Iberian and Latin American Studies

Notre Dame's Graduate Program in Spanish is a community of intellectuals that works to nourish the creativity and ambition of its students and faculty through research, cooperation, and dialogue. 

Basilica Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe Mexico City Mexico

Our graduate programs include a Ph.D. in Spanish and an M.A. in Iberian and Latin American Studies.  The Ph.D. is a research-driven program: students finish in five years and our record of job placement in academic positions ranks at the top of the field.  The M.A. prepares students for top Ph.D. programs around the world; our M.A.s also move into a range of professions (medicine, law, education, social service, business, etc.). 

Programs Offered

Ph.D. in Spanish

The Ph.D. in Spanish trains students to work in the academic fields of Latin American, Spanish, Hispanic, and Iberian literary and cultural studies. The program’s goals are to cultivate a dynamic and productive academic community engaged in high-quality original research (academic publications and dissertations) and to place its students in tenure-track positions in the US and abroad. The program revolves around a unique, dissertation-oriented curriculum designed to achieve specialization and a flexible course of study tailored to each student's interests and background.  In short, our program is based on the principle that a doctoral degree is not merely the fulfillment of a series of requirements, but moreover the successful writing and defense of a relevant dissertation that contributes to the student’s area of study and that successfully places the Ph.D. recipient in the field and in the academic job market.

Students are expected to complete a set of focused seminars during the first two years of residence at ND, begin working on a dissertation by the fifth semester if not before, present their work in at least two major academic conferences, publish at least one article in a peer-reviewed journal, and finish (defend) the dissertation by the end of the fifth year.

Graduate training for the Ph.D. program relies less on graduate seminars and more on closely supervised and independent research, mentoring, and collaborative intellectual endeavors to produce high-quality scholarship.

Students in the Ph.D. program in Spanish are free to enrich their areas of specialization through seminars in allied fields, such as literary theory, history, film studies, cultural anthropology, and national literatures, among others, thus connecting their work in Spanish and Latin American literary and cultural studies to methodological and analytical innovations in the broader humanities and social sciences.  Their coursework and research will deliberately nurture expertise.

Students are usually exempt from teaching duties in the first and the fifth years of study (contingent on their satisfactory and measurable progress towards their degree). In addition, a student whose work is judged to be outstanding may be awarded a further semester free from teaching in order to complete a major research project, such as an article, or to focus exclusively on her or his dissertation.

M.A. in Iberian and Latin American Studies

The M.A. in Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of Notre Dame consists of a two-year, 39 credit hour program through which students develop a comprehensive background in the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The program is especially well suited for students desiring close contact with scholars working in the field through interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the study of culture. Individual attention, small classes, and a dynamic faculty prepare students for a promising future in teaching, research, or future doctoral work. Students take 11 seminars, conduct independent research, and pass the M.A. exam. Our M.A. graduates have had unparalleled success in the top doctoral programs in the country, including Princeton, Brown, Michigan, and others.

Faculty