Hispanic Studies

Director of Graduate Studies/Graduate Advisor (contact)

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers a flexible programme in Hispanic Studies leading to the degree of Master of Arts. Candidates will receive in the classroom preparation in the culture, intellectual history and literature of Spain and Spanish America, including two guided research projects. For those students holding a B.A. Honours in Hispanic Studies or an M.A. from McGill or another college or university of recognized standing, the Department offers the possibility of doctoral studies leading to the Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies.

Admission Requirements for the M.A. Degree:

In order to be admitted to graduate work in Hispanic Studies, candidates must fulfill the following prerequisites:

a) Candidates must possess a B.A. degree with Honours or in certain cases Joint Honours in Hispanic Studies from McGill University, or an equivalent degree from another college or university of recognized standing.

b) Candidates who do not possess the above prerequisites may, with special permission, enter the Department as qualifying students for the purpose of completing these preliminary studies. They may have to take, among other courses, HISP 550, Comprehensive Examination.

Students may be required to attend an approved course in English or French if their knowledge of either language is deemed inadequate.

Option 1: MA without Thesis:

Semester 1: 
Three graduate-level seminars
HISP 603: Hispanic Bibliography I
Semester 2: Three graduate-level seminars
HISP 604: Hispanic Bibliography II
Semester 3: One graduate-level seminar
HISP 615: Guided Research Project in Medieval and Golden Age Literature (including Colonial Spanish America)
Semester 4: One graduate level seminar:
HISP 616: Guided Research Project in Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature OR
HISP 617: Guided Research Project in Modern and Contemporary Spanish-American Literature

All candidates pursuing the M.A. without thesis must complete the Guided Research Project in Medieval and Golden Age Literature (including Colonial Spanish America) (HISP 615).

Candidates choosing to focus their research on the literature of Spain will take the Guided Research Project in Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature (HISP 616). Those wishing to specialize in the literature of Spanish America will take the Guided Research Project in Modern and Contemporary Spanish-American Literature (HISP 617).

At the conclusion of each Research Project, students will be required to produce an extended essay, or series of essays, during a 48 hour period with full access to critical material. Each of these essays will focus upon themes and issues central to the particular field of research and will be examined by at least two faculty members.

All candidates pursuing the M.A. without thesis are expected to complete their degree requirements within two academic years.

Option 2: MA with Thesis (currently, students are only admitted to the Thesis option in exceptional circumstances*):

Requirements: 48 credits in total
Semester 1: Three 3-credit graduate level seminars
HISP 695 (3 credits): Thesis Preparation I
Semester 2: Three 3-credit graduate level seminars
HISP 696 (3 credits): Thesis Preparation II
Semester 3 & 4: Three and Four 12 credits each semester of HISP 697: Thesis

Students pursuing the M.A. with thesis are expected to complete their degree requirements within four academic semesters. The student is required to take three courses in each of the first two semesters. During the first semester, via consultation with the graduate director, the student will identify a thesis advisor who will guide the student through the first-year courses, HISP 695, 696: Thesis Preparation.

At the end of the second semester, the student is required to present a thesis proposal to the advisor and the graduate director. Upon approval of this proposal, the student will continue to prepare the thesis during the third and fourth semesters of studies. In order to graduate at the June Convocation, a final draft of the project should be deposited, typically, by the preceding January. The thesis will be evaluated by both the advisor and an external reviewer.

Ideally, students admitted to this option will pursue their studies on a full-time basis. The combination of three courses and one Thesis Preparation course will permit these students the 12 credits per term average that is required for most scholarships.

* The Graduate Committee of the Department of Hispanic Studies reserves the right to determine which of the two options (thesis/non-thesis) students admitted to the M.A. will be permitted to pursue and/or continue to completion.

PhD program

The aim of the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Studies is to offer students the opportunity to become effective teachers and scholars of Spanish language and culture. The program provides both a broad exposure to and in-depth training in Cultural Studies, Sub-altern Studies, Urban Studies, Gender-Queer Studies and Translation Studies. Our faculty focus their research on Renaissance Spain, the Hispanic Baroque and Enlightenment, as well as on Contemporary Latin American culture. Our objective is to prepare students to develop independently as critical beings, teachers and scholars.

PhD Degree Requirements:

  1. Six 3-credit courses and the Research Seminar.
  2. Proficiency in Spanish, and when appropriate in Portuguese, as well as a functional ability in French and English. A reading knowledge of a fourth language will be determined according to the needs of the candidate's research program.
  3. Comprehensive examinations, oral and written.
  4. Doctoral dissertation on an appropriate area of original research.
  5. All courses, comprehensive examinations and language requirements will normally be completed before the dissertations topic is formally approved. A dissertation proposal should be submitted to the Graduate Committee of Hispanic Studies for approval no later than the end of the second year of full time doctoral studies.
  6. All general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research regarding the Ph.D. degree shall apply.

Required Academic Activities:

All graduate students are required to attend the academic / cultural activities organized by the Hispanic Studies.

As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version.  For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see: http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare

Deadlines for Receipt of Completed Applications:

Please note that incomplete applications (including letters of recommendation, testing scores (TOEFL, IELTS), transcripts, sample(s) of written work) by the application deadline will not be considered.

For Fall Admission:  January 6 (Canadian/Permanent Resident/International).

For Winter Admission:  September 15 (Canadian/Permanent Resident); August 14 (International). 

Special/Exchange/Visiting:  As above.

Application and Required Documents:

Should you decide to formally apply, all supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system (complete instructions:www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/submitting-your-documents.

  • Online application form.
  • Application fee.  You must pay a $100 non-refundable fee or your application will not be processed.
  • All university transcripts. Those transcripts not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator).
  • Statement of purpose. Applicants are requested to send a brief statement of their interests and the areas they wish to study within the Department (1 to 3 pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation. Those letters not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator). On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the Department. Therefore you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.
  • One or two samples of written work (in PDF format). This can be in the form of a graded paper, a chapter from a thesis, or an academic article.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores for non-native English applicants. This is a requirement of all students applying whose native language is other than English. Results must be on file by application deadline – Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies no longer process applications without official results. Minimum score of 575 or 231 computer based scale. IELTS scores are also acceptable: a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module).

Contact Information:

Ms. Lynda Bastien
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
McGill University
688 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 3R1
info.llcu [at] mcgill.ca (Email)
Phone : (514) 398-4400 ext. 09015