Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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The Department of Languages, Cultures, and International Trade offers a Master of Arts degree in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures with a specialization in either French or Spanish. The degree program includes courses in literature, linguistics, translation, pedagogy, and instructional technology, and allows for considerable breadth of study while offering a well-balanced degree plan.


A non-refundable application fee of $65 must be paid with credit card when applying through Hobsons Radius. In addition to meeting requirements of the Graduate School, the applicant for admission should have a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in the appropriate language of specialization or at least 18 semester hours (27 quarter hours) of relevant courses in the language at the junior-senior level. Students not meeting minimum requirements in coursework or in language proficiency may be given the option of taking additional coursework to make up the deficiency before being officially accepted to the program. These courses will not count towards fulfilling the degree requirements. Students who meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School but do not meet the departmental requirements may register as unclassified students for specific graduate courses in the department only with consent of the instructor and authorization from the Director of Graduate Studies.

General Requirements

Students must take 33 credit hours of coursework that must include:

  • FL 436; FR 501 / SPAN 501; FR 570 / SPAN 570
  • Four additional classes of literature/culture (for Spanish students, at least one of these courses must be in Latin American Literature, and at least one in Peninsular Literature). Spanish students are also required to take SPAN 511. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be taken at the 500 or 600 levels.
  • Three hours of Independent Study will be given only under exceptional circumstances and will not duplicate available courses. The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for authorizing such work in cooperation with the individual professor.

Comprehensive Examinations

The French comprehensive exams will be based on the courses taken. The Spanish comprehensive examinations will be based on the program reading list. While many of the works on the reading list will be covered in classes, others will not. Consequently, students are expected to exhibit a breadth of knowledge that goes beyond what is covered in their classes.

For more detailed information on the format of the exam, consult with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Each year a faculty member from the MA program will be in charge of the preparation, organization, scheduling, and proctoring of examinations.

Repeat Policy

Re-takes for failed examinations may be scheduled for the following: November, April, or August. Students will be given an entirely new exam. If the student does not pass the second time, s/he will be required to take an additional nine credit hours in Peninsular and Latin American literature/culture before being allowed to retake the exam for the third and last time.

NOTE: Students pass or fail the entire exam, not a single question or area. Students receiving a Graduate Assistantship who do not pass the exam the first time are not guaranteed additional funding.

Traditional M.A.

This option allows students to complete the MA in two years without having to take courses in the summer and/or without having to pursue a BA in our department (although students may choose to do either or both). Students must be accepted into the program prior to commencing coursework towards the degree:

  • First Semester: 3 courses
  • Second Semester: 3 courses
  • Third Semester: 3 courses
  • Fourth Semester: 2 courses; Comprehensive Examinations

Five-year B.A./M.A.

This option allows students in the SIU Carbondale Spanish B.A. program to transfer nine credits of 400- or 500-level language courses over to the M.A. degree. Students enrolled in our B.A. program who have maintained a 3.25 grade point average in 300- and 400-level courses may apply to the five-year M.A. at the end of their junior year. If they are accepted, they continue on with their coursework for another year (including two summers) after graduating with the B.A.

  • First Summer Session: 1 course
  • First Semester (Fall): 3 courses
  • Second Semester (Spring): 3 courses
  • Second Summer Session: 1 course; Comprehensive Examinations
  • First Summer Session: 1 course
  • First Semester (Fall): 3 courses
  • First Semester (Spring): 3 courses; Comprehensive Examinations
  • Second Summer Session: 1 course

Double Majors

Students may pursue a double major in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures together with an M.A. in another program. Consult “Double Major for a Master’s Degree” in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog for Graduate School requirements for double majors. In addition to meeting the Graduate School requirements, double majors must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of coursework in the Department of Languages, Cultures, and International Trade, 18 of which must be in the language of study.

Curriculum Planning

Prior to registering, students are required to plan their curriculum with the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies who will advise the student in all matters pertaining to his/her M.A. Program.

Pertaining to Courses

At least 15 hours of course work must be earned in courses at the 500-level or above, and a minimum of 21 hours of coursework must be taken in the language of study (18 for double majors). No more than half the credit applied toward fulfillment of the degree requirements may be transferred from other universities. A student has three calendar years to complete the degree and must remain registered in (FR 601 / SPAN 601 (Continuing Enrollment)) until the degree is completed.

Grades and Grade-Point Average

Any graduate student whose grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Any graduate student on academic probation whose grade point average remains below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters in which she or he is enrolled, excluding summer sessions, will be permanently suspended from the Graduate School, unless the department and the collegiate dean petition the graduate dean for an exception.

French Courses offered:

  • FR 410 (3)     Selected Topics
  • FR 490 (3)     Advanced Independent Study
  • FR 501 (3)     Studies on a Selected Topic or Author
  • FR 540 (3)     Literature of the 18th Century
  • FR 550 (3)     Literature of the 19th Century
  • FR 560 (3)     Literature of the 20th Century
  • FR 570 (3)     The French and Their History
  • FR 576 (3)     Francophone Literature
  • FR 580 (3)     Masterpieces of French and Francophone Literatures

Spanish Courses offered:

  • SPAN 414 (3)     Translation Techniques
  • SPAN 490 (3)     Advanced Independent Study
  • SPAN 501 (3)     Studies of a Selected Topic or Author
  • SPAN 511 (3)     Linguistic Structure of Spanish
  • SPAN 512 (3)     History of the Spanish Language
  • SPAN 520 (3)     Literature of the Middle Ages
  • SPAN 530 (3)     The Golden Age: Drama
  • SPAN 531 (3)     Cervantes
  • SPAN 532 (3)     The Golden Age: Prose and Poetry
  • SPAN 534 (3)     Colonial Literature
  • SPAN 550 (3)     Neoclassicism and Romanticism in Spain
  • SPAN 551 (3)     Spanish-American Literature of the 19th Century
  • SPAN 555 (3)     Spanish Realism and Naturalism
  • SPAN 560 (3)     Modern Spanish Literature and Culture (1898 to Spanish Civil War)
  • SPAN 561 (3)     Spanish-American Literature of the 20th Century
  • SPAN 565 (3)     Post-War and Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture
400-Level Courses in Spanish that can count towards the M.A.:
  • SPAN 414 (3)       Translation Techniques
  • SPAN 420 (3)       Studies in Literature of the Middle Ages
  • SPAN 430 (3)       The Golden Age: Drama
  • SPAN 431 (3)       Cervantes
  • SPAN 432 (3)       The Golden Age: Prose and Poetry
  • SPAN 434 (3)       Colonial Literature
  • SPAN 450 (3)       Neoclassicism and Romanticism
  • SPAN 455 (3)       Spanish Realism and Romanticism
  • SPAN 451 (3)       Studies in Latin American Literature of the 19th Century
  • SPAN 465 (3)       Post-War and Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture
  • SPAN 475 (3-6)    Travel-Study in Latin America or Spain
  • SPAN 490 (1-3)    Advanced Independent Study

Foreign Language (FL) Courses:

  • FL 436 (3)      Methods in Teaching World Languages
  • FL 437 (3)      Introduction to Computer-Assisted Language Learning