For Graduate Students

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese will be accepting prospective student applications for the 2023-2024 academic year beginning in September through January 3, 2023. Prospective graduate students can find more details about the application process on the Princeton Graduate School website.

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.

Academic Requirements

  • 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.


Year One

Students take three courses per semester and a seminar on Methodology of Language Teaching. In May they prepare and deliver an Oral Presentation to the faculty.

Year Two

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 by the end of April.

Year Three

Students will submit Part II of the General Examination in January. In the fall semester, students take one or two 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. PhD proposals will be defended at the end of the Spring semester.

Year Four

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. At least one full-reviewed chapter is expected for re-enrollment.

Year Five

Students are expected to complete the dissertation and to present it in a final public defense. At least two full-reviewed chapters are expected for any potential re-enrollment.


Director of Grad. Studies: 
Christina Lee, 609-258-6231

Grad. & Event Admin:  
Janeth L. Marquez, 609-258-7161

Graduate Liaison Committee:  
Yangyou Fang [email protected]  

Rodney Lebron Rivera [email protected]
Lucia Filipova [email protected]

You-Jin Kim (Chair) [email protected]
Daniel Persia [email protected] 

David Rivera Mosquera  [email protected]

Tatiane Rangel [email protected]

List of
Current Graduate Students

Graduate Placement

Our graduate students have had much success in recent years. Some examples include:

Ryan Taylor Goodman
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish at Wake Forest University

Ingrid Brioso Rieumont
Assistant Professor of Cuban and Caribbean studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Dartmouth College

Mauricio Acuña
Rising Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, University of Virginia

Yasmina Aidi
Visiting Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Department, Tulane University

Marina Bedran
Assistant Professor of Lusophone Literatures and Cultures, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Johns Hopkins University

Miguel Caballero Vazquez
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, Northwestern University

Marcelo Da Rocha Lima Diego
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Miguel Dominguez
Teaching Fellow in Latin American Studies, Durham University School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Ana Fernandez Cebrian
Assistant Professor, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University

Carlos Fonseca 
Three-year post-doctoral fellowship, Cambridge University, UK

Charlie Hankin
Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish, Colby College

Thomas Matusiak 
Postdoctoral Fellow, Leslie Center for the Humanities and Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Dartmouth College

Sophia Nuñez 
Postdoctoral Fellow, Early Modern Studies Institute (EMSI), University of Southern California (USC)-Huntington

Azahara Palomeque
Associate Director, MS in Social Policy, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Javier Patiño Loira
Assistant Professor of Early Modern Studies at the Spanish and Portuguese Department, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Jorge I. Quintana Navarrete
Lecturer, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Dartmouth College

Sowmya Ramanathan 
Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, The College of William & Mary

Carolina Sa Carvalho 
Assistant Professor, Department of Romance Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ana Sabau 
Assistant Professor, Department of Romance Studies, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Nathaniel Wolfson 
Assistant Professor of Brazilian Literature, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Berkeley