Over 580 million people all over the world speak Spanish, making it one of the most commonly spoken languages both globally and in the United States. Knowing Spanish opens doors to many cultural, business, and educational opportunities, and could be the key to creating a unique career path for yourself. Whether you want to teach Spanish on the high school or college level, or use it to strengthen your relationships with Spanish-speaking clients or businesses, earning your masters in Spanish is the best way to take your knowledge of this centuries-old language to the next level.
What is a masters in Spanish?
A master’s degree in Spanish will build on the fundamentals taught in a bachelor’s degree program in Spanish. Depending on the type of program, courses usually focus on two areas of study: Spanish literature and linguistics.
Courses that focus on literature may include topics such as:
- Spanish and Latin American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries
- Golden Age literature
- Medieval Age literature
- Spanish Poetry
- Theater of the Golden Age
- Famous Spanish-speaking authors, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Miguel de Cervantes, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The linguistics track, which focuses on the technical aspects of reading, writing, and speaking Spanish, may include topics such as:
- Technical translation
- Linguistics research methods
- Methods for teaching Spanish
Top 5 Masters in Spanish Programs
|1||St. John’s University||Queens, New York|
|2||California State University-Fullerton||Fullerton, California|
|3||University of North Texas||Denton, Texas|
|4||University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma|
|5||University of Houston||Houston, Texas|
What can I do with a masters in Spanish?
With a master’s degree in Spanish, you can pursue a wide variety of career opportunities. Here are some common career categories:
- Teaching: Students with a master’s degree in Spanish may be qualified to teach at the elementary and secondary (high school) level in the subject of Spanish. However, depending on state regulations and whether a school is public or private, further licensure may be required to secure employment.
- Translating and interpreting: A master’s degree in Spanish provides students with the advanced linguistic skills needed to translate and interpret Spanish into multiple languages. Interpreters and translators are needed in a wide variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, courtrooms, business settings, government organizations, and more.
- Business: Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the United States and the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world. Knowing Spanish could give you an edge with employers who have business dealings with Spanish-speaking clients or who want to gain more ground in the Hispanic marketplace.
Also, many students with master’s degrees in Spanish decide to further their education by transitioning into a PhD program in Spanish, where they can become the foremost authorities on language, linguistics, and literature in the field.
What jobs can I get with a master’s in Spanish?
Here are some of the jobs you could pursue after earning your master’s degree in Spanish:
- Elementary school teacher: $59,420 per year (2019 median annual pay)
- Postsecondary teacher: $79,540 per year (2019 median annual pay)
- Interpreters and translators: $51,830 per year (2019 median annual pay)
- Sales manager: $126,640 per year
Ready to take your knowledge of Spanish to the next level? We’ve ranked the best masters in Spanish programs based on tuition cost per credit (least expensive is best) and graduate enrollment (highest number of students is best). Take a look at our list of top schools below!
Best 15 Masters in Spanish Programs
St. John’s University
St. John’s University offers a Masters of Arts (MA) program in Spanish through its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that prepares students for teaching at multiple levels, related careers, and advanced scholarship in the area of Spanish language. The program focuses on language, culture, and literature of the Hispanic world so students are ready to succeed in today’s increasingly globalized society. Graduates go on to work in fields that include journalism, education, translation, diplomacy, hospitality, and tourism.
California State University-Fullerton
California State University-Fullerton offers an MA in Spanish through its College of Humanities and Social Sciences that helps students gain an edge in today’s increasingly competitive and globalized economy. In addition to strengthening their Spanish skills, students gain valuable insight into Hispanic culture and literature. This flexible program is built to meet the needs of both full- and part-time students and classes are available both in the early evening and afternoon to fit varying schedules.
University of North Texas
University of North Texas offers a Master of Arts in Spanish through its College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences that balances the study of literary and cultural analysis with linguistics. Many graduates of the program go on to teach the Spanish language at the high school, community college, or university levels. Students benefit by learning from instructors who are published experts in their fields of specialization, including all main areas of Latin American and Spanish literature.
University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma offers an MA in Spanish through its College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. This program prepares students to become fluent readers, writers, and speakers of Spanish who can pursue careers as educators of the language or go on to pursue PhDs in Spanish. Both a thesis and non-thesis track are available.
University of Houston
University of Houston offers an MA in Spanish Linguistics and/or Literature that prepares students to develop the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to continue developing studies in the fields of Hispanic, Spanish, and Latin American linguistics. This program prepares graduates to pursue careers as educators, administrators, interpreters, translators, and more in both the private and public sectors. Students also build the strong foundation they need to transition into PhD level programs.
The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona offers an MA in Spanish through its College of Humanities. Students choose between two concentrations. In Hispanic Literatures and Cultures Concentration, students prepare to work at the PhD level in Spanish by thoroughly studying Hispanic literature and culture. In the Hispanic Linguistics Concentration, students study Spanish phonetics, morphology, syntax, phonology, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, heritage language research and pedagogy, and second language acquisition.
University of Florida
The University of Florida offers an MA in Spanish Linguistics that covers several areas of the field, including Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, and Computational Linguistics. Courses include Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics, Formal Instruction and the Acquisition of Spanish, Special Study in Spanish Linguistics, Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, and Medieval Spanish Linguistics.
Idaho State University
Idaho State University offers a Master of Arts in Spanish that provides high school teachers of Spanish, as well as other professionals who want to improve their language proficiency, with the knowledge and skills needed become advanced educators and practitioners in the field. The program focuses on mastering reading, writing, and speaking of Spanish, studying Hispanic culture and literature, and learning methods for second language instruction.
University of Memphis
University of Memphis offers a Master of Arts in Spanish through its Department of World Languages and Literatures that focuses on culture, education, grammar, linguistics, and literature of the Spanish language. Graduates pursue careers as educators and instructors on the elementary, high school and university level, as well as paths in law or business or further education at the PhD level. There is also the opportunity for a graduate assistantship with a member of the experienced faculty.
University of California-Los Angeles
University of California-Los Angeles offers a Graduate Program in Spanish that focuses both on developing students’ advanced knowledge of Spanish literature and linguistics. Classes on the graduate level cover topics including Literary Theory and Criticism, Phonology, Morphology, Generative Syntax and Semantics, Medieval Lyric Poetry, Medieval Epic and Narrative Poetry, Drama of the Golden Age, and Teaching Spanish at College Level.
DePaul University offers a Spanish (MA) program that allows students to create a customized curriculum to advance their knowledge of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture while honing their linguistic expertise. This flexible program can be completed in two years with courses available in both the evenings and afternoons. The program taps into Chicago’s local thriving Hispanic community, where can students practice and apply their linguistic expertise at places like the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.
Rutgers University offers a MAT (Master of Arts for Teachers) program in Spanish through its Department of Spanish and Portuguese that can be taken 100% online or through a hybrid option of both online and on-campus. Each student is encouraged to study abroad in either Spain or Peru as an opportunity to directly immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture for an extended period of time. As a result of the program, each student will create a teaching portfolio that counts as three credits towards completion of the degree and is presented to a two-person committee.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University offers an MA program in Spanish that prepares students for a multitude of careers utilizing advanced skills in Spanish, including interpreting, translating, diplomatic service, commerce, business, social services, and editorial work. It also prepares students to pursue work as researchers and teachers with their expertise in Spanish language, linguistics, and literary theory. Courses include Colonial Latin American Literature, Contemporary Spanish Poetry, History of Spanish Language, and Translation and Health Services.
Loyola University offers an MA in Spanish that prepares students for a multitude of careers relying on their expertise in Spanish language and Hispanic culture, including teaching, diplomacy, translation, interpretation, editing, journalistic writing, international business, foreign service, social work, and more. In addition to providing a well-rounded curriculum in both Hispanic culture and literature, the program gives students the opportunity to participate in an annual graduate symposium in Hispanic studies.
University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame offers a Spanish MA that provides students with a comprehensive curriculum in Spanish literature as well as the cultural achievements of Spanish-speaking countries throughout history. The program is specially designed for students who seek interaction with highly regarded scholars in the field and encourages enrollment in the PhD program after completion of the master’s degree.
Are you ready to explore additional masters in Spanish programs? Use our Degree Finder tool and we’ll help you find the school that’s right for education and career goals!
Our Ranking Methodology
We rank our schools based on two factors: per-credit tuition rates (in-state where applicable) and graduate enrollment rates. We first sort by the per-credit tuition rates (multiplied by a factor of two) and then by graduate enrollment rates. Points are assigned to each school and then added together to get a final ranking score.
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