Modern LanguagesWestern Arts and Humanities

PhD in Hispanic Studies

Program Requirements:

Course-load Requirements

The normal course requirement is six half-courses, but the exact number of courses required in each case will be determined by the Graduate Committee based on the student's previous graduate work. For students not entering the Ph.D. from Western's M.A. in Hispanic Studies, two of these courses will be the Seminar on Transatlantic Studies and the Seminar on Information Systems and Research Methods. Students will normally complete their course work in the first two terms.

a) Students will take a minimum of 3 half-courses in their designated field. In special cases, and with the approval of the Graduate Committee, M.A. courses will be counted towards the field requirement, but not towards the total number of courses required for the Ph.D. degree.

b) All students must choose their courses in consultation with the Graduate Chair, who will approve all course selections.

c) The program strongly recommends that students specializing in any of the fields of literature and culture take a course on literary theory.

d) Students who have already fulfilled the required "Seminar on Transatlantic Studies" are expected to regularly attend the talks given in the Seminar during their years of residency.

Dissertation Requirement and Evaluation Procedures:
a) Beginning in term 3, students, with the help of the Graduate Committee, will choose a Supervisor and a thesis topic. Working with his/her Supervisor and any other potential members of the Advisory Committee, the student will submit a dissertation proposal, including a bibliography and a calendar of activities and milestones, by the beginning of the sixth term of study. The Graduate Committee will examine this proposal and will make the appropriate recommendations.

b) Due to the involvement of the core faculty in team-based research projects (e.g., the Transatlantic Research Group, which involves sub-projects in each of the program's fields; the inter-departmental Applied Linguistics Research Group), it is expected that most students will develop dissertation projects within the context of a research team.

c) During the second term of the third year (term 8), students will submit a research report to the Graduate Committee in which they will outline their progress. Satisfactory progress is a required condition of continued registration in the program.

d) Every candidate for the Doctoral degree must complete a thesis. For the complete Ph.D. Thesis Examination Procedures, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Thesis Regulation Guide.
The additional "qualifying" requirements have been designed to relate closely to the skills in
teaching and research that candidates need to develop in order to prepare for academic careers. 

Peer-work Requirements

Each student is expected have accepted for publication at least one research paper in a recognized peer-reviewed publication before graduating. The Graduate Committee will advise the students about the most appropriate publication venue on an individual basis. (In cases where the timing of the peer-review process is unduly protracted and waiting for a decision might delay the student's completion of the program, the Graduate Committee may rely on the advice of an expert in the student's field, other than the Supervisor, to evaluate the "publishable quality" of a submitted article.) 

Language Requirements

Students are expected to pass a test of reading knowledge in a language other than Spanish and English before graduation. International students whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their proficiency in English in order to graduate successfully from the program. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 213 or better is required for graduation. 

Course-design Requirements

a) Students will fully develop two undergraduate courses, including use of a computer-based education server such as the University-supported SAKAI. One of these courses will be a survey course that is normally part of the undergraduate curricula in Linguistics or Hispanic Studies programs. The other course will be an honors-level course in the field of specialization chosen by the student.
b) The design and development of the courses will include: A complete syllabus with a detailed calendar; A list of readings; A comprehensive bibliography used to prepare the course; The sample materials prepared for ten 90 minute classes; the sample materials prepared for one student assignment (test, exam, text analysis, etc); and a teaching philosophy.
c) Students will finish these designs by the end of their second year. An ad-hoc committee formed by two core faculty members of the program will examine the materials and will issue a report that will be added to the student's file.
d) In the third or fourth year, where possible, the student will be given the opportunity to teach one of the two courses previously designed. A faculty member will visit the class and write a report about the student's performance in teaching. This report will be added to the student's file and reviewed by the committee named above (ad-hoc committee for the teaching requirement). (This requirement has been planned in consultation with the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and will be integrated into the curricular planning process. However, in exceptional cases where curricular needs do not allow for the doctoral student to teach one of the courses he/she has designed in the appropriate year, the teaching evaluation will be carried out in a comparable course that he/she is teaching in a TA capacity.)
e) A faculty supervisor will be named by the Graduate Committee to mentor the students in the design and teaching of the courses.

Application Guidelines

No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that all documents (i.e. transcripts, letters of reference, test results) are submitted by the programs deadline for application.

Completed applications will be evaluated by the program, which makes the admission decision. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sends out offers of admission and handles all administrative aspects of registration.

For admission to the Master's program, applicants must possess a four-year degree from an accredited university. The program requires at least a 78% overall average in the last two full-time years of the undergraduate degree. Equivalent qualifications may be considered based on the standards of the discipline or profession.

For admission to the Doctoral program, applicants must possess a Master's degree or equivalent from an accredited university and provide evidence of research potential. The program requires at least a 80% average in the Master's degree. Equivalent qualifications may be considered based on the standards of the discipline.

Although applications are processed centrally, applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty members to discuss their research interests and possible research projects where applicable. However, individual faculty members do not directly admit students.

If you are interested in visiting the department after submitting your application, please contact us to make arrangements. In some cases, part or all of your travel expenses may be paid for by the program.

A complete application package consists of the following:

Online Application

To apply for admission, a completed application must be submitted, providing Western with the following:


Western accepts digital academic records within your application however if you are offered admission you are required to provide one official academic transcript* from each post-secondary institution you have attended. These documents should be mailed directly to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

*Western considers a transcript official only if it is received in a university envelope that is sealed and signed on the flap by the official person in the office issuing the transcript. If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.)

All documents and transcripts submitted to The University of Western Ontario become the property of the University and will not be returned.

The deadline for first consideration applications is February 1, 2016.

All applications submitted after this date may be reviewed but cannot be guaranteed admission for the specified term regardless of your admissibility. Early applications are strongly recommended.