PhD in Hispanic Studies

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. The program will accept and review applications for the fall semester only. Transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work must be uploaded along with all other requirements.

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements (for details, please consult the department website). 

  • Prior Degrees BA, MA or Equivalent, Spanish or related field.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.50/4.00 for all graduate courses.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL iBT 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21, OR,
    • IELTS Academic 6.5, with 6.0 in each of the four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
    • Results are to be included in CV, as well, as submitting them directly from TOEFL Testing Institution to Office of Admissions (UIC code is: 1851).
  • Samples of Writing in Spanish Applicants are required to submit two samples of their written work in Spanish in the form of an essay for an academic course.
  • Letters of Recommendation External applicants with an MA in Hispanic Studies or related field must provide at least three recommendation letters from faculty in the applicant’s MA program.
  • Personal Statement A statement of 500 words is required in which applicants should address their reasons for applying to the Hispanic Studies PhD program in the concentration desired, Hispanic Linguistics or Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies.
  • CV/Resume Please include TOEFL results (main score and 4 subscores).
  • Transcripts Applicants must upload transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work with all other requirements.
  • Other Requirements Students who enter the PhD program with an MA awarded by a department in a related field may be required upon admission to take complementary course work as appropriate in consultation with the advisor.
  • Nondegree Applicants None at the PhD level.
  • Deadlines Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate.
  • Coursework In addition to the stated 37 hours for the master’s degree or their equivalent, candidates must complete:
Courses Required for Both Concentrations
Professional Development Workshop II a
Didactic coursework at the 400 and 500 level (a minimum of 32 hours, comprising a concentration) b

Students who have not completed LCSL 503 as part of their MA must take LCSL 503 before completing LCSL 504.


Students who have been awarded a teaching appointment who have not completed LCSL 502 as part of their MA must complete LCSL 502 in their first semester at UIC. LCSL 502 counts as elective credit and does not count towards these 32 hours of didactic coursework.

Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies Concentration

Concentration Courses
A minimum of 8 graduate courses (32 hours) at the 400 or 500 level, chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. At least six of the eight courses (28 hours) must be at the 500 level. a
With prior approval of the graduate advisor, 8 of the 32 hours may be courses from other departments that directly relate to the student’s dissertation topic. Non-SPAN didactic course work taken without advisor approval or in excess of 8 hours will automatically count as elective credit, but will not go toward the 32 required hours.

The following may not be counted toward the 32 required hours of didactic coursework: LCSL 502, LCSL 503, LCSL 504, SPAN 590, SPAN 596, SPAN 598, SPAN 599.

Hispanic Linguistics Concentration

Concentration Courses
A minimum of 8 graduate courses (32 hours) which must include the following:
Advanced Spanish Phonology
Syntactic theory and Spanish syntax
Three additional 500-level courses
Three electives at the 400 or 500 level chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. Electives may be taken in other UIC programs and departments as long as they relate to the student’s concentration and are approved by the student’s academic advisor. a

Electives exclude the following courses: LCSL 502, LCSL 503, LCSL 504, SPAN 590, SPAN 596, SPAN 598, SPAN 599.

Other Requirements 

  • Examinations
    • Preliminary Examination: Required; written and oral.
  • Dissertation Required. No more than 31 hours of SPAN 599 can be applied to the degree. The dissertation should be based on original research in the candidate’s concentration, Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies or Hispanic Linguistics.
  • Other Requirements
    • Unless exempted by the director of graduate studies, all students must serve as teaching assistants for at least one year.
    • All students will need to demonstrate reading knowledge at a scholarly level of two languages other than Spanish and English. At least one of these needs to be a Romance language. This requirement can only be waived if the candidate holds a BA or equivalent in the language(s) with which he/she wishes to satisfy this requirement.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include:


Available to doctoral students in the Hispanic Linguistics Concentration.