Graduate Studies

The Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Bowling Green State University offers an innovative Master of Arts degree in Spanish that includes academic mentoring by our graduate faculty at BGSU and the option of studying abroad to acquire cultural and linguistic skills through immersion.  By the end of the MA program, students will be able to discuss critically and analytically, both orally and in writing, a variety of topics related to the Spanish language as well as Spanish-speaking cultures and literatures. Students will demonstrate advanced competence in the Spanish language and familiarity with the theoretical issues and research tools in the broad fields of literature, culture and linguistics from Spain and Latin America. By acquiring these skills we believe that our students become well prepared as global citizens and well equipped to succeed in a wide variety of careers that require sophisticated communication skills, cultural understanding, and critical thinking. Our graduates have gone on to a wide array of rewarding careers, including:

  • Teaching Careers at the high school, community college & university levels
  • International Careers like study abroad administration & teaching English abroad
  • Business Tracks such as careers in banking, economics & international business
  • Service Opportunities such as AmeriCorps & the Peace Corps
  • Ph.D. Programs in Literature, Linguistics, 2nd Language Acquisition & Cultural Studies. Recent graduates have gone on to: 
  • Ohio State
  • U. of Arizona
  • Indiana U.
  • U. of Cincinnati
  • U. of Maryland
  • U. of Pittsburgh
  • U. of Florida
  • U. of Wisconsin
  • U. of Michigan
  • Georgetown
  • Texas Tech
  • U. of Alabama
  • U. of Virginia



36 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level, 19 of which must be taken on the BGSU campus or from BGSU graduate faculty abroad. Note: courses from professors at the Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros and the Universidad Veracruzana do not count toward those 19 credits.

Two-Part Comprehensive Exam

Part I: Over the course of the first year, all Spanish M.A. students take a Qualifying Examination in three fields: Spanish literature and culture; Latin American literature and culture; and Spanish linguistics. This exam is generally in the form of take-home essays. Specific instructions regarding the format of the exam are distributed in the first semester.

Part II: During the second year, beyond regular coursework, all students choose between writing a Master’s Thesis option or a “Final Project” option. Either option will be realized with the guidance of one faculty member director, and will culminate with an oral presentation of the thesis or final project to a committee of three professors (including the director) by the end of the second year.



M.A. students contracted as Teaching Assistants gain valuable experience by working as tutors or teachers of their own introductory Spanish sections. Some TAs will begin with no previous teaching experience, while some will join us with established teaching credentials. We work with novice and experienced teachers to ensure that by the end of the program each TA is prepared and confident with up to date language teaching methodology. All TAs work under the supervision of a TA Supervisor and have the support of coursework on language pedagogy (SPAN 6010: Teaching College Spanish).

Presenting, Publishing, and Freelancing

Academic Conferences: BGSU supports students interested in presenting their academic work at conferences or publishing in journals. Students can apply for Graduate Student Professional Development Funds to offset expenses incurred for attending conferences (registration fee, mileage, etc.). Students are also encouraged to present at local BGSU conferences, such as the annual Latin American and Latino/a Studies Student Research Conference.

Academic Journals: Students are encouraged to publish their essays in Spanish through BGSU’s own on-line student research journal: La Blogoteca de Babel :

Professional translating/interpreting. Students have the opportunity to become affiliates with BGSU's Language Services Group.  The LSG is a business run by language faculty to provide high quality services in translating and interpreting, while offering the possibility of freelance work for BGSU graduate students.

Breadth and Depth

By taking a variety of coursework in the department’s three main academic fields, students are prepared as generalists in Spanish Studies. Examples of recently offered courses on the BGSU campus showcase the range of opportunities to learn about Spain, Latin America and linguistics/pedagogy:

Sample Course Offerings

  • SPAN 6010: Teaching College Spanish
  • SPAN 6210: Contemporary Latin American Cultural Discourses
  • SPAN 6230: Issues in Andean Culture Studies
  • SPAN 6260: Issues in Contemporary Mexican Literature and Culture
  • SPAN 6270: Spanish American Cinema
  • SPAN 6290: Latin American and Caribbean Music, Art, and Literature
  • SPAN 6350: History & Identity in Spanish American Literature & Film
  • SPAN 6360: Spanish American Women Writers
  • SPAN 6410: Spanish Medieval Epic and Romancero
  • SPAN 6550: Hispanic Linguistics
  • SPAN 6800: Postcolonial Latin America
  • SPAN 6800: Heritage Language Pedagogy
  • SPAN 6800: Second Language Acquisition

By completing the two-part comprehensive examination (First year Qualifying Exam and second year capstone project), students deepen their knowledge of specific topics through critical academic writing. A sample of recent MA theses illustrates the range of topics that students have chosen to explore in depth.

  • “Representaciones de la Guerra Civil Española en la novela y el cine” (Hogue)
  • “Banana [Mis]representations: A Gendered History of the United Fruit Company and las mujeres  bananeras” (Dual MA with History, Bologna)
  • “El uso y el mantenimiento de la lengua: Garifuna en Sangrelaya, Honduras” (DeNijs)
  • “Mapeando la cultura Kruda: Hip-Hop, Punk Rock y performances queer latino contemporáneo” (Sarah Dowman)
  • “La ansiedad y los aprendices del español como segunda lengua” (Feuerstein)
  • “La influencia del sueño americano en la inmigración latina” (Lantzy)
  • “En nombre del voseo: Su incorporación en los estudios universitarios de español” (Melgares)
  • “Las imágenes borrosas: representaciones de la identidad gay española contemporánea” (Barrile)
  • “EL TLCAN: y su representación en el femicidio de Ciudad Juárez” (De Pozzio)
  • “Los inmigrantes ‘problemáticos’: La discriminación lingüística y religiosa dirigida a ciertos grupos de inmigrantes en Los Estados Unidos y Francia (Vaillancourt)
  • “La materialidad del texto en los cuentos de Jorge Luis Borges” (Marcano)
  • “José Martí: La estética en el discurso de la identidad” (Fehskens)
  • “Entre la literatura indianista y la narrativa neo-indigenista: Identidad y modernidad” (Dewey-Montefort)