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M.A.-Ph.D. in Spanish with a Concentration in Creative Writing

Candidates who do not have an M.A. in Spanish will have to complete that degree in literature before continuing with Ph.D./ECE. These students may indicate, on their personal statement, that they want to be considered for the M.A./Ph.D. program, which means that even though they are seeking admission to the M.A. program, they would like to also obtain a Ph.D. at the University of Houston.  

For more information about the coursework, expectations and the progression of the Ph.D. program, please see the Ph.D. Students Handbook.

General requirements for unconditional admission to the M.A.-Ph.D. program in Spanish with a concentration in creative writing:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in Spanish or its equivalent
    • Students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than Spanish must take the following courses before entering the M.A. program. (Students must have the appropriate level of Spanish to take these courses, either by taking the prerequisites or placing into them via the placement-credit exam; equivalent courses taken in other institutions are accepted. Pease refer to the department of Hispanic studies course catalog for course details.) 
      • SPAN 3306: Introduction to the Study of Spanish Language
      • SPAN 3384: Introduction to Hispanic Literature
      • Two 4000-level courses according to the student's interest
  •  Academic writing sample (15 pages)
  • Creative writing sample (15 pages)
  • Personal poetic statement
  • A short essay on the relationship between writing and community
  • Completed online application through CollegeNet (All required documents are to be directly uploaded to your account during the application process. Please prepare them beforehand. Official individual mark sheets in certain countries, transcripts and degree certificates must be sent directly to the Graduate School and to the graduate admissions advisor in Hispanic studies at the address included below.)
  • Three letters of recommendation from your professors detailing your potential at the Ph.D. level (sent directly by recommenders via CollegeNet)
  • Official transcripts: A set of official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the University of Houston Graduate School (102 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204-2012).
    • Transcripts that are not in English must be sent along with an official translation made by a certified interpreter.
    • Please see the Graduate School guidelines for transcripts and diploma verification.

Additional Requirements for International Students in all Concentrations

  • Certified copy of diploma: In addition to official transcripts and their translation, international students must send a copy of their graduation diploma. If the document is not in English, an official translation made by a certified interpreter must be attached. The diploma must be sent to the University of Houston Graduate School (102 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204-2012).
  • English certification options:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Required by international students only, unless they have earned a college degree from an American university, with a score of 79 or above.
    • Duolingo English Test needed for English proficiency exams. The exam costs $49 (USD) and may be taken from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. The exam portion of the Duolingo English Test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises. Following the exam, there will be an interview portion that will ask you to respond to various prompts in 30 to 90 seconds. The exam will take about 45 minutes to complete, and you will need either a passport, driver's license, or national or state ID to show the camera. The score results are generally received within a few days of exam completion. A minimum score of 105 is required.

For additional information on the TOEFL, visit the Educational Testing Service website. (UH Code: 6870)


Once admitted to the program:

  • No course with a grade below B- (2.67) will count towards a Ph.D. degree.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) for all graduate courses attempted is required for a graduate degree; failure to maintain this average will result in a warning, probation or suspension.
  • Qualifying written and oral examinations are required to obtain admission to candidacy.
  • The student must develop a dissertation on a topic in literature which can be considered to be original and of significance to scholarship.
  • Language requirement: Reading knowledge of one language in addition to Spanish and English is required. It may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
    • Four college semesters at the undergraduate level (or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated by testing) in another romance language
    • Reading knowledge of Latin or any other approved language, as demonstrated either by satisfactory scores on the Educational Testing Service examinations for that language or the completion of two semesters of graduate reading courses in the language chosen with a grade of B- or higher

Application Fees

Fees are payable by check, money order or credit card with application.

  • National Graduate
    • Total cost, $50
    • Payable to University of Houston
  • International Graduate Student
    • Total cost, $80
    • Payable to University of Houston


  • The Spanish MA-PhD Program only has admissions for the Fall semester.
  • All documents and information must be uploaded through CollegeNet and/or sent to the University of Houston by January 15th.

For applications and advisement, please write, call or email:

Interim Graduate Director Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Ph.D. at

* Skype interviews will be conducted after application file is reviewed.