete 54 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree, with 12 of those credits in a major field of concentration. Students have the option to declare a minor inside or outside the department. Candidates must pass a written qualifying examination and complete 24 credits of research. They are expected to submit their doctoral thesis proposals when they take their written examinations.
Candidates for the M.A. degree who elect to write a thesis may devote 6 of their required credits to a research problem. In this case, however, they are required to make an oral defense of their thesis. At this time, faculty members screen those M.A. candidates who wish to continue for a doctorate. Exceptional candidates nominated by the faculty have the option to bypass the master's examination and proceed to the 24 credits of required Ph.D. course work.
Credit for graduate work taken at other institutions may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the course requirements. This normally may be no more than the equivalent of one year of course work (24 credits) at Rutgers. Candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages chosen from among German, Latin, and the Romance languages other than Spanish. This language requirement must be satisfied before the student is admitted to the qualifying examination.
The doctoral qualifying examination is a written examination based on reading lists covering the student's major and minor fields of concentration and two more general areas of study. Once the student has fulfilled the course and language requirements and passed this qualifying examination, he or she is admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. and may then proceed with the preparation of the dissertation.
The M.A./Ph.D. option in bilingualism and second language acquisition focuses on linguistic, psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic approaches to the study of bilingualism and second language acquisition. Doctoral candidates are expected to complete 54 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree.
At the M.A. level, students are required to complete 30 credits of course work including three required core courses. Up to 9 credits may be taken in other departments (Graduate School of Education, linguistics and psychology). M.A. candidates are required to write an M.A. thesis, which must be defended before a committee comprised of three faculty members.
At the Ph.D. level, students are required to complete 24 credits of course work beyond the M.A., of which 9 credits must be taken within the graduate program in Spanish. In addition to coursework, they are also required to complete 24 credits of research and to write and defend a doctoral dissertation. A qualifying paper in an area different from that of the M.A. thesis is required for advancing to Ph.D. candidacy and students must defend a dissertation proposal prior to writing and defending the doctoral dissertation.
The master of arts option in translation provides advanced training for translators and interpreters who are preparing for careers in legal, commercial, medical, technical, and social service fields. Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic record, GRE general test scores, and a personal statement submitted in English and in Spanish. The 24 credits of course work may include theory and practice of translation and interpretation, linguistics, literature, culture, and literary theory. There is a foreign language requirement and a 6-credit thesis, which is a translation.
The M.A.T. program is designed for individuals already teaching Spanish. Applicants are admitted on the basis of prior academic and/or professional performance. Scores from the GRE are not required for admission. The 30 credits of course work may include language, linguistics, methodology, literature, and culture. Additionally, the graduate program in Spanish participates in the Transliteratures program (q.v.).