Our program offers MA and PhD options in Spanish literature and culture, linguistics, as well as in Portuguese. We offer an exciting and innovating combination of research, teaching, and service opportunities to all our students. Our program is interdisciplinary by design, offering a variety of areas of specialization in literature, culture, film, theater, performance studies, Latinx and Border studies, gender and queer studies, race and indigenous studies, environmental studies, Lusophone studies, and translation. In both Iberian and Latin American/Latinx studies, our students can find a range of tracks that can fulfill their interests in theory, criticism, and practice. In Spanish Linguistics, students can choose different fields, including phonetics, phonology, syntax, historical languages, bilingualism, language variation and change, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition. In 2020, we implemented a new MA portfolio in lieu of an exam, and our PhD preliminary exam and dissertation proposal process is streamlined to each student’s research interests. This new modality has helped our students find a faster route to writing their dissertation. It has also fostered stronger interdisciplinarity with other departments and programs on campus, facilitating our students’ progress and time-to-degree.
Our faculty collaborates with a variety of programs and departments on campus that foster more open and cutting-edge interests. Some of our faculty have built strong ties to Latinx studies and work closely with Chicanx and Latinx Studies. Other faculty members have worked closely with Art History, Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, and the Center for Visual Cultures. Our Early Modern studies is a transatlantic field and has close ties to the Center for Early Modern Studies. We have also focused our attention to environmental studies and work with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with Women in Translation, as well as our renowned Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program, LACIS. Our Linguistics faculty have strong connections to the Language Sciences, as well as the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition and The Language Institute. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our students are central to our DEI committee in our department.
The department showcases vibrant approaches to the discipline via lectures and symposia, research workshops, as well as film and theatre productions. Our graduate students are particularly active in organizing events and series, including works-in-progress presentations and an annual conference, called. Kaleidoscope for which they learn how to write and apply for grants. For those interested in the theatre, our own graduate student-run theatre group, Teatro Décimo Piso stages a play every year.
Faculty work closely with graduate students, mentoring them from the beginning, offering special classes for Writing for the Profession and Methodology for both MA and PhD students. Our students have been very successful in obtaining competitive grants and fellowships as well as getting published in peer-reviewed venues, as it can be seen in their accomplishments. We also convene workshops to guide our students through the job market, as reflected in our job placement.
Our competitive funding package of two years for MA students, six years for MA students who continue to the PhD, and five years for PhD students, includes full tuition remission, a living stipend, and a generous health insurance coverage. Our students have a chance to compete for ongoing internal summer grants given out each year by the department and the university, and to teach a variety of courses in the summer. Ample mentoring is provided both through a course in foreign language pedagogy, and we make sure our graduate students leave UW with a diverse portfolio of teaching experience.