The University of New Mexico offers the M.A. degree in Spanish with three areas of concentration: Hispanic Literature, Hispanic Linguistics, and Hispanic Southwest Studies. UNM offers an M.A. degree in Portuguese as well. Departmental financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships are available for the most highly qualified candidates. Teaching Assistants in the M.A. program are normally guaranteed four semesters of support, as long as they remain in good academic standing. A small number of summer teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis.
All applicants to the M.A. program in Spanish or Portuguese and Ph.D. programs in Spanish and Portuguese must submit a narrative statement of intent. This document is one of the most important components of the application and should be prepared thoughtfully. It may be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese.
For applicants to the M.A. program, the statement should include a description of their undergraduate studies in Spanish and/or Portuguese and related areas, any additional experiences which bear on their qualifications or interest in graduate studies, and a clear indication of the reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. Applicants should describe their specific interests within the programs offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and should indicate why they have chosen the University of New Mexico. In addition, applicants should outline their future career plans in as much detail as possible. Simply stating “I have always enjoyed Spanish,” “I want to learn more about Spanish/improve my abilities,” or “Portuguese is my native language” is not adequate. The M.A. is a professional degree, and applicants need to indicate why they are qualified to undertake this professional training and how they intend to use it in the future.
Candidates seeking a Teaching Assistantship in Spanish must take the Versant Language Proficiency Exam and submit the scores to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The test can be purchased at http://www.pearsonhighered.com/versant/for $25 by selecting the Spanish link at the bottom of the page. The test takes approximately 15 -17 minutes to complete, is taken over the phone, and provides the results within minutes of completing the test. All instructions for taking the test are included with the purchase of the test.
Candidates seeking a Teaching Assistantship in Portuguese must submit a Compact Disc, playable on a standard CD player. The CD will be in Portuguese. Native speakers of languages other than English must also provide a recorded statement in English of equal length. The CD should be 5 – 10 minutes long, and should consist of free, spontaneous narration. Appropriate topics include a brief biographical sketch, accounts of travel or other experiences that bear on graduate study in Spanish and Portuguese, reasons for deciding to pursue a graduate career, specific research interests, and awareness of the programs and resources offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico. Applicants should try to use as wide a range of grammatical structures as possible, including past, present, future and hypothetical reference, and an appropriately professional vocabulary. No portion of the recording should be read or memorized, nor should the CD be edited in any way. If the submitted recording does not adequately demonstrate the candidate’s linguistic abilities, additional demonstration may be required, such as a supplemental CD, or a telephone or personal interview.