Frequently Asked Questions

Prepared October 2002 – Based on the Graduate Catalog and Department Policies

Can you please describe the M.A. in Spanish?

The Master of Arts in Spanish is designed to provide a rich variety of graduate course work in a major world language that is becoming increasingly important in the United States. The program consists of two tracks: Language, Literature and Culture (LLC) and Translating and Translation Studies (TTS). The M.A. in Spanish serves individuals who seek a greater understanding of Spanish language, literatures and cultures, and who seek career and professional advancement opportunities in education, translation, applied language (Business Spanish), and who contemplate pursuing a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature or linguistics.


What does the awarding of the M.A. in Spanish require?

The M.A. in Spanish requires the completion of 30-36 hours of course work, formal admission to candidacy upon successful completion of 18 semester hours of graduate course work, successful evaluation of the comprehensive examinations and, for those pursuing the thesis option, successful completion of the thesis.


How many hours of course work are required for the M.A. in Spanish?

The Master of Arts in Spanish requires a total of 36 hours of academic credit to fulfill the degree requirements, either:

  1. 36 hours of graduate course work (twelve 3-unit courses); or
  2. 30 hours of graduate course work (ten 3-unit courses) plus a master’s thesis (equivalent to six hours of credit).

The Graduate School policy is that at least half of the courses taken for an M.A. degree must be numbered at the 6000 level or above.

Note: It is strongly recommended that a candidate for the M.A. in Spanish also demonstrate knowledge of one additional foreign language other than English. This knowledge can be demonstrated either by receiving a grade of B or better in a foreign language course numbered 2202 or higher or by passing a language examination. Three hours of course credit at the 2202 level or above in another foreign language may be counted as elective credit toward the total course work credits for the M.A. in Spanish.


Can you please tell me more about the formal admission to candidacy, the comprehensive examinations, and the thesis option?

  • Admission to candidacy: Upon successful completion of a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate work and in no case later than four weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which he/she expects to complete all requisites for the degree, a student should file for admission to candidacy on a form supplied by the Graduate School. This application is a check sheet approved by the student's advisor, department chairperson and college dean listing all course work to be offered for the degree (including transferred credit and courses in progress). For more on this, please visit Graduate Admissions and consult the Graduate Catalog.
  • Comprehensive examinations: After admission to candidacy, each student must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. Students must be enrolled during the semester in which they take the comprehensive examination. The examination is both written and oral. A three-member M.A. Examination Committee (the student’s advisor and two faculty members selected by the student) will create the exam after soliciting questions from all faculty members in the field(s) of the exam, and will grade the exam as Pass, Fail, or Delayed Decision. The exams will be kept anonymous during the grading. The student can meet with the committee, after he/she has received the exam grade, in order to review the exam and receive feedback on it. The examination itself will not be released to the student. For additional information, please go to Comprehensive Exam.
  • M.A. thesis: The plan of study for a master's degree may or may not include completion of a thesis. The thesis and non-thesis approaches are designed to meet the needs of students preparing for different types of careers and represent qualitatively different educational experiences. Consequently, the academic departments and the Dean of the Graduate School discourage any switching from one plan to another. If a switch from a thesis to non-thesis plan is approved, the grade of I for the thesis work will be changed to W on the transcript with no refund of tuition for the course(s). At the time that the graduate program approves the student’s thesis topic, the Petition for Topic Approval must be filed with the Graduate School. This form is available in the Graduate School. The thesis must be submitted for final approval by the student's thesis committee at least three weeks before the date of the oral examination in which the thesis is defended. Following the successful completion of this defense, the master's candidate must submit three unbound copies of the approved and error-free thesis to the Graduate School no later than the filing date indicated in the University Calendar.

For more on the above, please visit Graduate Admissions and consult the current issue of the Graduate Catalog.


How long does it take to complete the M.A. in Spanish?

It takes 2-6 years.


Is there a time limit for completing the M.A. in Spanish?

Yes. Candidates must complete all requirements for a master's degree, including accepted transferred credit, within six years of the end of the first semester in which they registered in the Graduate School. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to be included in the degree program.


Do you offer graduate classes at night, on weekends, and in the summer?

Most of the graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening (e.g., at 4, 5, 6 and 7:00 PM).

At this time, classes are not offered on the weekends.

At this time, one or two graduate classes may be offered during the summer sessions.


How do I apply for admission to the M.A. in Spanish and what are your admission application deadlines? How much does the application cost?

Please go to Graduate Admissions for official and current information from the Office of Graduate Admissions. Tel. 704‑687‑5503.

Listed below are the general application deadlines. You should submit your application and all credentials well in advance of the published deadlines. The University may alter the date for acceptance of applications without further notice in accordance with available resources and the enrollment limitation established by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Graduate Application Deadlines:

Term of Entry

Deadline

Fall

May 1

Spring

October 1

First or Second Summer Session

April 1

Note: You should plan to submit your full application according to the deadlines indicated above, or those given at the Website. Since we are a new M.A. program, however, at this time we will consider applications that arrive after the published deadlines.


How can I obtain an admissions application to the Graduate School?

Please go to Graduate Admissions.  The entire application process is online.


If I am not sure that I want to apply for admission to the M.A. in Spanish at this time, can I still take some classes at UNC Charlotte that would count toward the M.A. if I decide to apply at a later date?

Yes, you may want to take some courses as a post-baccalaureate graduate student. This means that you can enroll in graduate-level courses in Spanish at UNC Charlotte, without applying formally for admission to the M.A. degree program. Up to six hours of post-baccalaureate course credit may then be transferred as credit toward your M.A. in Spanish, once you are admitted to the degree program. For more information, and for obtaining a post-baccalaureate student application, please go to Graduate Admissions. See also question below re: transfer credit.


What is the cost of tuition for the M.A. in Spanish?

Please go to Graduate Admissions. Tuition at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, both for in-state and out-of-state students, is among the lowest in the country and provides an excellent return on the dollar.

Do you offer financial aid for students enrolled in the M.A. in Spanish?

Yes, the Department of Languages and Culture Studies may offer a limited number of graduate assistantships and tuition waivers. Additional support may also come from a limited number of professional internships. For more information about graduate assistantships, please go to the Graduate Admissions site. For more information about other forms of financial aid (loans, etc.), please consult the Graduate School website

Note: A graduate assistant must register for at least nine graduate-level semester hours during each semester in which an assistantship is awarded.


What is meant by classification as a full-time student in the M.A. program?

A full-time student takes 9-12 hours of courses (3-4 courses) per academic semester.


What is an appropriate course load for me to take?

An appropriate course load is dependent upon two factors: the scholastic ability of the student as reflected by his/her academic history and the time available for study. A course load of nine semester hours constitutes a normal full semester program for a graduate student. This is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking and individual research required of graduate students. Generally, graduate students should not register for more than 12 semester hours during a semester. A graduate assistant must register for at least six graduate-level semester hours during each semester in which an assistantship is awarded.

I have been classified as an out-of-state student. What are the requirements for North Carolina residency for tuition purposes and how can I change my current classification?
 

Please go to Graduate Admissions.

What are the requirements for admission to the M.A. in Spanish?

  • A baccalaureate degree in Spanish or in a related field (e.g., Latin American or Iberian Studies, International Studies or Relations, International Business), which required upper-division (advanced) courses in Spanish, with an overall GPA of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • An acceptable score on the Aptitude Portion of the Graduate Record Examination or on the M.A.T.. (Note that the GRE is required for the M.A., but the M.A.T. or the GRE are accepted for the Graduate Certificate Program).  While we seek the highest scores possible on the general section of the GRE (verbal, quantitative and analytical portions), there is no cut-off score, rather we are looking for an acceptable range that is indicative of the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the M.A. in Spanish. This score is considered in conjunction with the candidate’s previous transcripts and GPA, letters of recommendation, statement of interest, and samples of writing in Spanish. For more information please click here: test scores.
  • For international applicants whose native language is not English, a score of at least 550 in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL does not apply for applicants who have a four-year degree from a U.S. college or university. In order to be valid, the TOEFL must have been taken within two years of application to the M.A. program. For further information, contact the Office of International Admissions.
  • An essay that addresses the applicant’s motivation for enrolling in the M.A. in Spanish, to include particular areas of research interests and career or professional goals. Students seeking enrollment in the LLC track should write this essay in Spanish and demonstrate a high level of proficiency in Spanish by attaching an additional writing sample (a college term paper or similar document). Students seeking enrollment in the TTS track may write the essay in either English or Spanish but must demonstrate high levels of literacy and proficiency in both languages by providing writing samples in each. Note: This essay is important and should be very well thought out and presented. There is no set length for the essay, but it is usually 2-3 pages long, and may be whatever length the applicant requires in order to make his or her strongest case for consideration for admission.
  • Three letters of reference. For those interested in the LLC track, at least two of the letters must be from professors. For those interested in the TTS track, at least one of the letters must come from a professor, and letters not written by a faculty member must be from professionals working in the field of Spanish, translating and interpreting, or in a closely related area (Latin American Studies, International Studies, International Business, etc.).
  • An oral interview with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.


If I did not major in Spanish or in a closely related field, such as those indicated above, what do I have to do to be able to apply for admission to the M.A. in Spanish?

It is recommended that you take and present at least several courses at the upper-division (advanced) level of Spanish, with grades of B or better. The M.A. in Spanish is an intensive program that requires very strong and demonstrable communication skills in Spanish (speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing).


If I am an advanced undergraduate student, majoring in Spanish at UNC Charlotte or another institution, can I take courses in the graduate program? If I do so, can these classes be counted toward the M.A. degree?

No. The UNC Charlotte policy is that advanced undergraduate students may enroll only in SPAN 4000-level courses. At times, these courses may be cross-listed with parallel SPAN 5000 graduate-level courses; this means that graduate students will be in the same class, doing much more work at the graduate level. The Graduate School policy reserves 6000-level courses exclusively for graduate students: undergraduate students may not enroll in 6000-level courses, and these courses will not be cross-listed with undergraduate 4000-level courses.

In order to receive any graduate credit for graduate courses taken, you must first be admitted into the Spanish M.A. degree program.


What is the status of my admissions application?

Please go to Graduate Admissions.  You can check your application status online.


Can I take courses for elective credit?

With the approval of the department, 3 hours of electives in related areas may be taken as part of the 30-36 hours required for the degree. Departmental approval means that you initiate discussion of this possibility with the your advisor or the Graduate Coordinator, and that you complete and route the appropriate paperwork for being awarded elective credit.


Can I transfer credit for courses taken at other institutions?

Up to six hours of appropriate graduate credit may be accepted for transfer from another accredited institution. Credit will not be given for courses that counted previously toward another graduate degree. For any course to count toward the M.A. in Spanish, it must have been taken within six years from the date of enrollment in the program.

To obtain approval to receive transfer credit, the student must submit an Application for Transfer of Credit into a Graduate Degree Program form (available in the Graduate School office), approved by the graduate program coordinator, to the Dean of the Graduate School. If the courses being transferred are from another institution, the student must include a copy of the transcript along with the request. The University is not obligated to accept any courses for transfer credit.


Is study abroad an option I can pursue for credit toward the M.A. in Spanish?

Yes, with prior approval of the department up to six hours of graduate credit may be awarded for study abroad. Credit will not be given for courses that counted previously toward another graduate degree. For any study abroad course to count toward the M.A. in Spanish, it must have been taken within six years from the date of enrollment in the program. The M.A. program, housed in the Department of Languages and Culture Studies, currently sponsors programs in Spain, and Chile. For more information, please visit the Spanish site. For information on other study abroad possibilities, please visit the Office of Education Abroad.


Do you offer credit by exam?

A student currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the normal course work. The student contacts the program in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination. Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the program. If the graduate program authorizes an examination, the student is instructed to pay the fee for credit by examination and to bring the receipt of payment to the examination. Credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded. Failure on such an examination will incur no grade-point penalty. No student may challenge a course for which either a passing or failing grade has been received at UNC Charlotte.


Can you please describe each track in the M.A. in Spanish?

Track I: Language, Literature and Culture (LLC)

The LLC track formally consists of 18-24 hours of graduate course work in Spanish and Spanish American literature, Spanish and Spanish American civilization and culture (including film and song lyric studies), Spanish linguistics, methodology, applied language (Spanish for business and international trade), special topics in Spanish, and up to 3 hours of professional internship in Spanish. A scholarly thesis may also be written, which is the equivalent of 6 hours of course work. The LLC track allows for an in-depth development of Spanish language skills and is especially recommended for teachers of Spanish. It also provides excellent preparation for individuals who may wish to pursue the Ph.D. in Spanish, for whom courses in literature and linguistics are especially recommended.

Track II: Translating and Translation Studies (TTS)

The TTS track formally consists of 18-24 hours of graduate course work in the history and theory of translation, and in the analysis and translation of different types of texts and discourse: business, technical, medical, legal, scholarly, and literary. It may also include special topics courses in Spanish-English translation, up to 3 hours of professional internship in translating, and a translation thesis (equivalent to 6 hours of course work). Course work in applied language areas such as Business Spanish is especially appropriate for the TTS track. This specialized track serves individuals interested in a career in professional translation or in enhancing their career or work opportunities as language and culture specialists in today’s global economy and in a nation where Spanish is becoming increasingly important.


What courses are currently offered for the Language, Literature and Culture (LLC) track?

  • SPAN 5050: Selected Topics in Spanish
  • SPAN 5120: Advanced Business Spanish I
  • SPAN 5121: Advanced Business Spanish II
  • SPAN 5201: Nineteenth-Century Spanish Literature
  • SPAN 5202: Twentieth-Century Spanish Literature
  • SPAN 5205: Novel of the Golden Age
  • SPAN 5206: Theater of the Golden Age
  • SPAN 5210: Studies in Spanish American Poetry
  • SPAN 5211: Studies in Spanish American Prose Fiction
  • SPAN 5213: Don Quijote
  • SPAN 5410: Professional Internship in Spanish
  • SPAN 5800: Directed Individual Study
  • SPAN 6001: Advanced Studies in Spanish Language
  • SPAN 6003: Advanced Studies in Hispanic Culture and Civilization
  • SPAN 6005: Advanced Studies in Spanish Literature
  • SPAN 6007: Advanced Studies in Spanish American Literature
  • SPAN 6201: Spanish Language and Culture through Media
  • SPAN 6901: Advanced Project
  • SPAN 6902: Thesis (6 hours of credit)

For full description please visit the Graduate Catalog online.


What courses are currently offered for the Translating and Translation Studies (TTS) track?

  • TRAN 6001S: History and Theory of Translation
  • TRAN 6003S: Translating and the Computer
  • TRAN 6472S: Advanced Non-Literary Translating I (Business, Legal, Governmental)
  • TRAN 6474S: Advanced Non-Literary Translating (Medical and Technical)
  • TRAN 6476S: Advanced Literary and Cultural Translating
  • TRAN 6480S: Translation Internship
  • TRAN 6481S: Translation Cooperative Education
  • TRAN 6900S: Special Topics in English-Spanish Translation Studies
  • TRAN 6901S: Advanced Project in English-Spanish Translating
  • TRAN 6902S: Thesis (6 hours of credit)

For full description please visit the Graduate Catalog online.


What are the different options available to me if I pursue the LLC vs. the TTS track?

Can I teach Spanish in K-12 and at the community college level with either track?

The LLC track represents the traditional curriculum of advanced studies in Spanish language, linguistics, literature, civilization and culture, and methodology. Therefore, as a Master of Arts in Spanish, it is immediately recognizable as an advanced credential for teaching Spanish in K-12 and at the community college level.

The TTS track is a specialization offered within the Master of Arts in Spanish. Its primary purpose is to prepare graduates for professional-level work in translation. This track does require four graduate courses (12 credit hours) from the LLC track, which is more course work in linguistics, literature, and civilization and culture than what a typical M.A.T. in Spanish may require. Though less immediately recognizable than the LLC track for teaching purposes, the TTS track should also constitute a valid advanced credential for teaching Spanish in K-12 and at the community college level.

Can I consider continuing on to a Ph.D. program with either track?

As in the answer to the previous question, the LLC track represents the traditional curriculum of advanced studies in Spanish language, linguistics, literature, civilization and culture, and methodology. Therefore, as a Master of Arts degree in Spanish, it is immediately recognizable as the more typical preparation for going on to a Ph.D. in Spanish literature or linguistics, comparative literature, or a Ph.D. in a closely related field, such as Latin American Studies.

The TTS track, which requires core course work from the LLC track offerings, should also provide a good background for going on to the Ph.D. in Spanish, although it is less typical preparation than a traditional M.A. curriculum in Spanish. The TTS track may also provide preparation for going on to a Ph.D. in areas such as translation, comparative literature, and linguistics.

For those who contemplate pursuing a Ph.D. degree upon completion of the M.A. in Spanish at UNC Charlotte, the writing of a scholarly thesis during the M.A. is highly recommended, as it is indicative of one’s ability to conduct advanced individual research.


What classes are you offering this semester for the M.A. in Spanish?

          Please visit course listings online.


How do I register for classes for the M.A. in Spanish?

Please go to Office of the Registrar site.


What grading system is used?

Grades of A, B, C, U and I are typically used at the graduate level:

A = Commendable = 4 grade points earned per semester hour

B = Satisfactory = 3 grade points earned per semester hour

C = Marginal = 2 grade points earned per semester hour

U = Unsatisfactory = 0 grade points earned per semester hour

I = Incomplete

For additional information, please consult the current issue of the Graduate Catalog.


Are there any grade requirements for continued enrollment in the M.A. in Spanish degree program?

Yes. Students enrolled in any graduate program must maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree. Students are expected to achieve a commendable or satisfactory grade (A or B) in all course work attempted for graduate credit. No more than six hours evaluated as C may be counted towards the minimum hours required for the master's degree.  An accumulation of three marginal (C) grades will result in termination of the student's enrollment in the graduate program. If a student makes a grade of U on any course, enrollment will be terminated. A graduate student whose enrollment has been terminated because of grades is ineligible to attend any semester or the summer session unless properly readmitted. A student reinstated in a graduate program will be expected to complete the degree program with satisfactory or commendable performance. Should the student receive a grade of C or U after being reinstated in the program, his/her enrollment in the graduate program will be terminated.


Who are the faculty members who currently teach in the M.A. in Spanish and what are their qualifications and specializations?

All graduate faculty at UNC Charlotte are committed to excellence in teaching and are active in research and publication in their respective fields of inquiry. Graduate faculty who teach in the M.A. in Spanish are subject to an annual evaluation process that maintains departmental standards and expectations in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. To see a list of current graduate faculty, please visit our Program Overview page.

For additional information, please visit the Spanish site.