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Spanish M.A.

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Spanish program enables students to further advance their communication skills in the fundamental areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing in Spanish.  The Spanish M.A. is designed for a range of individuals and seeks to provide: (1) balance for those who wish to terminate their studies at the Master’s level and whose primary aim is to teach in a community college; (2) advanced training for teachers who wish to improve their professional skills and status; (3) a variety of courses for students who plan to continue toward the Ph.D. degree at another institution; and (4) continuing education for those who wish to extend their knowledge as an end in itself through an interesting and stimulating series of courses in literature, criticism, language and culture.

Program Goals & Objectives

Goals for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures M.A. program are to provide instruction in graduate theory and research, to provide enhanced study of the literatures and cultures of Spain, Latin America, and U.S. Latinos, to provide training in linguistics and second-language pedagogy, and to offer development in professional areas like translation and interpretation.  These goals are accomplished through courses that challenge student development, critically explore cultures, and refine proficiency in Spanish language skills.

Application and Admission

Students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university may apply to the university for post-baccalaureate status and simultaneously to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for admission to the master’s degree program in Spanish.  Please consult the CSUB Graduate Application Guide to start the application process. Admission to the graduate program leading to the Master of Arts in Spanish requires the following:

  • A baccalaureate degree in Spanish from an accredited college or university with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or a baccalaureate degree in a field other than Spanish with demonstrated language proficiency to satisfy the core requirements of the undergraduate B.A. program and leveling courses as determined by the graduate coordinator.  Applicants who have a baccalaureate degree in a subject other than Spanish must have taken equivalent courses to the undergraduate Spanish requirements OR, under conditionally admitted status, successfully complete SPAN 3000 and at least one approved upper-level course from each of the designated areas of literature, linguistics, and cultures (4 classes total)
  • Acceptance to the university as a post-baccalaureate student
  • As part of the general university application, submission of program specific documents and information: 
    • A one-page statement of purpose describing objectives of proposed study (in Spanish); 
    • A letter of recommendation from an academic/professional reference (preferably a professor who can speak to the student’s abilities);
    • College transcripts 
    • Overall undergraduate GPA

Classification of Graduate Students

There are three classifications for students in the Spanish graduate program:


A student who meets all the requirements for admission to the master’s degree program in Spanish will be admitted as a classified graduate student.  A classified graduate student may take any graduate-level course meeting the requirements of his or her plan of study as long as the appropriate prerequisites have been met.

Conditionally Classified

A student may be admitted as conditionally classified if, in the judgment of the graduate committee for the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, he or she has the potential to fulfill all the conditions specified by the committee for admission as a classified graduate student and potential for successful completion of all the requirements for the graduate program.  Upon fulfillment of all conditions specified by the committee, the student’s status will be administratively changed to classified graduate student.


Classified students who have maintained a 3.0 GPA can petition in writing for degree candidacy prior to the semester in which they intend to graduate.  Candidates will be awarded the M.A. degree after successful completion of all degree requirements.

Academic Advising

Meeting with the graduate program coordinator is an important first step in the M.A. program. It is the student’s responsibility, in consultation with the graduate program coordinator and departmental advisors, to choose appropriate courses.  The graduate program coordinator guides students during the period of graduate study and responds to any concerns students may have while in the program.  It is essential that M.A. students stay in contact with the graduate program coordinator so the department can provide current information to help the student move expeditiously through the program.  Students have a responsibility to schedule regular meetings with the graduate program coordinator and their advisors.

Program Requirements

Students participating in the Master of Arts in Spanish program must successfully complete a minimum of 30 units of approved graduate courses in Spanish which include the following:

  1. 6 units of required foundational courses: SPAN 5400 and SPAN 5410
  2. 21 units of elected Spanish offerings (7 courses) at the graduate level.  Students must take at least one course in each of the areas of literature, language/linguistics, and cultures, and at least two courses must be at the 6000 level or above.  Courses previously taken at the 4000 level may NOT be retaken for credit at the graduate level.
  3. To be accepted for degree candidacy, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  4. 3 units of required culminating experience: SPAN 6900 to be completed in the final semester of program study.  The culminating experience is intended to demonstrate a breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline and will integrate what the student has learned over the course of graduate study.  The culminating experience must be approved by the graduate committee and may include such options as a thesis, culminating project, or comprehensive exam.  The student will present and defend their work to an established panel.

In this section:

How to apply:

CSUB Graduate Application Guide 

Start Application Here

Important information: 

Spanish M.A. Courses
Spanish Master Outline

Exam Option Resources:

Please Contact:

Dr. Maryann Parada, Spanish Graduate Coordinator

Spanish Graduate Coordinator


Phone: (661) 654-2377