Portuguese, MA

College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description:

15 hours in Portuguese at 400-level or above.

12 hours of Hispanic, Southwest, or Portuguese Literature - and/or –
Hispanic, Southwest, or Portuguese Linguistics.

6 hours of electives or thesis.

All Portuguese coursework counted toward M.A. credit requirements must be in courses approved by the Department at the PORT 400-level or above.  All Spanish coursework counted toward M.A. credit requirements must be in courses approved by the Department at the 500 level or above with the exception of SPAN 423 - Cervantes’ Quijote and SPAN 438 - Mexican Literature.

Admission Requirements:


M.A. in Spanish and Portuguese - University of New Mexico

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.

Prerequisites / Application Process

  • All applicants need to complete an application either on-line or on paper.  An official transcript, the application fee, along with the application should be sent to the Office of Admissions at The University of New Mexico. 
  • International students should contact the Office of International Admissions for a list of required material and deadlines. 
  • Copies of materials sent to the Office of Admissions and all material required by the department should be sent to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
  • The deadline for application for regular admission is: July 30 for Fall; November 30 for Spring; May 30 for Summer.
  • Financial assistance is awarded for Fall only with an application deadline of January 15 for first consideration. 
  • All application materials can be found on the web at http://admissions.unm.edu/

Acceptance into the M.A. program is based on an evaluation of the following items:

  1. A narrative statement of intent following the departmental guidelines.
  2. An official transcript of all academic work to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.
  3. Students seeking admission to the program who do not have a B.A. major in Spanish or Portuguese must
    present an equivalent, i.e. 24 hours of advanced courses such as Spanish Phonetics, Advanced Grammar,
    and surveys of Latin American and Peninsular literature, or the equivalent in Portuguese.
  4. Candidate must fill out a Departmental Application which is available on the department web site. 
  5. Spanish candidates must submit the versant language Proficiency exam at http://www.pearsonhighered.com/versant/
    Portuguese candidates seeking a Teaching Assistantship must submit a 5-10 minute 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.
  6. Native speakers of languages other than English who graduate from non-U.S. universities must
    successfully pass the TOEFL test (See International Admission’s website for passing scores).
  7. Applicants must provide three letters of reference, preferably from professors or others who are familiar
    with their academic qualifications.  Recommendations must be provided on University of New Mexico  
    recommendation forms included with the application packet or available at
    http://ogs.unm.edu/resources/ogs-forms/documents/Recommend.pdf with additional informational
    support on the departmental stationery of the person recommending the applicant.  Letters should be
    placed in a sealed envelope and signed across the seal by the recommender.  They may be sent directly
    to the Spanish and Portuguese department or included with other application materials.

The Statement of Intent by Applicants to M.A.

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.

M.A. Applicants

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.

Language Proficiency


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.

Contact Information:

Martha Hurd: Graduate Advisor
(505) 277-2974