Admission to the graduate programs in Spanish is a competitive process based on a comparative evaluation of all applications received. To be considered for admission, applicants should meet the minimum requirements described below. Initial review of graduate applications begins in the last week of January and continues on an on-going basis thereafter as completed applications are received. To receive full consideration for financial aid, applications should be received by January 15th for the following academic year. Prospective students to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs may also apply to begin graduate studies in the spring semester, but financial aid is not always available at that time.  The M.F.A. program in Spanish Creative Writing only considers applications for fall semesters and has an application deadline of January 15th.

How to Apply?

To apply online, go to the UI Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

After you submit your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password in order to access your Admissions Profile on MyUI, our online portal for students. All supporting materials can and should be uploaded through your Admissions Profile. If your academic program requires letters of recommendation, you will be asked to provide the contact information of your recommenders on your Profile. The recommender will then receive an email from the Office of Admissions instructing them on how to upload a recommendation letter and/or recommendation form.

Applicants for admission to the graduate program must meet the Admission Requirements of the Graduate College and the department offering the degree program (review the General Catalog for departmental requirements). See the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website for additional information.

Important Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 15th (for all programs)

Requirements for Admission

Applicants for fall semester whose application materials are received in the Department by January 15th have the best chance to be admitted and receive financial aid.

  • Applicants to the Master of Arts program must have completed the equivalent of an undergraduate Spanish major with at least a 3.00 grade point average in courses for the major. In addition, for applicants to the M.A. in Spanish Linguistics, previous coursework in linguistics is strongly recommended.
  • Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program must have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, with at least a 3.50 grade point average.
  • Applicants to the PhD program must have completed the equivalent of an MA in Spanish or an MFA in Spanish Creative Writing with at least a 3.50 grade point average. In addition, for applicants to the PhD in Spanish Linguistics, previous coursework in linguistics is required.

All applicants must submit:

  • academic transcripts,
  • letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with their past academic work,
  • a statement of purpose, and
  • one or more samples of original writing (one of which should be in Spanish) that show their ability to pursue graduate work in Spanish (an honors thesis, term paper, seminar paper, or other course papers).
  • international students must also submit TOEFL, or IELTS or Duolingo, scores according to the English Proficiency Requirements of the Graduate College.


For more information about the graduate program in Spanish and Portuguese, contact the Director of Graduate Studies:

Christine Shea, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
412 Phillips Hall
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1409