The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Spanish.

The objective of the program is to provide advanced training in the literatures and cultures of Spain and Latin America, as well as in Hispanic linguistics, benefiting from the theoretical and comparative research interests of the professors of the department.

For more information, visit the website of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The Department participates in a collaborative program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the MA level and in a collaborative program in Canadian Studies at the PhD level. 

The programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

Applicants must have an MA in Spanish or equivalent degree, with an average of at least 75 per cent (B+). Applicants are required to submit a short description of their proposed doctoral research project outlining their areas of interest as well as a sample of their graduate written work. Wherever possible, candidates for admission to the program should be interviewed by a professor or professors in the program.

All inquiries should be addressed to the director of graduate studies in Spanish.

Language Requirements

In addition to an excellent knowledge of Spanish, all students must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Proficiency in English with a good passive knowledge of French.
    OR
  • Proficiency in French with a good passive knowledge of English.

Moreover, students need a passive knowledge of any other languages necessary for completion of their thesis research.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD

Students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Spanish at the University of Ottawa who have obtained excellent results may, exceptionally, be admitted into the doctoral program without having completed a master's thesis. To take advantage of this option, they must:

  • Obtain an average of at least 80 per cent (A-) in the five courses of the master's with thesis option.
    AND
  • Obtain the approval of the graduate studies committee. Similar arrangements may be made for students enrolled in a master of arts in Spanish at another university.

The transfer must take place within sixteen months of initial enrollment in the master's. Following the transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program must be met.

Students must complete six 3-unit courses as follows:

  • One of these courses must be ESP 5901 (or equivalent course determined by the Graduate Studies Committee).
    Since ESP 5901 is also compulsory in the MA program, students who have completed their MA in Spanish at the University of Ottawa, or at another institution where they passed an equivalent course, will be required to replace ESP 5901 with another graduate course in order to complete the six courses while in the PhD program.
  • Students specializing in Peninsular Literature and Culture will complete at least 6 units in Spanish American Literatures and Cultures; and at least 3 units in Hispanic Linguistics.
  • Students specializing in Spanish American Literatures and Cultures will complete at least 6 units in Peninsular Literature and Culture; and at least 3 units in Hispanic Linguistics. 
  • Students specializing in Hispanic Linguistics will complete at least 6 units in Hispanic Linguistics, and at least 3 units in either Peninsular Literature and Culture or Latin American Literatures and Cultures.

Courses must be selected from each of the following lists:

Peninsular Literature and Culture:
ESP 5901Methodologies of Literary and Intercultural Research3 Units
ESP 5912Aspects of Spanish Literature I3 Units
ESP 5914Aspects of Spanish Literature II3 Units
ESP 5918Aspects of Spanish Literature III3 Units
ESP 5920Aspects of Spanish Literature IV3 Units
ESP 5922Aspects of Spanish-American Literature I3 Units
ESP 5924Aspects of Spanish-American Literature II3 Units
ESP 5957Aspects of the Theory of Literature I3 Units
ESP 7901Aspects of Spanish Literature V3 Units
ESP 7902Aspects of Hispanic Literature II3 Units
Spanish American Literatures and Cultures:
ESP 5901Methodologies of Literary and Intercultural Research3 Units
ESP 5930Aspects of Spanish American Literature III3 Units
ESP 5932Aspects of Spanish-American Literature IV3 Units
ESP 5934Aspects of Hispanic Literature I3 Units
ESP 5957Aspects of the Theory of Literature I3 Units
ESP 7903Aspects of Spanish-American Literature V3 Units
Hispanic Linguistics:
ESP 5947Aspects of Hispanic Linguistic I3 Units
ESP 5948Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics II3 Units
ESP 5949Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics III3 Units
ESP 5950Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics IV3 Units
ESP 7905Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics3 Units
ESP 7916Research Seminar in Hispanic Linguistics3 Units
LIN 5303Sociolinguistics I3 Units
LIN 5315Phonology I3 Units
LIN 5317Syntax I3 Units
LIN 5318Semantics I3 Units
LIN 7320Second Language Acquisition I3 Units

 Note(s)

  • Additional courses may be required, depending on the student’s background and preparation.
  • The total number of courses required of students permitted to transfer from MA to PhD without completing the master’s will be 9 (4 at the master’s level and 5 at the PhD level).

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination (ESP 9998) includes a written and an oral component, must be completed within 18 months of initial enrollment in the program. Its purpose is to test the candidates’ mastery of their field as well as their knowledge of their research topic.

PhD Thesis

Students must complete the PhD Thesis (ESP 9999). Upon admission, students will be assigned a professor in their area of interest who will act as their academic advisor and will normally become their thesis director. The thesis topic will be determined by the student in consultation with the thesis director and will be related to the latter’s area of expertise. Shortly after successfully completing the comprehensive examination, the student must submit a thesis project for the approval of the thesis committee.

Duration of Program

Students are expected to complete all requirements within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), the thesis proposal, or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Thesis Advisory Committee

During the first terms of the program, a thesis advisory committee (TAC) is formed for the candidate. The Committee’s membership will be determined by the specific interests of the candidate. It will be composed of the supervisor and 2-3 additional professors. At least one member of the thesis committee, in addition to the supervisor, must be form the Faculty of Arts. The TAC is responsible for guiding the student throughout the program, including course selection, the comprehensive examination, thesis proposal, and thesis defense.

A meeting between the student and the Thesis Advisory Committee will take place at least once per term. The thesis examining board may include members who are not part of the TAC.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is proud of the state of the art research conducted by its professors. In the spirit of showcasing its research to the university community as well as to the general public, the Faculty has created three activities: Dean's Lecture Series, Treasures of the Library, and Excellence Lectures.

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Arts

Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and Morisset Library.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb.

Courses offered in a given year are listed in the Student Handbook (available at the Department). All courses listed, with the exception of ESP 7997, ESP 7999, ESP 9998 and ESP 9999, are worth three units. They normally require 30 hours of class time and last one term.

ESP 5901 Méthodologies de la recherche littéraire et interculturelle / Methodologies of Literary and Intercultural Research (3 crédits / 3 units)

Survol des fondements théoriques nécessaires pour mener des recherches en littératures et cultures. Les cours ESP 5901, LCM 5901 ne peuvent être combinés pour l'obtention de crédits. / Overview of the theoretical basis for research in the fields of literatures and cultures. Courses ESP 5901, LCM 5901 cannot be combined for units.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

Exclusion: LCM 5901

ESP 5912 Aspects of Spanish Literature I / Aspects of Spanish Literature I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5914 Aspects of Spanish Literature II / Aspects of Spanish Literature II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5918 Aspects of Spanish Literature III / Aspects of Spanish Literature III (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5920 Aspects de la littérature espagnole IV / Aspects of Spanish Literature IV (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5922 Aspects de la littérature hispano-américaine I / Aspects of Spanish-American Literature I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5924 Aspects de la littérature hispano-américaine II / Aspects of Spanish-American Literature II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

ESP 5930 Aspects de la littérature hispano-américaine III / Aspects of Spanish American Literature III (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5932 Aspects de la littérature hispano-américaine IV / Aspects of Spanish-American Literature IV (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

ESP 5934 Aspects de la littérature hispanique I / Aspects of Hispanic Literature I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5947 Aspects de la linguistique hispanique I / Aspects of Hispanic Linguistic I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5948 Aspects de la linguistique hispanique II / Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5949 Aspects de la linguistique hispanique III / Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics III (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5950 Aspects de la linguistique hispanique IV / Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics IV (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5955 Documentation et terminologie pour la traduction espagnole / Documentation and Terminology for Spanish Translation (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5957 Aspects de la théorie de la littérature I / Aspects of the Theory of Literature I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5962 Special Seminar I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5963 Séminaire spécial II / Special Seminar II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5972 Directed Studies I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 5974 Directed Studies II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

ESP 6961 Specialized Translation from Spanish to English (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 6962 Specialized Translation from English to Spanish (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 6963 Traduction spécialisée de l'espagnol vers le français (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 6964 Traduction spécialisée du français vers l'espagnol (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 6972 Études dirigées / Directed studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7012 Traduction dirigée / Supervised Translation (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7901 Aspects of Spanish Literature V / Aspects of Spanish Literature V (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7902 Aspects de la littérature hispanique II / Aspects of Hispanic Literature II (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7903 Aspects de la littérature hispano-américaine V / Aspects of Spanish-American Literature V (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7905 Aspects de la linguistique hispanique / Aspects of Hispanic Linguistics (3 crédits / 3 units)

Concentration sur des aspects sélectionnés dans des domaines spécifiques. Travaux écrits. / Focus on selected aspects in specific areas. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7912 Directed Translation (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7916 Séminaire de recherche en linguistique hispanique / Research Seminar in Hispanic Linguistics (3 crédits / 3 units)

Séminaire de recherche sur certains sujets dans des domaines spécifiques avec accent sur la participation de l'étudiant. Travaux écrits. / Seminars on research topics in specific areas with emphasis on student participation. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7920 Séminaire spécial / Special Seminar (3 crédits / 3 units)

Ce cours offre un code de séminaire flexible pour certains domaines de compétences particuliers des professeurs, surtout les professeurs invités. / This course offers a flexible seminar code for some special areas of expertise of professors, particularly invited professors.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7997 Mémoire de maîtrise / M.A. Research Paper

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

ESP 7998 Comprehensive Exam

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 7999 M.A. Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

ESP 8910 Séminaire de recherche doctorale / Doctoral Research Seminar (3 crédits / 3 units)

Séminaire de recherche sur certains sujets dans des domaines spécifiques avec accent sur la participation de l'étudiant. Travaux écrits. / Seminars on research topics in specific areas with emphasis on student participation. Written assignments.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

ESP 9998 Examen de synthèse / Comprehensive Examination

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

ESP 9999 Thèse de doctorat / Ph.D. Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalable : ESP 9998 / Prerequisite: ESP 9998