Skip to main content

Hispanic Linguistics MA

What is Hispanic Linguistics?

All natural languages are aesthetic codes. Among other things, this means that they vary, change and are beautiful. Linguistics explores how language is generated by the brain, how we use our speech organs to transmit the messages the brain encodes, and how these messages are decoded by the hearer. Linguistics also explores how language, in all its facets, evolves over time and varies across social and geographical space. In the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, we study these and many other related topics, including the formidable challenges posed by translation, as they apply to Spanish—one of the world’s great languages.

Prerequisites for Candidates

  • Bachelor’s degree in Spanish or other subject. If in another subject, you must have Spanish courses equal to our Spanish minor. Additional information may be obtained from the Linguistics Section Head or from the Graduate Coordinator.
  • Proficiency in a second foreign language; through 205 course level for Portuguese (Intermediate High), through 201 level for other modern languages (Intermediate Mid-level). If not completed during undergraduate studies, this requirement may be fulfilled by challenge exam, or concurrently with MA program coursework no later than the third semester of study.
  • For teaching eligibility, complete a teaching methods class (SPAN 376 or equivalent). If not completed during undergraduate studies, this requirement may be fulfilled concurrently with MA program coursework in the first semester of study.
  • Strong academic writing skills and a capacity to conduct independent research.
  • Strong language skills in Spanish.
  • GRE required

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete the required 27 hours of coursework and 6 project or thesis hours, totaling 33 credit hours.
  • Students must teach at least one semester during their program of study.
  • Complete a specialty exam which covers readings and coursework.
  • Completion of a project or thesis.

Scholarships/Student Instructorships

  • The Department of Spanish and Portuguese typically provides scholarships for 50-80% of LDS tuition for required classes.
  • Paid student instructorships are available.

For More Information, Contact:


Merrie Kay Ames, Graduate Program Manager – merrie_kay@byu.edu – 801-422-2196

Brian Price, Graduate Coordinator – brian_price@byu.edu

Rob Smead, Literature Section Head – rob_smead@byu.edu