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 Interdisciplinary and Interartistic approaches (Film, History, Literature, Music, Visual Arts and Cultures, and Women’s Studies). Students in the program have the opportunity to pursue a collaborative specialization


1. The Interdisciplinary Approaches to Hispanic Studies Colloquium 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. During the first year in the program, students are required to attend all sessions. During subsequent years, students are required to attend 75% of the sessions each year.

2. There are two mandatory courses which are to be completed in the fall term of the first year. The first course is SP 9605 Graduate Seminar in Research Methods and Professionalization.  In this course students lay the professional foundations of scholarship (the CV, abstracts, literature and book reviews, grant applications, project proposals, public presentations, and information systems).

3. The second mandatory course is SP 9613 Principles of Language Teaching and Acquisition (this course requirement will be waived for students who completed it within the MA in Hispanic Studies at Western).  This course provides students with a strong pedagogical foundation that is put into practice during their graduate teaching assistantship in the language courses that are offered at the undergraduate level. All of our students gain valuable hands-on teaching experience in our undergraduate program. The majority are responsible for instructing Spanish language courses. Many of our students are directly involved with community-engaged learning initiatives locally and abroad.

4. The aim of the Second Language Proficiency & Professionalization milestone is to provide students with a set of skills to properly conduct research in two languages: domestic students will improve their Spanish, and international students their English. This milestone may be waived for fully bilingual students, who can demonstrate that they have previous formal education in both languages, or for students who have graduated from the MA in Hispanic Studies at Western.

In line with University policy, international students must submit proof of their English Language Proficiency before they can graduate from the program. Details on the proof of English Language Proficiency accepted at Western can be found on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website here.

5. Course designs: 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.

6. The publication of a peer-reviewed article 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

PhD students are encouraged to pursue the activities and workshops organized by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies through the Own Your Future program.

Our program is viewed as a unique opportunity for immersion in the multi-faceted field of Hispanic Studies. We conceive our program as 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.