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Graduate Program in Spanish — Programs of study and requirements

Submitted by darmstro on Tue, 12/06/2016 - 3:17pm

Residence Requirement

The minimum residence requirement is two consecutive four-month terms of full-time study and research at the University of Calgary while registered as a graduate student. This requirement can usually be satisfied in one year by those students entering from a four-year BA program or from an honours degree program. Students from other programs are normally required to complete two academic years of full-time study. All requirements for the degree must be completed within four calendar years from the time of registration in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

New students must complete the registration activation process through their Student Centre before they can register for a class. Continuing students must complete the Annual Progress Report every year in program by May 15 (Fall registrants) and must ensure their program registration remains active until the completion of their degree.


This program is designed to be completed in 24 months with course work. The Knowledge Areas requirement must be completed by the end of the first month of the second year in the program, or one month after the completion of course work whichever occurs first (see section on Knowledge Areas below). The thesis should be completed during the second year of study. Funding availability (a normal maximum of four semesters of departmental support) is based on these timelines. Students are encouraged to set a target of 24 months for completion; the maximum time allowed to complete their program is four years to complete.

Program Structure

Normally, six half-course equivalents must be successfully completed (including Spanish 601), as well as fulfilment of the Knowledge Areas requirement. There is, however, no fixed ratio of course work to thesis research, and all programs will be based on the student's individual plan. No more than two half courses of graduate work can be at the undergraduate level (i.e. 500-level courses). Programs requiring a larger ratio of such courses must receive prior approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Normally no more than one half-course of directed reading may be taken for credit. B- (2.7) is the minimum passing grade for a course, but an overall grade point average of at least B (3.00) must be maintained in each year of the program.

Supervisory Assignments

Newly admitted students begin their programs under the supervision of the Graduate Director. Students are expected to choose a permanent supervisor by the end of the second regular academic session after first registration (April 30 for September registrants; December 15 for January registrants). Selection of a supervisor is by mutual agreement between the student and the faculty member concerned, in consultation with the Graduate Director. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will give final approval to this arrangement, following which the student and supervisor will meet to review the supervisory checklist.

Thesis Proposal

Students are required to submit a written thesis proposal to the Graduate Studies Committee 13 months after initial registration (September 30 for September registrants and January 21 for January registrants). The proposal should be approximately 1200-1500 words in length and be accompanied by an abstract and an appropriately detailed preliminary bibliography. The student will consult with his/her supervisor while preparing the proposal, and will submit it to the Graduate Director following preliminary approval from the Supervisor. Students should submit ONE paper copy to the Graduate Program Administrator and ONE electronic copy (Word version) to by the stated deadline. The document will be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval. Abstracts of proposals may be reproduced for information purposes.

View our MA Thesis proposal guidelines.


The result of research must be submitted in the form of a thesis to a thesis examination committee. The committee will submit a written evaluation of the thesis. Subsequently, the student will be expected to defend the thesis in a final oral examination before the committee. Preparation of the thesis in the language of the program constitutes an important part of graduate training and has unquestionable benefits for both further studies and career development. The School expects that graduate theses be written in Spanish. Students should familiarize themselves with the document Thesis/Dissertation Guidelines.

Additional Requirements and Expectations

  • All students must attend GRAD 601, a one-day orientation session offered by the Graduate Student Association and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  Students enrolled in a Fall Block week course are encouraged to attend GRAD 601 at the earliest opportunity.
  • Graduate Students are expected to attend the General Meeting of Graduate Students and Faculty.
  • The thesis-based option has a knowledge areas requirement that will be satisfied before or after admission. Upon admission students will be advised of any specific course or other work needed to fulfill this requirement.
  • Before the end of their second year of study, MA Thesis students are required to make a departmental or external presentation relating to their research.
  • Students in the thesis-based programs must demonstrate their participation in university-wide research activities by attending at least five departmental or external scholarly presentations every year in their programs. Students should list all presentations attended in their Annual Progress Report.
  • Our graduate students must complete training that will enhance their profile as language teachers. The School will announce plans for seminars and/or workshops with the purpose of preparing our graduate students for teaching university-level language classes (ie. Language Teacher Training Program in FIS;  LANG 605 - Second Language Learning and Pedagogy; EDER 613 - Change and Innovation in Education / EDER 667 - Second Language Reading and Writing / EDER 669 - Aspects of Second Language and Culture / EDER 696 - Special Topics in Education; DELE/DELF examiner accreditation courses). It is also highly recommended that students avail themselves of other training offered by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.
  • Graduate students must consult with the Graduate Director on course selection, leave of absence, course or program withdrawal, special requests such as the English for Professional Purposes, etc.