MA Requirements

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at BYU is guided by a desire to provide its students with a strong, enriching, and broad education in the classroom and with exciting opportunities outside of it. The MA programs are designed so that a student can complete the degree in twenty-four months of intensive work. With about thirty graduate faculty members, the department offers one of the largest and most academically diverse MA-level language programs in the country. The department admits between ten and twenty graduate students each year, many of whom, upon completion of the program, continue their studies on the doctoral level or seek jobs in secondary education. Other students have secured positions with government agencies or in the business sector. Students who plan to continue their schooling will benefit from the department’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading MA programs in Spanish and Portuguese and are routinely accepted into premier PhD language programs.


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MA Programs

Applicants must indicate the area of emphasis they wish to be admitted to on their application. In the application, under the tab ‘program information’ applicants can select the program such as: Spanish or Portuguese as their graduate major. On the same tab in ‘program information’ there is a section called ‘research interest or desired area of study’ where the applicant will write one of the following specialization programs that are offered. The areas are as follows: *Luso-Brazilian Literatures *Portuguese Linguistics *Portuguese Pedagogy (traditional track and professional track, or part-time, option available) *Hispanic Linguistics *Hispanic Literatures *Spanish Pedagogy (traditional track and professional track, or part-time, option available)




Prerequisites for Admission

*Bachelor’s degree in Spanish/Portuguese or another subject

    • If in another subject, you must have completed Spanish/Portuguese courses equivalent to a Spanish/Portuguese minor from BYU. Additional information may be obtained from the section heads of Linguistics, Literature, or Pedagogy, or from the department graduate coordinator.


*Grade point average

    • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
    • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in Spanish/Portuguese courses


*Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    • Minimum score of 3.5 on Analytical Writing section


*Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (for international students only)


*Proficiency in a second foreign language

    • Intermediate High proficiency for Spanish students learning Portuguese or vice-versa
    • Intermediate Mid proficiency for students learning all other foreign languages
    • May be completed through course work while enrolled in the MA program – see department Graduate Handbook for more information


Application Requirements

*Applicants must apply online through the BYU Office of Graduate Studies. *The Statement of Intent may be submitted in English, Portuguese, or Spanish. *Applicants should submit a previously written research paper in Spanish or Portuguese at least eight pages in length. The paper should be formatted according to the desired area of emphasis and should reflect the student’s best work. *Non-native English speakers need to submit a TOEFL Score with the application if they have not graduated from a university in the U.S. in the last two years. The minimum score for the written exam is 580, and the minimum score for the TOEFL iBT is 85. *Applicants are required to submit unofficial transcripts from all universities attended. These must be uploaded directly to the online application. Official transcripts will not be required until a student is officially admitted to the program. *The application must include three letters of recommendation that have been uploaded electronically. No hard copies will be accepted. *Applications are collected and reviewed once a year for Fall semester admission. The application deadline for both domestic and international students is 10:00 PM MST on February 1st.


Graduation RequirementsLake Titicaca

BYU grants degrees in April, June, August, and December of each year. A student who misses deadlines for one graduation exercise is generally included in the next program. Letters of completion from the Office of Graduate Studies are available until the formal certificate is issued. In order to graduate, students must complete the following: *Complete the 33 credit hours with a GPA of at least 3.0 (no “D” credit may apply). This includes 27 coursework hours and 6 thesis hours. *Complete the second foreign language requirement by Challenge Exam or coursework no later than the third semester in the program. The second foreign language must be something other than English or the language of specialization. *Students must teach for at least one semester during their program. *Take a comprehensive, culminating written exam in the specialty area covering materials on the reading list and all coursework.


Scholarships/Student Instructorships

New and continuing students will automatically be considered for scholarship funding. The department is usually able to offer scholarship funding the covers about 50-80% of the tuition costs, although it is possible for this number to fluctuate based on the amount of funding our department receives each year. Additionally, compensation is awarded for Student Instructorships. In order to graduate, all students are required to teach at least one Spanish or Portuguese class (at the 100 or 200 level) during their graduate program. However, most MA candidates request one or two teaching assignments each semester as a way of supporting themselves financially. In order to be a Student Instructor, students must complete the following requirements: *Complete a Student Instructor Teaching Application. *Attend the August Student Instructor Teaching Workshop the week before classes begin Fall semester. *Complete PORT 377 or SPAN 376 (or equivalent) prior to or during the student’s first semester teaching.


Contact Us

For more in depth questions, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Graduate Program Manager, or refer to our Graduate Handbook. You may visit us in person at 3190 JFSB or by phone at 801-422-2196.