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Online Masters Degree in Spanish: Program Overview

Learn about online master's degree programs in Spanish. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

Spanish master's degree programs are not commonly available online. The few distance learning programs offered focus on Spanish language education, Spanish literature, Spanish for the professional workplace or Spanish linguistics. Spanish education programs are the most common, and they may be designed for current Spanish teachers seeking professional development or for individuals fluent in Spanish who would like to move into a teaching career.

Applicants should be fluent in Spanish and prepared to take the majority of coursework entirely in Spanish. They need to hold a bachelor's degree in Spanish or otherwise prove their eligibility. While some programs may be completed 100% online, others require some in-person training and/or testing. Programs with a teaching concentration may require a practicum and student teaching.

Master's Degrees in Spanish

Online master's programs in Spanish are appropriate for students who wish to become English as a Second Language (ESL) or K-12 teachers. Students who are not interested in a teaching concentration can choose a Spanish program in literature or linguistics. Some online programs may not require a thesis for graduation; however, a written and oral exam may be required. Many courses demand a high level of proficiency in the language and are taught exclusively in Spanish.

Information and Requirements

Typically two years in length, online master's degrees in Spanish maintain stringent requirements for entry. Some programs require a bachelor's degree in Spanish, while others require extensive undergraduate credits in Spanish literature and grammar or a high score on language proficiency exams. Other submission materials may include a biography, curriculum vitae and statement of intent written in Spanish, recommendation letters from past professors and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Some programs also require writing and speaking samples in Spanish in order to confirm the student's existing level of proficiency.

Classes are delivered via a combination of streaming video lectures, emails and online discussion forums. Most programs offer online students a rolling admission, which enables them to enroll in fall or spring semesters. Some programs are also taught through a hybrid option, which combines limited face-to-face coursework with online instruction.

Course Topics

Coursework covers such topics as writing, speaking, history and culture. The curriculum can vary depending on whether the student chooses to study linguistics, literature or Spanish education.

Spanish Language History

This course covers the origins of the Spanish language. Students learn about the political, cultural and social influences that shaped the Spanish language, as well as the evolution of regional Spanish dialects.

Hispanic Cultural Studies

This class explores the current and historical cultural issues affecting Hispanic populations in Central and South America, the U.S. and Spain. Students analyze Hispanic culture through books, movies, comics, articles and songs.

Research and Theory in Spanish

This course teaches students the popular theoretical and critical approaches to Spanish literature and language. Students learn how to research, organize and analyze source materials.

Teaching Foreign Languages

Students study methods and theories for research and teaching in foreign language learning. This course emphasizes instructional methods in a variety of educational settings.


Career Information

Careers for master's-degree holders in Spanish are varied. Many programs are geared toward college-level instruction, and there were more than 30,000 foreign language teachers at the college level in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Others may seek work as interpreters or translators. Median salaries for these fields in 2015 were $61,380 for teachers and $44,190 for interpreters and translators.

Continuing Education Information

A growing number of Spanish language experts are earning graduate certificates in English as a Second Language (ESL). These programs focus on English language acquisition from the perspective of non-native speakers. Some graduate degree programs allow students to earn an ESL certificate as part of their master's curriculum, but many autonomous online programs are available.

Students who would like to earn a master's degree in Spanish online have the option of enrolling in a program that focuses on Spanish language education, Spanish literature or Spanish linguistics. Coursework that's studied in these programs vary, but could include Spanish language history, Hispanic cultural studies and teaching foreign languages.

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