Modern LanguagesWestern Arts and Humanities

PhD in Hispanic Studies


Program Description: The Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies offers opportunities for collaboration that connect research and teaching to local and global communities. Our specialties are Digital Humanities, Linguistics, and Interartistic and Interdisciplinary Approaches (Film, History, Literature, Music, Visual Arts and Cultures, and Women’s Studies). Ph.D. candidates choose between concentrations in Linguistics or Literature and Culture. Some students may opt for a Specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations.

Features: Students work collaboratively within our program and with other programs. The following are a few examples: The Graduate Seminar in Research Methods develops the professional foundations of scholarship (the CV, abstracts, literature and book reviews, grant applications, project proposals, public presentations, and information systems) and aims to form community. Structured around workshops, students form writing groups, participate in peer-review, learn to effectively give and receive feedback, and re-approach their written work as part of an ongoing dialogue and process.

The Transatlantic Studies Seminar directly connects students to experts in the field of Hispanic Studies through guest lectures and workshops. Students learn to critically read, question, and comment on the latest research. They enter into direct dialogue with cultural critics and make professional connections. Students also develop their own projects.

Students have the option to pursue further work to fulfill the requirements to earn a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies with a Specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations. Our partnership with MER allows students to study Hispanic language, literature, and culture alongside questions of cultural diversity, conflict, and acculturation. To learn more about the MER Program click here.

Students receive pedagogical training. All of our students gain valuable hands-on teaching experience in our undergraduate program. The majority is responsible for instructing their own Spanish languages courses, some work closely with professor-mentors as Teaching Assistants, and some have the opportunity to teach unique courses of their own design. Many of our students are directly involved with community-engaged learning initiatives locally and abroad.

Instead of comprehensive examinations, Ph.D. students work with a supervisor to design, develop, and defend two courses. These requirements replace traditional comprehensive examinations. The objectives are two-fold: 1) Students demonstrate their depth and breadth of knowledge; 2) Students improve their teaching capacities through the development of unique courses that can be useful in the job market. Many of our students have pursued further teaching qualifications through the Lead TA Program, the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, and the Certificate for International Graduate Students through the Teaching Support Center.

Publishing a peer-referred study is a program requirement. With the support of professor-mentors, students contribute to scholarly discussions in Hispanic Studies during their time at UWO. Academic publications are especially beneficial to students who decide to pursue academic careers post-graduation.

For specific Ph.D. program requirements, click here

Outcomes: Of those students who stay in academia, our program graduates have had higher than average success in securing tenure-track positions. Of those in contract positions, past examples show that some will find tenure-track positions, but most will eventually transition to non-academic employment.

Some graduates of our program do not pursue academic careers. Among them, many have found the way to successfully apply their skills in different areas. For example, a computer scientist who completes a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies to work in the area of digital humanities might return, with new perspectives, to the computer industry post graduation. Still, another student might combine their advanced knowledge of languages and cultures to government work or the field of business.

Our program, then, is best viewed as a unique opportunity for immersion in the multi-faceted field of Hispanic Studies. Instead of understanding the Ph.D. as a gateway to an academic career, we conceive of our program as a residency of advanced study and production; an intense and fruitful period of research, teaching, and training that brings together students and professors. Our Hispanic Studies Ph.D. students are global citizens who are valued for their research and teaching contributions, and who are collaborators in professional partnerships of national and international benefit.