The Master of Arts program in Spanish affords an
opportunity for specialized work in Spanish linguistics and in
Peninsular and Hispanic American literature and culture. The program
is of particular value to those who plan to teach Spanish in
secondary school or in junior college and to those who plan to
continue more advanced work toward a PhD.
Admission to Classified Status in the
Spanish M.A. Program
Admission as a classified graduate student in Spanish requires:
- a baccalaureate degree;
- a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) attempted;and
- completion of the following Sacramento State courses (or equivalents). NOTE: A
minimum of 18 upper-division units are required in Spanish:
- Spanish 100 or an equivalent course in critical literary
analysis at another institution.
- Spanish 102 or an equivalent course in the phonetic system
of modern Spanish.
- Spanish 103 or an equivalent course in advanced Spanish
- Linguistics 130 or an equivalent introductory linguistics
- One upper division course in Peninsular Literature.
- One upper division course in Hispanic American literature.
- One upper division course in Hispanic (either Hispanic American or Spanish)
Students not meeting all
these specific requirements may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status and and
work toward the MA degree while the admission requirements are being completed.
(SPAN 102 and SPAN 103 may be met by challenge examination.) Units taken to remove admission requirement deficiencies do not count toward the MA program. Any such deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the admission application. The prerequisite courses may be satisfied concurrently with courses in
progress for the M.A., but the prerequisites must be completed as
soon as possible after entering the program. NOTE: 30 units required are required for the MA degree, and no more than six units
earned prior to admission to classified status can be counted toward
meeting requirements for a graduate degree.
Specific Requirements for the degree
- Writing proficiency requirement. All entering graduate
students are expected to have demonstrated writing proficiency at
the undergraduate level as prescribed by C.S.U. If you have not
fulfilled this requirement because you graduated from a non-C.S.U.
institution you are required to demonstrate writing proficiency as
an admission requirement or before becoming classified in a
graduate degree program. For campus guidelines, please read the campus guidelines carefully at http://www.csus.edu/gradstudies/CurrentStudents/GWAR.html
- Coursework requirements.
A minimum of 6
units is required in each of four areas: Latin American Literature, Spanish Literature, Hispanic Culture, and Linguistics for a total of 24
units. Of these 24 units, a minimum of 18 graduate level units is required. An additional 3-unit Elective brings the total to 27 units and may be selected from appropriate upper division and graduate courses in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. As a culminating requirement, the candidate will select
Spanish 500 Thesis or Project, each worth 4
units or Spanish 500, Comprehensive Examination, worth 3 units, thus bringing the total units to the minimum required 30 units for the MA in Spanish.
- Not more than 3 units of Spanish 299 (Special Problems)
nor 3 units of Spanish 199 (Special Problems) may be
counted toward the degree.
- Of the total 30 units required for the M.A. degree, at least
18 units of Spanish 200 series graduate level coursework
- After the candidate has completed 18 units of coursework toward the degree, including a minimum of four 200-level courses, and has registered for their remaining course work, he/she must formally apply for "candidacy" for the M.A. degree in Spanish by completing the Advancement to Candidacy form available from the Office of Graduate Studies. The candidate may not advance to candidacy if the GWAR writing requirement has not been met or if they have any remaining deficiencies in their admissions requirements.
- Time limit: all work presented for the degree must be
completed within a seven-year time span. Should this 7 year
time limit elapse, then those courses taken during the 1st
semester of work or before become invalid and additional
coursework will be required
The Culminating Requirement
Depending on the special interest of the
candidate, one of the following culminating requirements must be
completed: thesis, project, or comprehensive examination.
In the case of the thesis or project, the candidate
must consult a faculty member whose area of expertise is in the
area in which the thesis/project will be completed. The faculty
member, after accepting the student's proposed thesis/project then
serves as the student's Advisor. The culminating
requirement cannot be completed in an overseas summer program and
only CSUS full time faculty members may be members of the
examining committee. The comprehensive exam is generally given in November and in April.
Check with the Graduate Coordinator for specific dates. Notice
must be given by the graduate candidate at least one semester
before taking the exams.
Graduate students registered for the culminating requirement
(Spanish 500, Culminating Experience) [Comprehensive Exam], Spanish
500, [Thesis] or Spanish 500 [Project] who cannot complete the
requirement during the semester of initial enrollment will
normally be granted a grade of RP (research in progress) if so
deemed by his or her advisor, for one additional semester,
only if necessary. There will be no extensions of the RP
grade after that time. The "RP" will turn into a "NC" (no credit)
grade and the candidate will be required to reregister for the
units.Students may be declassified for lack of satisfactory
Preliminary requirements for prospective writers of
THESES and PROJECTS:
The successful writing and presentation of a thesis or
project at the graduate level requires a high level of competency
not only in written expression but also in organization of subject
matter. For that reason, the following steps must be followed
before beginning work on a thesis or project:
- The graduate student must contact a Faculty member whose
area of expertise is the same as that in which the student
intends to present a thesis or project.
- The prospective writer of a thesis or
project must provide the following as a
preliminary to beginning a thesis or
- A description, in a carefully organized paragraph, of
the problem to be examined in the proposed thesis or the
project to be developed.
- An initial bibliography of at least ten items that
address the topic that the student plans to explore.
- A sample of expository writing provided under
controlled conditions. (This will ordinarily be a one-page
essay in Spanish on an assigned topic to be written for the
prospective faculty advisor.)
- If in the judgment of the prospective faculty advisor
the graduate student is deficient in the skills necessary to
produce a graduate level thesis or project, then
the comprehensive exam will be suggested as an
alternative culminating requirement.
The Master's Thesis (Spanish 500, 4 units).
The thesis is a systematic study of a significant
problem. There will be a clear and concise statement of the
problem, its major assumptions, its significance, the various
methods and sources to be used for gathering data, the analysis
of said data, and finally, the conclusions and recommendations
which have grown out of the research on the thesis.
The Project (Spanish 500, 4 units).
The project is a systematic development of a plan
for a significant undertaking or a creative work such as a
novel, play, or similar literary creation, the development of
teaching materials, or a specialized project in civilization and
culture such as an annotated presentation of a cultural topic.
Criteria employed in developing the project, or in making the
evaluation of the plan, including an evaluation of the task, the
details of the plan or creation, the methods to be used and the
supporting data to be incorporated in the final draft, must be
clearly stated. The completed project could very well serve as a
reference/source instrument for those individuals involved in
this academic discipline. If you are planning on continuing
studies toward the PhD in Spanish, you should check with your
specific graduate school(s) to see if they accept the Project as
a bona fide culminating requirement in their program(s).
No academic distinction is made between thesis and
project. Either one is equally acceptable as a means of
fulfilling the requirements for the master's degree. Whether a
student is submitting a thesis or a project, it should be noted
that quality of work is a major consideration in judging
acceptability. The finished product must evidence originality,
organization, clarity of purpose, critical analysis and accuracy
and completeness of documentation. Independent thinking should
characterize every thesis or project; mere cataloging,
compilation, description, or other superficial procedures are
not adequate. Once the thesis/project has been approved by the
thesis/project advisor and a second reader, the candidate may,
if he or she wishes, present his/her findings before the Spanish
area faculty. A copy of the thesis or project will be deposited
in the library and another copy will be deposited in the
department office. It is important for the candidate choosing
the option of project or thesis that you should not plan on
"rushing" your writing. You should develop your topic early in
your studies so as to avoid a last minute rush to meet a
deadline. Faculty cannot be expected to be pressured at the last
minute to advise you to a swift completion. Also, it should be
remembered that faculty are not obligated to direct theses or
projects during the summer months so you should plan
The Comprehensive Examination (Spanish 500, Culminating Experience, 3 units)
- The comprehensive examination for the Master of Arts in
Spanish shall consist of four written parts:
- Latin American Literature
- Spanish (Peninsular) Literature
- Hispanic Culture
- The Examination Committee shall consist of those
faculty members administering the four parts of the
examination. Each examiner shall be responsible for the
content, the administration and the evaluation of his/her part
of the graduate examinations. Faculty members responsible for
each part of the examination must provide candidates with a
study list of topics and sub-categories in their specialty,
based on the existing reading list for the M.A. (There may or
may not be a relationship between the sub-area of the reading
list and classes that the student may have taken.) The
individual faculty member may delete or add selections to
his/her sub-area list. (A
reading list, accessible from this "link", is
available from which the candidate selects a sub-area from
each of the four main areas identified in "1", above.) It
is imperative that the candidate consult with each faculty
member who will serve as an examiner as soon as possible after
selecting the option of the comprehensive examination.
- Examination periods: The comprehensive exams for the M.A. in Spanish are scheduled only once each semester: in November of the Fall semester, and in April of the Spring semester. Two 90-minute exams are taken on Friday and the final two 90-minute exams are taken on Saturday.
- Any one of the exams judged to be less than 80% correct
shall be considered deficient.
- If any exam receives less than 80% correct, the
committee will recommend additional preparation to retake that
part or parts of the exams at a future date. In no case will a
candidate be allowed to retake that part or parts of the exams
found to be deficient until after the lapse of one semester
during which the candidate will have adequate time to prepare
for the retake.
- Candidates who show deficiencies in more than one
graduate examination must request, in writing, to the Graduate
Coordinator, to meet with the Examination Committee for
special consideration to remain in the M.A. program. The
candidate has one week from the date of the meeting with the
examination committee to file a request for consideration.
Failure to make such a request will result in the candidate
being officially dropped from the M.A. program by the Graduate
- Once all requirements for the degree have been met and
the four examinations have been passed, the committee shall
certify that the candidate has earned the M.A. in Spanish and
all appropriate university forms will be completed for the
awarding of the degree.
Undergraduate Placement Exam • Spanish
Master of Arts Application Process
Graduate Requirements • Spanish
Graduate Exam Reading List
Graduate Program • Spanish
Travel Study • Spanish
Course Catalog • Spanish
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