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.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution.

  • Advanced-level proficiency in written and oral Spanish as evidenced by a score of at least Advanced Low in the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) and WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) administered by ACTFL (American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages). To register for the exams, visit, and have the results be sent directly to Northeastern Illinois University's Graduate College.

  • Online application: graduate-college

Teacher Licensure Option

M.A. students who already have a B.A. in Spanish or who complete a Second Bachelor’s in Spanish may also enroll in a dual MA/TLP track to become certified as Spanish K-12 teachers through the College of Education.

Degree requirements (36 credits)

Required Courses:
SPAN-401Introduction To Latin American Literary & Cultural Studies (to be completed during the first semester of the program)3
Eleven graduate-level courses (which may include):33
Up to eleven SPAN 400-level courses at NEIU
Up to 3 graduate level courses from other departments at NEIU (approval of the graduate advisor required)
Up to 9 credits of graduate level coursework from an accredited institution other than NEIU (approval of the department chair required)
Up to 6 credits of Master's Thesis
Total Hours36

Non-thesis Option:
Students take 1 required course and 11 electives.

Thesis Option:

Students who opt for a thesis must, the semester before they intend to enroll in thesis hours, 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

Comprehensive Written Examination: 

At the beginning of the program, students receive a list of eight general questions on Latin American literature and culture, with accompanying bibliography. For the comprehensive exam, students choose and answer four of these questions. 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.

Electronic Portfolio:  The electronic portfolio includes copies of the final essays submitted for each course, a copy of the comprehensive examination, and the corresponding evaluation rubrics submitted by the program’s faculty for each of these items.