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Department of World Languages & Cultures

Master of Arts in Latin American Literatures and Cultures:

Program Description

The Master of Arts Program critically examines Latin American cultural forms of expression in their socio-historical contexts; develops skills to work with Latin American and US Latina/o populations in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways; and enhances career opportunities in education, government, international business, and the culture industries. Courses are regularly offered during the late afternoon and evening. A Spanish K-12 Teacher Certification option is also available.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Advanced level proficiency in written and oral Spanish. Oral proficiency is determined by means of an interview with the Graduate Advisor. Written proficiency is determined with a 2 page Statement of Purpose submitted as part of the application. Students may be conditionally admitted, pending successful completion of one or more undergraduate courses in Spanish.
  • Apply online: http://www.neiu.edu/graduate-college/overview/index.html .

Degree requirements:

  1. Thirty six credit hours:
    1. Two required courses (six credits) to be completed during the first year of the program:
      • SPAN 400: Visión de América I
      • SPAN 420: Visión de América II
    1. Nine SPAN 400-level courses.  A maximum of three courses from the following categories may be el courses from other departments at NEIU or from other universities. Approval from the Graduate Advisor required
      • Up to two courses in French and/or Portuguese at any level
      • Up to three graduate-level courses from other departments at NEIU or from other universities. Approval from the Graduate Advisor required
      • Up to three of the following SPAN 300-level courses: SPAN 352 (Puerto Rican Literature), SPAN 358 (Modernismo), SPAN 373 (Latin American Short Story), and SPAN 377 (Caribbean Literature)
    1. One additional SPAN 400-level elective (3 credits) or SPAN 499 (Thesis). Students who opt for a thesis must, the semester before they intend to enroll in SPAN 499, form a committee of three faculty members (1 primary and 2 readers), and submit a proposal with the following items:
      • A 500-word narrative with a tentative title, corpus, hypothesis, methodology, theoretical framework, and the objective(s) of the study.
      • A 1-2 page bibliography of primary and secondary sources in MLA format.

      The committee will decide on the merits of the proposal, and whether or not to grant permission for the student to conduct the thesis.  Students granted permission to write a thesis must follow the Graduate College Thesis Manual.

  1. Comprehensive Examination: For the comprehensive exam, students choose and answer four of the eight questions in this MA exam reading list.  Faculty will evaluate the answers using this MA exam rubric. A student who fails any part of the comprehensive exam may take that part a second time. Permission to take it a third time may be granted by the Departmental Graduate Committee after a review of the student's record. Additional coursework may be required before a third and final attempt.  Please note: students who were admitted into the program before Fall 2012 may choose between this format and the one in place when they were accepted.

    Students must inform the Graduate Advisor of their intention to take the exam by September 30 for Fall semester examinations and by January 31 for Spring semesters examinations.  Exams are held on specific Saturdays in the Language Lab, from 10am to 4pm.  Upcoming dates are March 15, 2014, October 18, 2014, March 14, 2015, and October 17, 2015.
  1. Electronic Portfolio: The portfolio includes copies of the final essays submitted for each course, a copy of the comprehensive examination, and the corresponding evaluation rubrics (Rubric 9c) submitted by the program’s faculty for each of these items.

For additional information, contact Professor Lucrecia Artalejo, Graduate Advisor, at (773) 442-4755
or e-mail to