Graduate Program Information


Yale’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers the Ph.D. in Spanish peninsular literature, Latin American literature, and a combination of Luso-Brazilian and Spanish/Spanish American literatures. In addition, the department participates in a combined Ph.D. program with the Department of African American Studies as well as a combined Ph.D. program in conjunction with the Renaissance Studies Program.

The program is typically five or six years long, depending on whether the student takes one or two years to write the dissertation. The first two years are devoted to course work and the fulfillment of the three language requirements; the third year, to the Qualifying Examination and the preparation of the Dissertation Prospectus; the fourth and fifth (or fourth through sixth) years, to the writing of the dissertation. The student participates in the Teaching and Pedagogy Program during years two through four, taking the required course in modern languages pedagogy in the second year, and teaching one course per semester in the department’s basic language sequence during the third and fourth years. Assisting in literature courses is offered as available. No teaching is done during the two years of course work or during the dissertation fellowship year.

All PhD candidates at Yale receive five years of full funding. This consists of a 12-month stipend in each of years one and two, during which students complete their course work, a 12-month stipend in each of years three and four, during which students are expected to assist in teaching in one course each semester, and a 12-month stipend during the year (usually year five) in which students take the dissertation completion fellowship. The University also covers the premiums for basic health care and hospitalization at the University Health Service for students, 50% of that premium for spouses, and 100% for families with children during the entire period in which a student is registered, even if registration is extended beyond the five years of the financial aid package.

Program Requirements

1.Sixteen graduate-level courses, of which two are required (Methodologies of Modern Foreign Language Teaching and History of the Spanish Language) and two are taken outside the department.

2.Three language requirements: (a) a reading/translation knowledge of Latin, usually satisfied by taking two semesters of Latin during the academic year or the intensive course during the summer; (b) reading/translation competence in another language relevant to the student’s program; and (c) a language/literature “minor” consisting of two graduate courses taken in the language/literature of the student’s choice. This “minor” language/literature requirement presumes graduate-level proficiency in the language chosen, and it is tested on the oral portion of the Qualifying Examination by one of the professors with whom the student has studied and prepared the list of readings to be examined.

3.Participation in the Teaching and Pedagogy program.

4.Qualifying Examination, consisting of written and oral components.

5.Dissertation Prospectus, prepared in consultation with the student’s adviser and approved by the faculty.

6.Doctoral Dissertation, prepared in close consultation with the adviser, approved by the faculty and Graduate School, and completed during the fifth or sixth year of study.

Special Admission Requirements

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