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Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies

The department of Hispanic studies at the University of Houston is offering a new program, The Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies. In conjunction with the existing Online Graduate Certificate in Spanish as a Heritage Language, also offered by the department of Hispanic studies, this new M.A. is aimed at preparing a corps of well-trained teachers of Spanish and Hispanic culture for heritage language learners and allowing professionals from diverse fields (e.g., medical, business, the arts) to acquire the necessary tools to successfully work with the Hispanic community in the United States and in global environments. 

The courses of the Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies are delivered through the Blackboard Learn classroom management system. The format of all the courses is similar, and it has been designed in a way that the learning activities that each module contains are easy to follow. Faculty for the program is composed of professionals whose research and teaching areas are related to Hispanics in the United States, some of them renowned leaders in their field and with extensive experience in U.S. Spanish literature, language, culture, business, arts and pedagogy. Most of the faculty also have extensive experience teaching online courses. Students can contact their professors by email, phone or Skype. For technical assistance, students can contact the Blackboard Helpline as well as UH’s Office of Online & Special Programs.

The format of the Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies allows its students to complete their master's degree in four semesters. This is an ideal program for professionals who work in education or in a variety of disciplines who are not able to follow a rigid schedule but can work at their own time and pace.


The Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies will consist of a sequence of 10 courses and a six-hour thesis or community project that will offer training in U.S. Spanish and Heritage Language Education to professionals from diverse fields. The selected required courses will prepare M.A. students in the most important areas related to teaching to Hispanic heritage students: teaching methodology, linguistic, cultural and literary studies. The prescribed courses will prepare future graduates from this program in important areas that are part of the everyday life of the U.S. Hispanic community: Spanish in the U.S. professions, film, history, education, language diversity, etc. More courses will be created in the following years in order to offer more thematic diversity.

The Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies adheres to the same performance expectations as our face-to-face program.

Required Core Courses
SPAN 6344: U.S. Hispanic Literature
SPAN 6397: U.S. Hispanic Culture and Civilization
SPAN 6352: Sociolinguistic Aspects of U.S. Spanish
SPAN 6389: Methods for Teaching Spanish to Heritage Learners
Prescribed Elective Courses
SPAN 6395: U.S. Latinx in Film
SPAN 6353: Spanish-English Contrastive Analysis
SPAN 6310: U.S. Latino Literature and Children and YA
SPAN 6395: Spanish Language as a Resource in the U.S. Professions
SPAN 6390: Research in Heritage Language Education
SPAN 6395: U.S. Spanish Dialectology
SPAN 6399: Master’s Thesis/Community Project
SPAN 7399: Master’s Thesis/Community Project

View Master’s Thesis/Community Project 


Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D. The University of Texas, Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature; Director of Arte Público Press and Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage

Manuel Gutiérrez, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Professor of U.S. Spanish Sociolinguistics; Director of The STARTALK Texas Teacher Program at the University of Houston; Director of the UH-University of Salamanca M.A.

Marta Fairclough, Ph.D. University of Houston, Professor of Spanish Heritage Language Education; Director of the Spanish Heritage Language Program; Director of the Graduate Certificate in Spanish as a Heritage Language

Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Ph.D. University of Houston, Associate Professor of Hispanic Literature; Executive Editor, Arte Público Press

Guillermo de Los Reyes, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Associate Professor of Mexican Literature; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Liz Goodin-Mayeda, Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Spanish dialectology and phonology

Christina Sisk, Ph.D. Tulane University, Associate Professor of U.S. Hispanic Studies

Conditions of Admissionerika_2.jpg

In order to be admitted into the Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies program, prospective students must have at least one of the following:

  1. B.A. in Spanish
  2. B.A. in another language*
  3. B.A. in another discipline*

*After evaluating the undergraduate transcript of applicants whose B.A. is in an area other than Spanish, the Spanish Graduate Committee of the University of Houston may require them to take one or more of the following undergraduate courses before starting the program. (Equivalent courses taken in other institutions are accepted.)

     -Introduction to Hispanic Literature                                                                                    
     -Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
     -Two 4000-level courses according to the student's interest

Application Process

  1. Completed online application through CollegeNet (All required documents must be directly uploaded to your account during the application process.)
  2. A statement of purpose in Spanish (between 500 and 1000 words) explaining why you wish to be part of this program
  3. Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a professor detailing your potential as a graduate student)
  4. Official transcripts: Two sets of official transcripts reflecting an awarded degree must be sent in sealed envelopes to the following addresses:
            One set must be sent directly from the institution to the University of Houston Graduate School
(102 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204-2012).
            The second set of official transcripts must be sent to the Hispanic Studies graduate admissions advisor (3553 Cullen Boulevard, Room 416, Houston, TX 77204-3062)

            *Transcripts that are not in English must be sent along with an official translation made by a certified interpreter.

Application Deadline Dates

  • Spring semester: November 1st

  • Fall semester: May 15th

To learn more about this program, please contact:

Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Ph.D.
Graduate Director

Manuel Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Online M.A. in U.S. Hispanic Studies