What are the requirements for admission?Back to top
In general, an undergraduate degree in Spanish or its equivalent, at least three letters of recommendation from professors who can comment on potential for graduate-level work, a statement of intent, and an essay/term paper you have written.
If I don't have an undergraduate degree in Spanish, can I be admitted to the Spanish graduate program?Back to top
Typically, successful applicants need to have at least the advanced coursework required of a Spanish major, such as introduction to literary studies, surveys of Spanish Peninsular and Latin American literature, Spanish phonetics and/or history of the Spanish language, advanced grammar and composition, and other special-topics courses. Decisions to admit candidates not presenting an undergraduate major in Spanish are made on a case by case basis; contact the department for more information.
Do I need to take the GRE?Back to top
If you received high school and university education in the continental United States or another English-speaking country, yes; otherwise, the GRE is not necessary.
Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?Back to top
No; the GRE scores, however, are important and are taken into consideration together with the academic record, letters of recommendation, research or writing samples, and candidate's statement of intent.
If I am not a native speaker of English, do I have to take the TOEFL exam?Back to top
Yes, unless you already passed the exam at a previous university, and this fact is recorded on your official transcript. Penn State requires that all international students receive a minimum of 550 paper, 213 computer, or 80-23 for internet scores on the TOEFL test, regardless of their degree program. In addition, arriving international teaching assistants are required to take an English proficiency exam in spoken English.
Is financial assistance available for graduate students?Back to top
Normally, all students admitted to the graduate program recieve graduate teaching assistantships. These currently pay a base rate of approximately $19,035 per year, plus full tuition reimbursement. Stipends are raised each year to adjust for inflation. Some competitive non-teaching fellowships are available.
What is the teaching and course load for teaching assistants?Back to top
Graduate teaching assistants normally teach three elementary or intermediate Spanish courses per academic year, spread over two semesters. Teaching assistants are required to be enrolled in at least three graduate courses (9 credit hours).
Are research assistantships available?Back to top
The Center for Language Acquisition has a small number of research assistantships. The Spanish, Italian and Portuguese Department has occasional research assistantships available.
Are there opportunities for overseas study?Back to top
The department has exchange agreements with the universities of Salamanca and Valladolid in Spain, wherein a Penn State graduate student spends a year in residence at the Spanish university, teaches English classes, takes courses at the host university (credited towards the Penn State graduate degree). We also send a graduate student as assistant to the Penn State study abroad program in Salamanca in spring terms, and another assistant to Puebla, Mexico in summer terms.