Have a question about our graduate program? We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience. If you still have a question, please contact us.

What are the requirements for admission?

A higher education degree in Spanish or related discipline, 3 confidential letters of reference from academic sources, a statement of goals, a resume, GRE results and a writing sample. International students need to supply also the results of the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a similar test as approved by the Graduate School (see the section “Score Reporting for Tests of Academic English” here). The Graduate School will also require certified transcripts of all higher education work.   

What are the deadlines for admission?

Check deadlines at the graduate bulletin for the Master and for the PhD

Can I submit my application online?

Some parts of the application may be submitted online through the Graduate School web-based applicationIt is also possible to submit a paper application. See instructionsBoth systems charge a fee, but the paper based application charges a higher amount.

Is it possible to upload documents to my online application?

Not at present. Applicants should feel free to mail paper copies to the Department’s address of the statement of goals, resume and writing sample. Applicants may also email digital copies to the Graduate Advisor and/or the Coordinator’s email address.

I have taken classes in another country. Do I have to provide transcripts for those classes also?

Yes. Even if the GPA of those classes has been incorporated in the applicant’s undergraduate degree, she/he needs to make sure the Department receives all transcripts. Remember that the Graduate School will only accept certified transcripts issued by institutions in sealed envelopes.

Can my application be considered even if I do not have an undergraduate degree in Spanish?

Graduate courses typically take for granted certain knowledge covered in the Spanish major: for example, advanced grammar and composition, cultural proficiency, literary studies and linguistics. Applicants without this knowledge are encouraged to take undergraduate classes in those areas before applying. The Graduate Committee may consider applicants from other related fields if the applicant comes from a Spanish-speaking country.  

Is there a minimum undergraduate GPA for admission?

The Graduate School establishes a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission and a minimum of 3.25 for a Teaching Assistant. The Graduate Committee may consider applicants with slightly lower GPAs if the rest of application materials document a candidate with a strong potential.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Yes. It is a Graduate School requirement. All scores must be reported electronically to Temple through ETS. Temple University code is 2906. GRE scores older than 5 years will not be accepted. Applicants from Spanish-speaking countries may present EXADEP scores instead.

Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?

No, although the score helps the Graduate Committee to determine recommendations for non-teaching University and Future Faculty Fellowships.

What is the typical average of a GRE score for admission?

Typical GRE scores range from 153 to 166 in verbal reasoning and 144 to 155 in quantitative reasoning or 500 to 700 on the old version of the GRE. However, admission it is not based exclusively on GRE scores. Applicants with scores below these amounts may provide additional evidence of strong academic credentials.

How many applicants does the Spanish Graduate program accept per year?

In the recent past there has been an average of 5 new graduate students per year.

Is it possible to be admitted in the PhD program without a Master’s degree?

Yes. Students will be asked to take the MA comprehensive examination once they complete the course requirements for the MA degree (30 credits).

Can the requirements of the graduate degree be fulfilled on a part-time basis?

Yes. Part-time is defined as an enrollment of less than 9 hours of credit. However, students must be aware that Graduate School’s time limit for completion (3 years for MA; 7 years for a combined MA/PhD or a PhD degree) is not automatically extended for those who decided to pursue their degree part-time.

Is financial assistance available?

Financial assistance is available through Teaching Assistantships exclusively for doctoral students. As noted above, students without a MA who already know they would like to pursue a doctoral degree may ask the Graduate Committee to consider their application for the PhD program. The TA financial package consists of a stipend, full tuition (9 credits per semester) and medical insurance for which the Teaching Assistant teaches two language courses per semester, equivalent to six hours per week (plus three hours of office support to students enrolled in their courses).  Stipends are typically raised each year to adjust for inflation. There are also university wide competitive fellowships awarded by the Graduate School. Upon reviewing the candidate’s qualifications, the Graduate Committee decides whether it recommends him/her for one of these fellowships.

Does the financial assistance cover all expenses?

No. There is a matriculation fee of $200 that students need to pay themselves after they have been admitted into the Graduate School. In addition, certain fees are assessed every semester, which are not covered by the Assistantship. The individual student is responsible for timely payment of these fees.

How do I apply for financial assistance?

There is no additional form to be filled out for financial assistance. Prospective students should indicate at the end of their statement of purpose that they would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship. A short paragraph explaining the rationale for this request is required. Remember that only students applying for the doctoral program will be considered for a TAship, but it is possible to enter the PhD program without an MA (see above).

How many Teaching Assistantships does the Spanish Graduate program award every year?

Is financial assistance ensured for the duration of the graduate studies?

Contingent on the availability of resources, the Department entertains the awarding of financial assistance while graduate students are doing coursework as approved by their Graduate Advisor and provided there is steady and verifiable progress towards the degree. This entails, among others, a GPA of no less than 3.25, successful completion of the PhD comprehensive examinations and positive teaching evaluations.  

What is the teaching and course load for teaching assistants?

Graduate Teaching Assistants normally teach four elementary or intermediate Spanish courses per academic year, spread over two semesters (two courses per semester). Advanced TAs may be asked to teach more advanced courses depending on their individual preparation. Teaching Assistants are required to be enrolled in at least three graduate courses (9 credit hours).

Are research assistantships available? 


Does the Graduate Committee evaluate incomplete application materials?

The Graduate Advisor only involves the Graduate Committee once all the material in the application has been submitted, all fees have been paid and the file is complete.

What is the process once my application packet is complete?

The departmental Graduate Committee will recommend or deny admission in the program after carefully reviewing the applicant’s merit. It will also recommend the candidate for a Teaching Assistantship and/or a Fellowship. The Graduate Advisor will contact students via email as soon as a recommendation for admission is made and, later, for financial support. However, the Dean’s Office of the College of Liberal Arts, in conjunction with the Graduate School at Temple University, makes the final decision on all applications and issues letters communicating said decisions.

Is it possible to visit the Department?

Yes. Applicants should contact the Graduate Advisor well in advance of their visit. He/She will try to accommodate their request. 

I am not sure whether I want to commit at this moment for a graduate degree. How could I know if I am going to like it or not before completing an application?

Individuals who are not officially enrolled in a graduate program may be eligible to register for classes as non-matriculated students. They should seek approval from the Graduate Advisor and look at the information on the webpage of the Office of Continuing Studies.

In what type of institution do students from the Spanish and Portuguese graduate program find work?

Although the Department’s MA and PhD graduate program are tightly focused in the training of future scholarly researchers who will work in a higher education environment, it is proud to maintain a diverse graduate student body. Most graduate students in Spanish decide to stay in the Philadelphia area for personal and professional reasons. There are more than 40 universities and colleges in the Philly area which offer significant teaching opportunities and career development opportunities. Since some students decide to pursue their graduate degree part-time while they hold a job outside the University, the academic unit takes very seriously the commitment to public service that Temple University has demonstrated during its long and proud historyThere have been graduate students who have received their doctoral degree for personal enrichment purposes and others who work in libraries, administrative positions and a variety of teaching institutions.