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Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. Reading List


Harrison Meadows   
Coordinator of Spanish Graduate Studies
McClung Tower 716A 
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37996

The Ph.D. in Modern Foreign Languages requires advanced training in Spanish and either a second language or applied linguistics.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed a B.A. or equivalent in Spanish to be accepted into this program. Both graduates of institutions in the United States and those with undergraduate degrees from institutions outside the United States must have a grade point average of at least 3.0. Consideration will also be given to applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in Spanish but do have the equivalent of an undergraduate major.

Degree Requirements

Candidates must complete a minimum of 63 semester hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree in addition to 24 hours of doctoral research and dissertation.

Two tracks are available:

  • The coursework for Track I must be distributed as follows:
    • At least 39 hours in Spanish
    • At least 18 hours in the second concentration
    • At least 6 hours in a cognate field or in either the first or second concentration as approved by the student's graduate committee.
  • The coursework for Track II must be distributed as follows:
    • At least 45 hours in Spanish
    • At least 12 hours in the second concentration
    • At least 6 hours in a cognate field or in either the first or second concentration as approved by the student's graduate committee. Because Track II students will have taken 12 graduate hours instead of 18 hours in the second concentration, they will normally not be eligible to teach that field at institutions which follow SACS guidelines for college foreign language teaching.

First Concentration: Spanish

A minimum of either 39 (Track I) or 45 (Track II) hours of Spanish courses beyond the bachelor's degree, distributed as follows:

  • 400 level: A maximum of 6 hours of 400-level classes taken for the M.A. may be applied.
  • 500 level: A minimum of 21 (Track I) or 27 (Track II) hours must be taken.
    These must include MFLL (Modern Foreign Languages and Literature) 512. Thesis hours are excluded. If MFLL 512 is used as part of a second concentration in applied linguistics, another course must be substituted in the first concentration.
  • 600 level: A minimum of 12 hours must be taken, exclusive of dissertation hours.

Second Concentration

A minimum of 18 (Track I) or 12 (Track II) hours beyond the bachelor's degree, taken in the field of applied linguistics, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or in a second language, either French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Track II only), or Russian. For Track I, 12 of these hours must be at the 500 level or above. For Track II, 3 of these hours must be at the 500 level or above.

Spanish students choosing applied linguistics must take Spanish 421 or 429; 425; MFLL 512; and 9 (Track I) or 3 (Track II) hours of appropriate electives in English or Spanish.

Cognate Field

Six (6) hours in graduate courses numbered 400 and above in a field outside the department or language family of the first concentration but related to the student's principal area of research. Students choosing applied linguistics as a second concentration are strongly urged to take their cognate work in a second language. With the consent of the student's graduate committee, the 6 hours in the cognate field may be substituted by 6 hours in either the first or second concentration.

Additional Requirements

For any languages taken as a first or second concentration, a student must demonstrate competence by taking a test. The test will include reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and should be completed by the time the student reaches 40 hours of study beyond the bachelor's degree. Standardized examinations that may be used for this purpose include applicable portions of either the National Teachers Examination, the MLA Examination for Teachers and Advanced Students, or the proficiency standards of the United States Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

For students choosing applied linguistics as an area of second concentration, reading competence in a second language is required. Competence will be determined by translation of a text from the foreign language into English, the test to be administered by the department.

Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive examination on the language and literature of the first and second concentrations must be passed before the student may be admitted to candidacy. The candidate is required to defend his/her dissertation in an oral examination. Central emphasis is put on the doctoral dissertation as a final test of the candidate's scholarly qualifications.

Graduate Teaching Assistants and Doctoral Students

Graduate Teaching Assistants with a second concentration in another language should have the opportunity and will be strongly encouraged to instruct in the languages of both their first and second concentration, subject to staffing needs.

Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to reside and study abroad and will be assisted in identifying potential sources of financial support (e.g., Fulbright, McClure, Rotary fellowships).

Academic Common Market

An agreement among southern states for sharing graduate programs allows legal residents of some states to enroll in certain programs at UT on an in-state tuition basis. The Ph.D. program in Modern Foreign Languages is available to residents of the state of Alabama.

Additional information may be obtained from the Administrative Services Assistant in the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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