University of Minnesota
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Spanish and Portuguese Studies' Home.

Graduate Programs

Hispanic and Lusophone Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota has a strong tradition of fostering socio-historical perspectives in the study of culture. We emphasize global Hispanic and Lusophone studies while being attentive to the legacy of colonialisms that continue to inform regional and national histories as well as the multidimensional relationships between language and culture.

Our faculty are committed to comparative and interdisciplinary studies and they engage a variety of contemporary theoretical approaches with strengths in postcolonial theory, feminisms, critical race theory, queer theory, human rights, and theories of globalization.

The Hispanic Linguistics program emphasizes the study of language in its contexts with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to language contact, phonology, pragmatics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and syntax.

Our program offers graduate students the chance to develop research projects by working closely with faculty and by participating in departmental workshops with both faculty and fellow graduate students. Our students typically go on to be leaders in the field in tenure track positions at research institutions and at distinguished liberal arts colleges around the country. Please visit our Ph.D. Graduates web page for a list of former PhDs in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Minnesota.

Applications and Deadlines

Please visit our Applying page for more information.


Degrees & Concentrations

We offer Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with concentration in three areas:

  • Hispanic literatures and cultures
  • Lusophone literatures and cultures
  • Hispanic linguistics

The close integration of these three areas of literature and culture—Spanish Peninsular, Latin American, and Lusophone literature and cultures—makes this department unique in the United States.

Graduate students may also take courses in related departments and programs, among them:

Departmental Publications

Our department sponsors several renowned publications such as Hispanic Issues and Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. Faculty organize major international conferences and symposia, some on a regular basis such as the State of Ibero-American Studies Theater.

Library Resources

The library collection at the University of Minnesota, one of the largest in the nation, provides strong research support. Of particular interest is the prestigious James Ford Bell Library's collection of rare books, maps, and manuscripts documenting the overseas expansion of early modern Europe. The Tretter GLBT collection is one of the nation's largest, and is international in scope, including substantial holdings in Spanish and Portuguese.

Institutional Partners

Our department has strong institutional ties with important research communities across campus such as:

Financial Support for Graduate Students at Minnesota

All graduate students accepted into the program are eligible for support in the form of a nine-month graduate instructorship which includes:

Incoming and continuing students may be nominated by the department for University-wide fellowships available at the University of Minnesota.

Department Affiliations

Our Department has institutional ties with important departments, programs and centers across campus, among them:

Contact Information

News & Information

  • Sullivan Ballou Award recognizes the outstanding work of Amy Cosimini in human rights

    amyc.jpgThe Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies are thrilled to announce Amy Cosimini as the recipient of the 2014 Sullivan Ballou Award for her outstanding work in promoting and protecting human rights. Amy is a PhD candidate in the department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota where she researches the relationship between human rights and memory production discourses in Southern Cone literature and popular culture.

    During the summer of 2014, Amy participated in a 5-week internship with the Fundación Maria de los Ángeles (Foundation Maria de los Ángeles) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Founded in 2007 by Susana Trimarco, the Foundation provides necessary assistance to victims of human trafficking. As an intern with the organization, she worked closely with the Foundation's press and communication team preparing press releases, working on community outreach, and designing promotional materials for many of the Foundation's formal events.
    Amy earned her B.A in Political Science and Latin American Studies at Macalester College and her M.A. in Hispanic Literature and Culture at the University of Minnesota. She has also published a paper on the use of national dances as political propaganda, and is currently working on a project that investigates how institutionalized transitional justice mechanisms in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay dialogue with various forms of cultural production to produce cultural memory narratives that (re) frame national memory policies.
    The Sullivan Ballou Award is supported by the Sullivan Ballou Fund and is named after Major Sullivan Ballou, an Army soldier killed at the First Battle of Bull Run in the U.S. Civil War. The award honors Major Ballou's memory by recognizing a student who devotes heartfelt energy to promote human rights.
    (Continue Reading)
  • New Archival Evidence: The Bloody Battle of Quipocamayos in San Pedro de Chorrillos (Lima, Peru) 1778

    MollyTun.jpgThe Institute for Global Studies/Latin American Studies Series presents:

    New Archival Evidence: The Bloody Battle of Quipocamayos in San Pedro de Chorrillos (Lima, Peru) 1778

    A lecture by Molly Tun, PhD Candidate

    Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014
    Room 710 Social Sciences
    12:15pm-1:00 pm

    With the support of a 2014 Thesis Research Travel Grant from the Graduate School, Molly Tun uncovered extensive documentation in the General Archive of the Nation (Peru) and the National Library of Peru describing the bloody battle that took place between quipocamayos (the quipo scribes) of San Pedro de Chorrillos (Lima, Peru) between 1778 and 1800. Molly will summarize her findings in this presentation.

    (Continue Reading)
  • The reality of immigration raids & deportations from the U.S.-Mexico border to Minnesota​

    LHBook.jpgJoin us for a panel and discussion about the reality of immigration raids and deportations, from the U.S.-Mexico border to Minnesota.

    Luz Hernandez will share testimonies from people directly affected by the massive immigration raid at a meat packing plant in nearby Postville, Iowa on May 12, 2008.

    We'll also hear from a historical perspective about mass deportations of Mexicans and Central Americans. And we'll hear from activists from MIRAC's No More Deportations campaign about what we can do now to try to stop raids and deportations that separate families and devastate communities.

    LUZ HERNANDEZ - co-author - Shattered Dreams: The Story of a historic ICE raid in the words of the detainees (info on book here:
    * Others to be announced!
    (Continue Reading)

View all news