M.A. in World Languages and Literatures degree requirements

The program offers areas of study in linguistics, Spanish literature and culture and Spanish-American literature and culture. Students select one of these areas as their primary concentration and another as their secondary concentration. WLL 702 Introduction to Graduate Study is required of all students; WLL 703 Teaching Foreign Languages is also required of all graduate teaching assistants. Students must be enrolled in a comprehensive examination course (WLL 795) during the semester in which they plan to take the M.A. exams. The credits for this S/U course may not be applied toward satisfying the credit requirements for the degree and should not be listed in the student's program of study. The program offers the option of pursuing the M.A. with thesis or without.

Non-thesis program option

  • Minimum of 32 graduate credits
  • Minimum of 23 of these 32 graduate credits earned at University of Nevada, Reno
  • Minimum of 15 credits taken at 700-level
  • Minimum of nine credits in primary area of concentration and six credits in secondary area. Maximum of three credits may be taken with S/U grading (including transfer credits). Maximum of nine credits completed prior to admission (including transfer credits)
  • All requirements for degree must be completed within the period of six years immediately preceding the granting of the degree
  • Continuous enrollment: Minimum enrollment of three graduate credits each fall and spring semester. If a minor is included, at least 15 of the 32 graduate credits must be in the major field of study, and at least eight credits in the minor field.

Thesis track option

  • Minimum of 30 graduate credits
  • Minimum of 21 of these credits earned at University of Nevada, Reno
  • Minimum of 18 credits (including thesis credits) taken at 700-level
  • Minimum of nine credits in primary area of concentration and six credits in secondary area
  • Masters students must enroll in six thesis credits for degree completion
  • Maximum of three credits may be taken with S/U grading
  • Maximum of nine credits completed prior to admission (including transfer credits)
  • All requirements (credits) for degree (including transfer credits) must be completed within the period of six years immediately preceding the granting of the degree
  • Continuous enrollment: minimum enrollment of three graduate credits each fall and spring semester. If a minor is included, at least 12 of the 24 graduate credits (as well as the six thesis credits) must be in the major field of study, and at least six credits in the minor field.

Thesis option requirements

Students who elect to pursue the M.A. with thesis must have an outline of the thesis approved by the A-E Committee. Following this approval, the student is expected to complete the thesis in a manner satisfactory to the committee. Students should read the dissertation and thesis submission requirements on the Graduate School website, before beginning work on the thesis. Permission for off-campus work on the thesis must be approved by the A-E Committee and by the Dean of the Graduate School. Thesis courses are not graded and not counted in GPA calculations. After the thesis is completed, defended and accepted by the A-E Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School, non-letter grade credit is posted to the student's academic record.

Together with the thesis, the student must submit an abstract not exceeding 150 words in length. The department requires standardized formatting for the thesis document. Students will follow the most recent MLA guidelines (or guidelines determined by the advisor/A.E. committee chair) in preparing their document; however, the thesis, which may be written in English or Spanish, must comply with the university formatting (margins, spacing, fonts, page numbering, etc.) detailed in the dissertation and thesis submission requirements mentioned above.

The deadline for submission of the thesis in final form is one week before the close of the semester. Students should obtain a thesis final review approval form from the Graduate School, complete the form and present it to the A-E Committee chair. Consult the Graduate School calendar for exact deadlines. Final approval of the thesis is made by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Dual degree programs

Students may elect to pursue two M.A. programs. These students must be formally admitted to both programs. Two separate A-E committees with different chairs are required, with no more than one graduate faculty member belonging to both committees. Upon approval of the graduate director, a maximum of nine graduate credits earned in the other M.A. program may be applied toward the M.A. in World Languages and Literatures.

Language requirement

All students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in an approved language other than English or Spanish. The purpose of this requirement is to enable students, when conducting research, to read scholarly books and articles written in that language. On how to fulfill this requirement, please see the language requirement section of this website.

Applying for graduation

Students must apply for graduation during the semester prior to the semester in which they plan to graduate; please consult the university calendar and the Graduate School website for specific deadlines. Failure to meet the deadline will postpone the graduation date. Students must purchase an application for graduation, complete it and deliver it to admissions and records. Students must be enrolled in a comprehensive examination course (WLL 795) during the semester in which they take the M.A. exams. The credits for this S/U course may not be applied toward satisfying the credit requirements for the degree and should not be listed in the student's program of study.

Comprehensive written and oral examinations

Students pursuing either the thesis or non-thesis option must complete a comprehensive written examination, which covers material one might reasonably expect a candidate for the M.A. to know, as reflected in the reading list developed by the chair and the Spanish faculty member of the A-E Committee in consultation with the student. See the examinations section of this website for details. Students who have satisfactorily completed all parts of the written comprehensive examination are required to undergo a comprehensive oral examination. See the examinations section of this website for details.

Notice of completion

The Master's degree notice of completion form confirms that the student has successfully completed all departmental and university requirements for the M.A. degree. This form, which may be downloaded at the Graduate School website, must be signed by the student's A-E committee, by the departmental graduate director and by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate School academic requirements

All graduate students must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0. If their GPA drops below 3.0 they are either placed on probation or dismissed. Undergraduate courses will not count towards graduate GPA.

Probation: students whose cumulative graduate GPA is .1 to .6 points below that needed for a 3.0 GPA are put on probation. Students are placed on academic probation for one semester. If they fail to raise their cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of one semester, they are dismissed from their graduate program. Thesis, dissertation, S/U graded credits, and transfer credits have no impact on a student's GPA.

Dismissal: students whose cumulative graduate GPA is 0.7 or more grade points below that needed for a 3.0 GPA are dismissed. Dismissed students are no longer in a graduate program but may take graduate-level courses as graduate special students. Students wishing to complete their degree must obtain approval to take graduate-level courses, raise their graduate GPA to at least 3.0 and then re-apply to a graduate program. Any courses taken to raise their GPA will be included in the graduate special/transfer credit limitation (nine credits for master's degrees).

Transfer credits (units)

These are credits transferred from another institution. Credits completed at the University of Nevada, Reno in another program or as a graduate special do not need to be transferred. Transfer credit is requested on the graduate credit transfer evaluation request form available on the Graduate School website and must be signed by the student, the advisor/committee chair and the graduate director. Transfer credits applied to a master's program must comply with the time limitation on master's work (six years). Thus, if a student took a course five years prior to admission, they would have to complete the degree within one year for the course to apply to the degree.

Graduate student handbook

All students are required to read and be familiar with the graduate student handbook and are responsible for meeting deadlines and fulfilling degree requirements (see deadlines and timeline table).