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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Spanish

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Spanish


The University of Texas at Brownsville wins the award for flexibility. Its Master of Arts program in Spanish Translation and Interpreting does not require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in Spanish for admission. Students must complete 36 semester hours to graduate from the program.

Career Support

The University of Texas at Brownsville offers the best career support services to students. Students can find information about job and internship opportunities, and the school encourages Spanish students to join the Translation & Interpreting Office.

Financial Support

The University of Texas at Brownsville offers the best financial support and scholarship information to students. The school provides information on Graduate Tuition Incentive Scholarships, graduate assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships for online graduate students.

Technology Support

The University of Texas at Brownsville provides the best technology support for online students. Students can log into Student & Faculty Live Support for assistance. Students can also contact the virtual Help Desk by phone or email.

Library and Research Support

New Mexico State University (NMSU) wins this category for its superior library and research support services. The NMSU Library allows students to text, call, email, and chat online with a librarian to seek research-related advice. Online students have access to the NMSU Library catalog, databases, and electronic journals.

Learning Support

The University of Texas at Brownsville wins the award in this category. The school offers live tutoring services to students. A mobile app, compatible with several smartphones and tablets, allows students to connect to various services, including Blackboard. Students can also stream live video online.

Faculty Credentials

New Mexico State University (NMSU) wins this category for its superior faculty. The university also finances online instructor training, although this online instruction is not required to teach. Professors use an array of methods to connect with students, including Blackboard, Skype, live chat sessions, and virtual office hours.

Faculty Accessibility

The University of Texas at Brownsville wins for faculty accessibility. According to U.S. News & World Report, students can expect professors to respond to emails within 24 hours, and professors commit to 12 virtual office hours every week.

New Online Student Orientation

The University of Texas at Brownsville offers an online student orientation. Several student tutorials are also available, which cover topics such as online test-taking, creating discussion board posts and threads, and checking grades.

Explore a Master’s Degree in Spanish

A Spanish degree may cover Spanish literature, language, and culture in general, or may require the graduate student to choose a specific specialization, like Hispanic linguistics or Hispanic literature and culture. Sub-specializations may also be available; for instance, Hispanic literature and culture may require specialization in a certain time period. Spanish or Hispanic studies programs are devoted to the theory, criticism, and research methods in Hispanic cultural texts and Spanish and Latin American literature. A Spanish master’s degree program may also focus on Spanish art, politics, foreign policy, and philosophy. Many master’s degree programs in Spanish can be completed in two years of full-time study, but program length may vary from school to school.

Class Curriculum

The curriculum you undertake in a master’s degree program in Spanish may depend on your particular discipline and specialization. Introductory course work may include Spanish language work that develops listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Additional course work may work to further develop Spanish reading comprehension and begin to transition toward literature and culture course work. Advanced course work may involve phonetic analysis and research methods in sociolinguistics, Spanish film, and specific cultural and literary periods in Spanish history. The following are a few courses a Spanish master’s degree student may take:

  • Cultural History of Spain. This course will cover Spanish cultural materials, visual culture, and historical and political texts. Students will develop a cultural literacy of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Topics in Spanish Literature. Topics in Spanish Literature may cover forms and techniques in Spanish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students can expect to read Spanish and Latin American poets and authors, either organized in individual surveys by time period or style of prose.
  • History, Geography, and Politics of the Spanish Language. This course may provide case studies of the Spanish language and its history, geography and politics. Students may expect to study the Spanish language from Latin to Castilian, the geographic impact of the language from Spain, Latin America, and the United States, and politics as related to linguistic diversity.

Spanish course work may require assignments to establish Spanish sentence structure and language comprehension, and then move toward reading assignments that include Spanish literature and cultural texts. Students may be required to work together on language comprehension among other Spanish majors. Many master’s programs require students to complete a thesis.

Building a Career

A master’s degree in Spanish may be applicable toward positions as translators, interpreters, or teachers, or may help advance an existing career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for interpreters and translators in 2010 was $43,300. The BLS also reports that employment for translators and interpreters is expected to increase by 42% between 2010 and 2020.

Foreign language and literature teachers at the college, university, or professional school level had an annual mean wage of $66,190 in May 2011, according to the BLS. A foreign language professor requires a Ph.D. in most instances. Keep in mind that wages and employment projections are not guaranteed and depend on various factors, including your employer, where you live, your level of experience, and the position you hold.

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