Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Study

The Department of Romance and Classical Studies offers the programs listed below.

Master of Arts
  Applied Spanish Linguistics
  French
  Hispanic Literatures

Doctor of Philosophy
  French, Language and Literature
  Hispanic Cultural Studies

 


French - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in French provides students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of French and Francophone literature, culture, and linguistics while developing the skills necessary to engage these fields in a critical, professional way. The Master of Arts in French is the first step in any number of careers, teaching in secondary schools or community colleges, working in government or industry, or pursuing further study in a doctoral program.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Arts and Letters, students must also meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree program in French on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree in French, or have completed the courses in French that are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in French at Michigan State University or their equivalents.
  2. A grade–point average of at least 3.00 in undergraduate French language and literature courses.
  3. The results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) forwarded to the Department of Romance and Classical Studies.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in French

The program is available under Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). A total of 33 or 34 credits is required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the graduate advisor. The student must meet the requirements specified below:

               
Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B  
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
  a. The following course:  
    ROM 803 Foundations of Contemporary Language Teaching 3
  b. One of the following courses:  
    AL 827 Pro-seminar in Critical and Cultural Theory 3
    ENG 802 Literary Criticism and Theory 3
    FRN 850 Introduction to Critical Theory 3
    ROM 805 Topics in Critical Theory 3
2. Two courses in each of the following fields (18 credits):  
  Medieval and Early Modern French Studies  
  FRN 805 Evolution of the French Language 3
  FRN 810 Studies in Medieval French Literature 3
  FRN 815 Studies in 16th-Century French Literature 3
  FRN 820 French Literature of the 17th Century 3
  FRN 890 Independent Study 3
  FRN 891 Special Topics in French 3
  Post-Revolutionary and Modern French Studies  
  FRN 825 Studies in 18th Century French Literature 3
  FRN 830 Studies in 19th Century Literature 3
  FRN 890 Independent Study 3
  FRN 891 Special Topics in French 3
  Contemporary French and Francophone Studies  
  FRN 806 Topics in French Linguistics 3
  FRN 835 Studies in 20th Century Literature 3
  FRN 890 Independent Study 3
  FRN 891 Special Topics in French 3
3. Complete 6 credits of electives at the 400-level or above in consultation with the student’s advisor. The student’s advisor must approve all course enrollments. Students may complete a cognate field outside of the department which would include at least two graduate courses for which the student has had suitable preparation. Courses in a language other than French, if taken at the 400-level or above, may constitute a cognate area.  
               
Additional Requirements for Plan A  
1. Complete 4 credits of FRN 899 Master’s Thesis Research.  
2. Pass a final oral examination that covers the student’s program of study, thesis, and reading list.  
               
Additional Requirements for Plan B  
Complete one of the following options:  
1. Complete 3 credits of FRN 897 Master’s Examination and pass a final written and oral examination that cover the student’s program of study and reading list.  
2. Complete 3 credits of FRN 898 Master’s Research Project and pass a final oral examination that covers the student’s program of study, master’s research project, and reading list.  

 


French, Language and Literature - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in French, language and literature, provides study in the language, literature, and cultures of France.  Students who are enrolled in the program complete an emphasis in French literature, the Romance languages and literatures, interdisciplinary studies, or comparative literature.

Students who are enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in French, language and literature, are required to complete courses in French literature. The six traditional fields of French literature are listed below:

Medieval literature and Old French language
16th-century literature
17th-century literature
18th-century literature
19th-century literature
20th-century literature

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in French, language and literature,  an applicant must:

  1. Have the results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test forwarded to the Department of Romance and Classical Studies.
  2. Have three professors who are qualified to assess the applicant's ability to pursue advanced graduate study forward letters of recommendation to the Department of Romance and Classical Studies.

To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A master's degree in French or a total of 30 credits of approved course work.
  2. A grade–point average of at least 3.00 in undergraduate French language and literature courses.

Guidance Committee

Initially, the student's guidance committee usually consists of five or six faculty members.  After the student has passed the comprehensive examinations, the committee consists of four faculty members including the chairperson of the Department of Romance and Classical Studies. 

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in French, Language and Literature

The student must:

  1. Pass the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Qualifying Examination in French. The student must take this examination before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program. This examination is given once in the Fall and once in the Spring. A student who fails this examination may retake it only once, the next time it is offered.
  2. Complete the following courses:
    ROM    800    Research Methods and Bibliography of the Romance Languages (1)
    ROM    805    Topics in Critical Theory (2) 
  3. Complete one of the following concentrations. Courses that were completed prior to enrollment in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in French, language and literature, may be used to satisfy this requirement.
    1. French Literature:
      1. At least two courses at the 800 level or above in each of the six fields of French literature listed above.
    2. Romance Languages and Literatures:
      1. At least two courses at the 800 level or above in each of four of the six fields of French literature listed above.
      2. At least two courses in each of two of the traditional fields in a minor literature (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or Latin).
    3. Interdisciplinary Studies:
      1. At least six courses at the 800 level or above from the six fields of French literature listed above including:
        1. At least two courses in each of two of the fields.
        2. At least one course in each of two of the remaining fields.
      2. At least two courses in a cognate area related to French literature.
      3. At least four courses from one or more of the following areas:  linguistics, pedagogy, and cultural studies.
  4. Complete additional courses as required by the student’s guidance committee.
  5. Demonstrate a reading proficiency in two languages other than French or English that have a body of literature or criticism relevant to the student's area of concentration.  Students are encouraged to choose Latin as one of the two languages.
  6. Teach at least one college–level course in French.
  7. Pass a four-part comprehensive examination that corresponds to the student's concentration. The four parts include:
    1. A four-hour written examination in the student’s primary field as defined by the student in consultation with the guidance committee.
    2. A four-hour written examination in the student’s secondary field as defined by the student in consultation with the guidance committee.
    3. A 25-page dissertation prospectus, including an extensive bibliography. A description of the problems that are anticipated and the methodology that is to be employed in the project shall be included in the prospectus.
    4. An oral examination related to items 7.a., 7.b., and 7.c. The student must complete items 7.a., 7.b., and 7.c. prior to taking the oral examination.

      The examinations are based upon the student’s course work and reading lists and administered by  the student’s guidance committee after the student has completed all of the courses that are required for the degree, excluding French 999.

      A student who fails any  part of the comprehensive examination may retake that examination only  once.
  8. Submit a dissertation based on original research which demonstrates a sensitivity to literary values, sound critical judgment, and mastery of subject matter.

 


Hispanic Literatures - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree program in Hispanic Literatures is designed primarily for students who plan to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree and to join the faculties of colleges or universities as scholars and teachers.  The program provides study in the language, literatures, and cultures of Spain and Latin America, with an emphasis on Spanish and Spanish–American literatures and scholarly investigation.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree program in Hispanic Literatures on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree in Spanish, or have completed the courses in Spanish that are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish at Michigan State University or their equivalents.
  2. A grade–point average of at least 3.00 in undergraduate Spanish language and literature courses.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Hispanic Literatures

The program is available under Plan A (with thesis) or  Plan B (without thesis).  A minimum of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the graduate advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:

1. Complete at least one course in each of the following fields of Spanish and Latin–American literature:
Medieval literature and Old Spanish language
16th– and 17th–century Spanish literature
18th– and 19th–century Spanish literature
20th–century Spanish literature
Colonial Latin–American literature
19th-century Latin–American literature
20th-century Latin–American literature
2. Complete at least 21 credits in Spanish courses at the 800 level or above. Courses used to satisfy requirement 1. may also be used to satisfy this requirement with advisor approval.
3. Plan A
1. Complete 6 credits of SPN 899 Master's Thesis Research.
2. Pass a final oral examination that covers the student's program of study, thesis, and reading list.
Plan B
1. Pass a written and oral examination based on the student's course work and reading list. This examination is given only during the spring semester.

With the approval of the graduate advisor, a minor field of study may be included in the requirements for the degree.  Ordinarily a minor field consists of at least three graduate courses for which the student has had suitable preparation.  Courses in a language other than Spanish at the 400-level, may constitute a minor field.


Hispanic Cultural Studies - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Hispanic Cultural Studies provides study in the literature, language and cultures of Spain and Latin America.  Students will select a primary and a secondary area of emphasis.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy in Hispanic Cultural Studies with regular status, all applicants must:

  1. Possess a master’s degree in Spanish or Hispanic Studies or a total of 30 credit hours of satisfactorily approved course work.
  2. A grade-point average of at least 3.25 in undergraduate Spanish language, literature and culture M.A. course work.
  3. Submit letters of recommendation from three professionals who are familiar with their work and qualified to assess applicant’s ability to pursue advanced graduate study.
  4. Demonstrate English language proficiency.
  5. Submit all application materials as required by the Graduate School's Office of Admissions.

Guidance Committee

Of the four regular faculty required for the guidance committee, at least three must be members of the Spanish faculty.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Hispanic Cultural Studies

  1. The student must complete 24 credits of graduate course work beyond the Master of Arts degree as approved by the student's guidance committee.
  2. The following course:
    SPN    807    Literary Theory        3
    An approved equivalent of this course may be approved by the graduate advisor.
  3. Demonstrate reading proficiency in two languages other than Spanish that have a body of literature or criticism relevant to the student’s area of specialization.
  4. Teach at least one college-level course in Spanish and submit a detailed prospectus of the final dissertation project and a preliminary bibliography to the guidance committee.
  5. Pass comprehensive examinations.
  6.     Submit a dissertation based on original research.
  7. Successfully defend the dissertation.

Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language provides the foundation and academic preparation to pursue advanced work in Spanish linguistics and further develop fluency in the Spanish language. Students will actively engage with scholarly work in the area of Spanish second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, syntax, and historical linguistics through reading, writing, and discussion. Students gain a cultural understanding and behavior as they study language acquisition and social patterns of language use.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in Spanish or in Linguistics or a bachelor’s-equivalent degree in Spanish philology (international students) with course work in Spanish at the 400-level.
  2. Completed Linguistics 401 or its equivalent. This may be completed during the first semester of the master’s program, if admitted. This course will not count towards the credit requirements for the degree.
Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language

The Master of Arts degree in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language is available under Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). A total of 30 credits is required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the graduate advisor. The student must complete the requirements specified below.
 
Requirements for Both Pan A and Plan B
1. Complete 9 credits from the following foundational courses. At least one must focus on Spanish.
LIN 424 Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology 3
LIN 431 Introduction to Morphology 3
LIN 434 Introduction to Syntax 3
LIN 437 Semantics and Pragmatics 3
LIN 824 Phonological Theory I 3
LIN 834 Syntactic Theory I 3
SPN 801 Spanish Syntax 3
2. Complete 6 credits in Second Language Acquisition. At least one course must focus on Spanish.
LLT 860 Second Language Acquisition 3
LLT 863 Second Language Acquisition of Morphosyntax 3
SPN 804 Spanish as a Second Language: Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives 3
SPN 806 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics 3
Students who enroll in SPN 806 must select a course section that  specifically deals with second language acquisition.
3. Complete 6 credits in Sociolinguistics and Bilingualism. At least one course must focus on Spanish.
LIN 471 Sociolinguistics 3
LIN 871 Advanced Studies of Sociolinguistics 3
SPN 803 Language Variation and Change in Spanish 3
SPN 806 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics 3
Students who enroll in SPN 806 must select a course section that specifically deals with sociolinguistics and bilingualism.
4. Complete up to 9 credits of elective courses from the following:
LLT 841 Topics in Second/Foreign Language Learning and Teaching 3
ROM 803 Foundations of Contemporary Language Teaching 3
SPN 805 Evolution of the Spanish Language 3
SPN 890 Independent Study 1 to 3
Students may also use courses from items 1., 2., and 3. above that were not used in fulfillment of those requirements.
Students pursuing Plan A  may use the 6 credits of master’s thesis research to fulfill this elective requirement.
Additional Requirements for Plan A
1. Complete 6 credits of SPN 899 Master's Thesis Research.
2. Pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis.
Additional Requirements for Plan B
1. Pass a final certifying examination based on course work and the departmental reading list for the Master of Arts in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language.