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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-03-18

Spanish MA



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the Spanish language, culture and linguistics, and develop critical thinking skills, a foundation in theory to analyze texts in Spanish, and the ability to apply the language in a given Hispanic community. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter doctoral programs in Spanish, teach all levels of high school Spanish and introductory courses at the university and/or community college level, or to work in international trade tourism and journalism. The core courses at the 5000 level are designed to establish a foundation in academic investigation in the areas of literature, culture, and linguistics. The culture and civilization courses examine Spain’s main trends as well as those of pre-Columbian high cultures and Spanish American countries since colonial times up to present, and of Hispanics residing in the United States. The core courses at the 6000 level provide an in-depth study of a particular theme, genre, period or author in order to impart comprehensive knowledge of a specific topic and consolidate skills in conducting research. The program structure will enables students to learn research methods and their application to different kinds of texts as well as the linguistic patterns of a given population, thus enhancing their language skills, and providing them with a knowledgeable view of the Spanish-speaking world.

Total Credit Hours Required

36 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Curriculum

The master’s degree program in Spanish has both thesis and nonthesis options. A total of 36 credit hours of course work for the nonthesis option or 30 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of thesis (3 credit hours minimum) are required of students seeking the master’s degree in Spanish. After 9 credit hours in the program, students are expected to select either Literature or Spanish Linguistics as their specialization.

A minimum grade of "B" must be earned in each required course. Students will be allowed a maximum total of 6 semester hours of "C" grades in elective courses. Students are allowed to transfer up to 6 credit hours of corresponding graduate courses with the grade of "A" or "B" from an accredited university. University policies and procedures will be followed for all degree requirements. Courses are to be chosen from the following categories in accordance with the number of hours designated in each, based on the student's specialization.

Literature Specialization

  • Research Methods—3 credit hours
  • Spanish Linguistics—3 credit hours
  • Culture and Civilization—6 credit hours
  • Literature—12 credit hours
  • Electives—6 credit hours
  • Nonthesis Option Electives, 6 credit hours OR Thesis Option, 6 credit hours

Linguistics Specialization 

  • Research Methods—3 credit hours
  • Spanish Linguistics—12 credit hours
  • Culture and Civilization—6 credit hours
  • Literature—3 credit hours
  • Electives—6 credit hours
  • Nonthesis Option Electives, 6 credit hours OR Thesis Option, 6 credit hours

Students must choose electives from the additional, available courses listed below in conjunction with their faculty adviser. The aim of the selections should be to complement the acquisition of knowledge in the particular area of Hispanic studies chosen. Courses must be selected so that at least one-half of required courses are taken at the 6000 level.

All students are required to take SPW 6919 Advanced Spanish Graduate Research, which results in a research paper that organizes and summarizes knowledge in a chosen area of study. All classes require a research paper that allows students to engage in independent learning.

All courses are taught face to face and are entirely in Spanish.

Required Courses—24 Credit Hours

Spanish Linguistics—3 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or 12 Credit Hours for Linguistics Specialization

  • SPN 5705 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (3 credit hours)
  • SPN 5825 Spanish Dialectology (3 credit hours)
  • SPN 5845 History of the Spanish Language (3 credit hours)
  • SPN 6805 Spanish Morphosyntax (3 credit hours)

Culture and Civilization—6 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

  • SPN 5502 Hispanic Culture of the United States (3 credit hours)
  • SPN 5505 Spanish Peninsular Culture and Civilization (3 credit hours)
  • SPN 5506 Spanish American Culture and Civilization (3 credit hours)

Literature—12 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or 3 Credit Hours for Linguistics Specialization

  • SPW 5741 Contemporary Spanish American Southern Cone Literature (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6825 Seminar Series* (May be repeated for credit with different topics) (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6405 Medieval Spanish Literature (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6217 Spanish American Prose I (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6218 Spanish American Prose II (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6269 Nineteenth Century Spanish Novel (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6306 Spanish American Drama (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6315 Golden Age Drama (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6356 Spanish American Poetry (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6485 Contemporary Peninsular Literature (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6725 The Generation of 1898 (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6358 Modernismo (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6216 Spanish Golden Age Prose and Poetry (3 credit hours)
  • SPW 6775 Spanish Caribbean Prose (3 credit hours)

* Examples of Seminar Series Topics: Don Quixote, Spanish American Literature Written by Women, Gabriel García Márquez

Research Methods—3 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

  • SPW 6919 Advanced Spanish Graduate Research (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

All students in both the thesis and nonthesis options are required to take at least 6 credit hours of electives. These must be approved by your adviser.

  • Electives (6 credit hours)

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

  • SPW 6971 Thesis Research and Thesis (6 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

Students in the nonthesis option must take an additional 6 credit hours of electives as approved by your adviser.

  • Electives (6 credit hours)

Comprehensive Examination and Reading List for Literature Specialization or Linguistics Specialization

Students must pass a comprehensive examination in order to qualify for the master’s degree in Spanish. This examination is based on knowledge of the civilization and literature of Spain and Hispanic America and/or on concepts of linguistic theory and analysis.

Since this examination will be given toward the end of the course work (only during fall and spring semesters), it is expected that the student will have developed an ability to analyze literature, culture, and linguistics at an advanced level. It is also expected that the responses, both written and oral, will show an excellent command of the Spanish language.

If a student does not successfully pass both the oral and written comprehensive examinations, he or she may be able to retake the exams in the following semester (fall or spring). Thereafter, if the student does not pass the examinations the second time, he/she will be removed from the program.

The Graduate Committee has developed a reading list made up of major Peninsular, Latin American, and Linguistics works with which the student must be familiar. The comprehensive examination will be based on the reading list and the courses that the student has taken. An oral examination will follow the written examination. This examination will allow the student to expand more readily on particular points of culture, literature, and linguistics, and to show ability in the use of the spoken language.


Timeline for Completion

Steps to Completion

During the first year of coursework, students are required to identify their primary field of study. The second year finalizes the preparation for the completion of the program, which concludes with the following:

  • Comprehensive Exams and
  • Non-thesis (36 credit hours of coursework) with an independent learning project or
  • A Thesis defense (30 credit hours of coursework plus six credit hours of thesis)
  • Completion of the core course requirements in preparation for the comprehensive exam.

In addition, there will be elective courses that must be completed. These elective courses are incorporated into your program to provide you also with an enhanced perspective of your chosen fields. However, they can also provide you with a research topic for your thesis and broaden the application of your field of research.

  • Taking a full load of courses, or nine hours per fall and spring semesters, it normally takes two years to complete the program.

  • As you begin working on your thesis research, you will want to choose an advisor to guide the research.

  • To expose students with presenting their research experience, one of the goals of this program is that students participate in research projects as a result of their coursework that may lead to presentation at regional, national or international conferences, and/or publication.

  • When you are ready to formally initiate your thesis research, you will need to determine who will serve on your thesis committee (minimum three members).

  • You will have to propose your thesis topic to your committee to be approved.

  • Once your topic is approved, your focus will be on the research that will result in your thesis. For most students in the program, conducting the research and the process of writing the thesis may take two to three semesters. During this time, you should remain in close contact with your thesis advisor to ensure that you are meeting the requirements.

  • The thesis defense takes place once your work is ready to be presented to your committee. The committee will ask questions of your process and assess the level of competency with the topic.

Degree Plan of Study

Completion of the program is achieved when the student has successfully passed all the courses and requirements established above. The audit and adequate contact with the advisor is the best way to be aware of filing procedures, approval processes and filing deadlines. Graduate study policy requires that the plan of study must be established by the 9th credit hour in the program. The program recommends conference presentations based on courses taken or ongoing research, as a part of the plan of study. Please also see the plan of study section in the Graduate Catalog.

4000 level coursework can only be accepted if taken while a graduate student (no transfer work) and two conditions are met: 1) the student has taken 30 hours of graduate level coursework and 2) half of the program's requirements are at the 6000 level. Prior approval is required.

Advising and Mentoring

Advising and mentoring are two very important elements in a graduate student’s career, and it is essential that appropriate advising, supervision and mentoring be provided to students as soon as they begin the program. Graduate students typically receive guidance from the Graduate Coordinator, whom provides general guidance on overall academic requirements, program and university policies and procedures. Students are expected to schedule a meeting with the Graduate Coordinator as soon as they receive and acknowledge the letter of acceptance into the program.

The student also has the opportunity to select a thesis or dissertation advisor, whom will serve more as a mentor providing guidance on research, professional guidance and socialization, and other areas of academic and professional interest.

It is also important for students to select a primary and a secondary field of study. Therefore, students are also expected to visit the coordinator within their second or third semester or when they consider that they have enough interest in at least one or two of the particular fields of studies, which will depend on whether the student is enrolled part time or full time. The Graduate Coordinator is responsible for providing the most accurate direction to follow in preparing students for their chosen field of studies. Please review the following criteria:

  • Students have the option of completing their studies either with a thesis or nonthesis with an independent learning project.
  • Students must select a thesis advisor from within the Spanish MA faculty.
  • Students must identify their thesis advisor at least two semesters prior to defending their thesis.
  • Only if absolutely necessary, students may change their thesis advisor up to one semester before their thesis defense.

Examination Requirements

Students must pass a comprehensive examination in order to qualify for the Master of Arts degree in Spanish. This examination is based on knowledge of the civilization and literature of Spain and Latin America and on concepts of linguistic theory and analysis.

As this examination will be given toward the end of the course work (only during fall and spring semesters) it is expected that the student will have developed an ability to analyze literature, culture, and linguistics at an advanced level. It is also expected that the responses, both written and oral, will show an excellent command of the Spanish language.

If a student does not successfully pass both the oral and written comprehensive examinations, he or she may be able to retake the exams in the following semester (fall or spring). Thereafter, if the student does not pass the examinations the second time, he/she will be removed from the program.

The Graduate Committee has developed a reading list made up of major Peninsular, Latin American, and Linguistics works with which the student must be familiar. The comprehensive examination will be based on the reading list and the courses that the student has taken. An oral examination will follow the written examination. This examination will allow the student to expand more readily on particular points of culture, literature, and linguistics, and also to show ability in the use of the spoken language.

For those students that have chosen the non-thesis option, the program has developed a mandatory independent learning project which consists of one research question provided to the student three weeks prior to the comprehensive exams. This project must be submitted to the graduate coordinator the day of the comprehensive written exam.

Thesis Requirements

University Thesis Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu

Thesis Committee

A Master’s Program student’s thesis committee must consist of at least three members and be approved by the College’s Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. Of the three members, two of these must be qualified regular faculty members in your program, one of whom must serve as the chair of the committee.

Adjuncts, visiting faculty, courtesy appointments or qualified individuals from outside the university may serve as the third member or co-chair of the committee, but may not serve as the chair. If there are co-chairs, one must satisfy faculty qualifications for serving as a chair of a thesis advisory committee. The other co-chair must satisfy the minimum requirements for serving as a member of a thesis advisory committee. Qualifications of additional members must be equivalent to that expected of UCF faculty members. UCF faculty members must form the majority of any given committee.

For more details about the Thesis Committee, please refer to the UCF Graduate Catalog.

Thesis Enrollment

Prior to enrollment into SPW 6971Thesis, your thesis committee must be reviewed and approved by the College of Arts and Humanities Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies. Thesis students who have completed all coursework and are engaged in thesis research must be continuously enrolled in at least three hours of SPW 6971 every semester, including summers, until they successfully defend and submit their thesis to the University Thesis Editor. This enrollment each semester reflects the expenditure of university resources, and is required even if more than the minimum number of hours is needed for completion of the thesis. While three hours is the minimum enrollment, this may not constitute full time enrollment for tuition, financial aid, or employment purposes.

Thesis Defense

Comprehensive or thesis defense exams must be coordinated with the Spanish MA office two semesters prior to graduation.

Graduate Research

There is zero tolerance for plagiarism, and should a student submit dishonest research, he/she will be removed from the course/program and penalized accordingly by removal from the Graduate Program. For additional information, please see the UCF Golden Rule-Rules of Conduct at www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu.

For information available on book referrals on conducting research, please see the recommendations in the program’s reading list as well as your professors/advisor. The University Writing Center has workshops on thesis and dissertation formatting, library research, and writing essentials at uwc.cah.ucf.edu .

Human Subjects

If the student chooses to conduct research that involves human subjects (i.e. surveys, interviews, etc.), he or she must gain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to beginning the study. For access to the IRB submission form and sample consent forms, please visit the Office of Research website: www.research.ucf.edu.

If you have questions regarding human subjects, please contact an IRB Coordinator at (407) 823-2901.

Ethics in Research

Researchers in every discipline have a responsibility for ethical awareness as the status of the profession depends on each individual researcher. It is important to be honest and ethical in conducting research as well as in coursework. The ethical collection and use of information includes, but is by no means limited to the following: confidentiality, accuracy, relevance, self-responsibility, honesty, and awareness of conflict of interest.

Financial Support

Assistantships and Tuition Waivers

For complete information about university assistantship and tuition waivers, please see the UCF Graduate Catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu > Financial Information.

If you are interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.

The Graduate Teaching Assistants perform all administrative functions that deal with student matters, and works with the Graduate Coordinator and program professors. Graduate employment positions are decided for GTA positions as soon as the College of Arts and Humanities provides the necessary funds. The department will assign e-mail accounts and Mailboxes for GTAs. They must follow the departmental policies for the copy machine and office supplies.

To be employed and to maintain employment in a graduate position, the student must be:

  • In good academic standing
  • Enrolled full time
  • Masters students can be offered tuition support for a maximum of nine semesters.

To be awarded and continue receipt of a tuition waiver, the student must be: 

  • In good academic standing
  • Enrolled full time
  • Employed in a graduate position (GTA, GRA, GA) or receiving a University fellowship

Masters students can be offered tuition support for a maximum of nine semesters.

International students who will be hired in GTA positions must be proficient at speaking English and must successfully pass the SPEAK exam with a score of 55 or better. This exam (also known as the Oral Proficiency Exam) is administered by the Center for Multicultural and Multilingual Services (CMMS). For more information and to register for the training, visit SPEAK Test on the College of Graduate Studies Students website.

GTA Performance Appraisal

At the completion of each semester the student is employed as a GTA, the student’s performance will be evaluated by the faculty advisor. These assessments will be used to review strengths and weaknesses in the student’s performance in preparation for future employment.

International Students

Several types of employment are available to international students, including on-campus employment. For more information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa-type, please see the International Affairs and Global Strategies website: www.intl.ucf.edu > Students > Employment.

Graduate Student Associations

Spanish Graduate Association (SaGA)

SaGA's mission is to provide graduate students with fun and educational gatherings that reflect on the literary works related to the Spanish MA Program, through guest speakers, group discussions, art, the local community, an annual colloquium, and more.

The annual colloquium provides an opportunity for students from all academic levels to participate in forums related to Hispanic literature, linguistics and culture. Students present their own work, engage in academic discussions, and develop cross-cultural relations with their peers. A prominent scholar is invited each year to share his or her works with attendees and to foster an interest in Spanish arts and culture. Students have the opportunity to interact with the speaker in order to reinforce their own creative abilities.

For more information about SaGA, contact SaGA@ucf.edu or contact the Program Coordinator.

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

While this is not required for graduation purposes, we strongly encourage MA students to present a poster or a topic of their research at conferences and publish their papers in professional journals. The Graduate Research Forum, organized annually by the UCF College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association, provides an excellent opportunity for students to share their creative projects with others. Information regarding major events will be posted outside the Spanish MA office. It is also important to contribute to the Spanish graduate Annual Colloquium as well as cooperate with similar events within the Florida State University System (SUS).

Conference Presentation Support

In general, UCF will not offer any funding if you are not presenting.  Attending a conference is a wonderful professional experience, but funding is reserved for presenters.

Graduate students can seek funding from three sources: UCF Student Government, UCF College of Graduate Studies, and Program/Department. It is recommended that you seek funding from these sources in this same order (i.e., SG, COGS, and your program/department).

UCF Student Government

All students pay student activity fees, so graduate students are eligible for funding from Student Government money. These funds are limited to $250 per year, and there are guidelines for registration, hotel rates, distance traveled, etc.  You will need to fill out a Conference Registration and Travel (CRT) Individual Allocation Request, which is available at: www.ucfsga.com/files/forms/crt-individual-allocation-request-form.pdf.

UCF College of Graduate Studies

The College of Graduate Studies offers a Graduate Presentation Fellowship that provides funding for master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver a research paper or comparable creative activity at a profession meeting. Students must be the primary author and presenter. Please see the following website for more information: funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/

Note that awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, so students are encouraged to apply early in the award period.  The amount of money will vary each year depending on budget.

Your Program/Department

Having graduate students present at conferences, especially conferences outside the Orlando area, is excellent publicity for the program and increases the program’s and department’s prestige. It is possible that a program may be able to get some funding from the department’s budget, but this funding is subject to annual budgets, availability for graduate students, and college limitations.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.  

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information: www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs or call 407/823-3544.

Graduate Research Forum

  • Graduate Research Forum - Sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies and Graduate Student Association, the Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster and best oral presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition. For more information, please visit: www.graduate.ucf.edu/researchforum.

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.

Other

Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at www.graduate.ucf.edu.

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.cah.ucf.edu.

Job Search

Career Services and Experiential Learning

Graduate career development issues are unique and include evaluating academic and nonacademic career choices, discussing graduate school effect on career choices, as well as learning, evaluating, and refining networking and interviewing skills. Whatever your needs, the offices of Career Services and Experiential Learning offer services and resources to aid in the career exploration and job search of Master and Doctoral students in every academic discipline. To learn more, visit www.career.ucf.edu and www.explearning.ucf.edu/

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.

Forms

  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.

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