Dec 08, 2021  
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Romance Languages, (MA)

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MA Degree Program

A student entering the program will be assigned a major advisor, usually the respective graduate coordinator for French or Spanish. This advisor is to be consulted in all matters concerning the student’s program of study. It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize himself/herself with the detailed online description of the program concerning requirements, policies, and procedures including–but not limited to–the reading list, coursework requirements, course descriptions, comprehensive examination procedures, reading knowledge of a second language, independent studies, language proficiency, grade point average requirements, time limitation, academic misconduct policies, and other issues. It is also the student’s responsibility to consult with his/her respective graduate coordinator and/or the chair for further clarification.

Teaching Assistantships carry a stipend and cover the cost of tuition for the entire program. The Department also offers Research Assistantships which carry a stipend and half-tuition scholarship per academic semester. Both awards are offered on a competitive basis. Part-time students or students who have a full-time job or any other activities that may interfere with their academic responsibilities are not eligible. Students interested in obtaining a teaching or research assistantship must be officially admitted into the MA program in Romance Languages first and should submit a letter of intent, addressed to the Chairman, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures with a copy to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Applicants are encouraged to visit the department web site at for a detailed description of the program and information about the stipend amount for teaching and research assistantships.

Program Prerequisites

  1. The applicant must provide an official transcript showing that a bachelor’s degree was awarded by an accredited college or university. Official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  2. A minimum of a 3.0 quality point average on a scale of 4.0 is highly desirable. Students with less than a 3.0 quality point average may be admitted with the approval of the Department Chair and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
  3. A minimum of 24 upper-division semester hours or the equivalent in French or Spanish. Examples of an equivalent preparation in French or Spanish include having native or near-native proficiency, university studies in a French/Spanish-speaking country, etc.
  4. A reasonable proficiency in the language of concentration, to be determined by the Department prior to admission. An oral interview in French or Spanish is required. The applicant must contact the respective coordinator in French or Spanish early in the admission process to make arrangements for the interview.
  5. A writing sample in French or Spanish depending on the concentration chosen must be submitted to the respective coordinator of French or Spanish. This documentation is intended to demonstrate the student’s adequate command of writing skills in his/her field of concentration.
  6. A letter of intent explaining the applicant’s motivation and objectives in pursuing a graduate degree in French or Spanish.
  7. Two letters of recommendation from professors who have taught the applicant.
  8. A 3.0 GPA for upper-division courses in the field. A GPA below 3.0 requires the approval of the Department Chair and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
  9. International students, i.e. applicants whose highest degree is from a foreign university, must have their credentials evaluated. The university will accept evaluations done by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services web site The course-by course report is required. International students must therefore:
    1. score a minimum of 94 on the web-based TOEFL and a minimum of 26 on the speaking portion of the same exam.
    2. convert their educational credentials–grades and diploma—into their US equivalents with an appropriate agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation services;
    3. Ask the same agency to submit the official transcript and diploma along with their respective conversion and translation to Graduate Admissions, University of Memphis.

Program Requirements

  1. A total of thirty-three (33) semester hours.
  2. The possibility of collateral hours — i. e. coursework in another discipline or department which is related to the field of concentration—are handled differently in French and Spanish. Students interested in taking collateral hours will need to consult with the respective coordinator in French and Spanish to see if these hours are available in their concentration and if they are eligible.At least 23 hours must be taken in 7000-level courses (eight [8] courses in all).
  3. Satisfactory completion of minimum standards for eligibility to take the comprehensive exams. Students in the program must seek advice from the respective coordinator in French and Spanish to determine that the coursework they carry fulfills these minimum standards.
  4. A reading knowledge of a foreign language other than that of the concentration. This may be demonstrated in the following ways:
    1. achieving a grade of B (“3.0”) or better in a fourth-semester language course (e.g. FREN/GERM/ITAL/SPAN 2020),
    2. achieving a grade of B ( “3.0”) or better in a graduate reading course (FREN 7000  and GERM 7000  are the only two courses available for this option. They are usually offered in the summer)
    3. achieving a grade of B (“3.0”) or better in upper-division courses at the 3000- or 4000-levels (e.g. FREN 3302/GERM 3790/ITAL 3311/PORT 3301/SPAN 3303),
    4. achieving a grade of B (“3.0”) or better in graduate courses taught in the target language at the 6000- or 7000 levels (e.g. FREN 6302 /PORT 6024 /SPAN 6307 ,
    5. students who provide evidence of knowledge of a foreign language other than that of the concentration equivalent to a fourth-semester language course or superior may arrange with the section head of the specific language for a written test to prove competency.
  5. A comprehensive written and oral examination after completion of 33 hours and fulfillment of the reading knowledge requirement. These examinations will be conducted in the language of the concentration. For a full description of the comprehensive examination procedures, please visit the department website at

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