For Graduate Students
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers innovative and comprehensive training in Iberian, Latin American, and Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures; when relevant, students have also worked with Krèyol, Arabic, Nahautl, Quechua, Catalan, Gallego, Latin, and other languages. The program combines rigorous training in each of these fields with an emphasis on interdisciplinary work. We seek highly motivated, curious, passionate, and dedicated graduate students working in all time periods, within and across traditional fields, and at interstices of literary history, aesthetics, cultural studies, history, philosophy, and new media.
Our renowned faculty excel in their fields and subfields, authoring award-winning books and articles and mentoring students in all fields and subfields. Just a few examples of recent and in-progress faculty research includes topics such as the counter-culture during the Spanish transition to democracy, curiosity and modernity in Early Modern Spain, policing of African diaspora religions, Latin American cinema of cruelty, contemporary Cuban art and ecology, religion in the early modern Spanish Philippines, usury, sin and sovereignty in colonial Latin American literature, and relationships between photography and literature.
We encourage students to make the most of ample opportunities for coursework and research in other departments and fields, including Anthropology, African-American Studies, Art and Archaeology, Architecture, Near Eastern Studies, Religion, Ethnomusicology, English, and beyond, and at other institutions participating in the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. These include the University of Pennsylvania, Fordham, The New School for Social Research, Rutgers, NYU, Columbia, CUNY, and Stonybrook University. Faculty and students are active participants in reading groups, many sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities, and in related programs, such as the Program in Latin American Studies, the Program in European Cultural Studies, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Poetry at Princeton, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Princeton Environmental Institute, the Program in Media and Modernity, the Program in Urban Studies, among others.
Graduate students at Princeton have access to an unparalleled library with over 11 million volumes, and with outstanding collections in early modern Iberian and Colonial Latin American texts and maps, twentieth-century Latin American authors’ manuscripts, rare collections of experimental poetry and early new media pamphlets from Latin America, and many more specialized collections. Many opportunities exist to support graduate research beyond the library as well, and our graduate students often conduct original archival research during the summer and during breaks. Graduate courses also may incorporate travel components to archives, cities, exhibitions, or other sites in Latin America or Spain for research.
General Entrance Requirements
To qualify for graduate work in the department, the candidate must show evidence of a comprehensive knowledge of Spanish and/or Luso-Brazilian literature and/or culture and basic competence, written and oral, in the target language. A broad training in the humanities is advantageous.
A 15-25 page essay on any literary and/or cultural topic, written in Spanish or Portuguese, must accompany the student's application for admission.
Please visit the Graduate School website for complete information regarding application and admission.
By the end of the second year of graduate study (fourth semester), all students must demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language that is relevant to the student's field of specialization. Students are urged to fulfill this requirement in the first year of residence. The language requirement must be satisfied in order for the student to be authorized to take the general examination. In addition, students specializing in Hispanic literature and culture are required to take at least one 500-level Portuguese course and, likewise, students focusing on Luso-Brazilian topics are expected to take at least one 500-level Spanish course.
- A total of at least 15 course units at the graduate level (14 for letter grade credit, and one that may be an audit in the third year)
- Two to three course units in graduate courses other than Spanish and Portuguese (with an absolute maximum of five), usually in an allied field pertinent to the student's area of specialization
- A foreign language reading proficiency examination
- An oral presentation in the first year
- A comprehensive general examination
- A completed doctoral dissertation and its oral public defense
Please visit the Graduate School website for complete information about Princeton University's degree requirements.
Students take three courses per semester. In January they prepare and deliver an Oral Presentation to the faculty.
Students take three courses per semester. They teach five hours per week of a language course during the fall semester. They do not teach in the spring so that full attention can be devoted to the preparation for Part I of the General Examination in May.
Students take Part II of the General Examination in September. In the fall semester, students take three courses, one of which may be audited. Third year students will be permitted to take one of the last two required seminars in the spring semester of the third year, if they wish to do so. This is the first year of intensive dissertation research and writing. In this year, students are expected to teach six hours per week in the Fall semester. In addition, opportunities exist for travel abroad in connection with dissertation research.
During this year students continue progress on the research and writing of the dissertation. They are expected to teach six hours per week in the Fall semester.
Students are expected to complete the dissertation and to present it in a final public defense.