Program Contacts

Katelyn Knox, PhD: Department Chair (interim)
Telephone: (501) 450-5585 | Email:

John Parrack, PhD: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 450-5120 | Email:

[1] Graduate Program Objectives

The Master of Arts program in Spanish is designed to provide professionals with advanced-level proficiency in oral and written Spanish through the study of literary, cultural, and linguistic topics. Graduates will have acquired cross-cultural competencies that will serve them in a variety of career options, including education, business, and public service.

[2] Program Requirements


Qualifications for regular admission to the Master of Arts in Spanish program are the same as those for admission to the Graduate School, except that students entering the program (1) must have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in an undergraduate major in Spanish; (2) must submit a satisfactory writing sample; and (3) must have scored at least Intermediate High on an Oral Proficiency Interview. The writing sample must demonstrate advanced proficiency in writing and appropriate critical thinking and analytical skills: it is an essay written specifically for the purpose, according to a prompt provided by the graduate faculty of the department. Please contact the graduate coordinator for information and directions.

Conditional admission may be granted in the case of equivalent prior experience and advanced proficiency, which may be achieved by completing additional undergraduate coursework in Spanish at UCA: please consult the graduate dean, department chair, or departmental graduate advisor. Students who are granted conditional admission are eligible to take a limited course load of 3 or 6 hours, determined by the graduate coordinator and faculty upon admission.

Upon admission to graduate study, the student will be evaluated for proficiency (if previous scores have not been submitted) and consult with the graduate coordinator regarding a plan for study abroad if necessary.

Course requirements

The MA in Spanish requires completion of 30 semester hours at the graduate level (at least 15 of which must be at the 6000 level), including a minimum of six semester hours abroad in an approved program in a Spanish-speaking country. An equivalent study abroad experience at the undergraduate level will exempt students from having to study abroad provided that they meet the criteria listed below.

The thirty (30) required hours of graduate work are to be divided as follows:

  1. Nine (9) hours of core courses. These three courses form the basis for the study of contemporary issues in Hispanic Studies and for the Comprehensive Exams.
    SPAN 5315 Masterpieces of Peninsular Literature and Culture
    SPAN 5345 Masterpieces of Latin American Literature
    SPAN 5340 History of the Spanish Language
  2. A minimum of fifteen (15) hours at the 6000-level.
  3. A maximum of three (3) hours from courses outside the program may be counted towards the required thirty hours. Depending on the student’s interests, these may include courses for the ESL endorsement, such as WLAN 5330 WLAN, 5315, and WLAN 5325, as well as graduate courses in English and History.
  4. Study abroad and/or thesis and/or independent study may make up no more than six (6) hours of the program, according to the approval and discretion of the chair and coordinator. Students will be assessed by the graduate coordinator upon entering and will be exempt from the study abroad requirement if they rate at advanced low or higher in speaking. Students who rate below intermediate high will be required to complete a study abroad experience at the undergraduate level before beginning course work at UCA. Students who rate at the intermediate-high level will be admitted but will be subject to the study abroad requirement after completing their 18th hour of course work, if they have not made sufficient progress toward the required exit proficiency level. Students who are not exempt from the study abroad requirement and who complete 18 hours will be assessed by two graduate faculty. Those rated to be on track to attain the target exit proficiency in speaking of advanced high or who have attained it already will be exempt from the study abroad requirement. Students who have not made adequate progress will be required to complete a study abroad experience before enrolling in further coursework.

Comprehensive examination: Students must earn a passing grade on comprehensive written and oral examinations in Spanish.

Proficiencies: Students must meet required Spanish proficiencies in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, which are assessed according to ACTFL standards.

[3] Graduate Courses in Spanish (SPAN)

Follow this link for SPAN course descriptions: course link.