Modern Languages & Literatures | CSULA

CSULA Graduate Student Handbook (download this pdf file) has information about applying to graduate programs, financing a graduate education, and important policies and services for graduate students.

The University catalog describes the general graduate requirements as well as the details of the Spanish M.A. program.  This document is intended to supplement the catalog and does not supersede it in any way.  For all official rules and requirements, please consult the current catalog.


I. Admission Requirements

Generally, applicants must have a baccalaureate in Spanish. A 2.75 GPA in the last 90 quarter units and a 3.0 GPA in Upper Division Spanish courses are required.  Students who do not meet the grade point requirements may be admitted by special action (see University Catalog and consult the Department Graduate Advisor). Applicants whose undergraduate major was not in Spanish, as appropriate, must consult the Department Graduate Advisor in order to determine prerequisites or their equivalents.  

II. Application for Admission

All applicants must apply to the University online at /  THIS REQUIREMENT MUST BE MET WHETHER THE CANDIDATE IS A GRADUATE OF CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES OR OF ANOTHER INSTITUTION. In addition to the University application, a departmental application is required, and an oral proficiency interview may be required.  This application may be obtained in the department office (KH-D1054), or requested by telephone (323) 343-4230.

III. Program Description

The M.A. degree in Spanish requires successful completion of a minimum of 48 quarter units of course work plus a comprehensive examination. Spanish candidates must complete a minimum of 28 units of 500 level course work. Individual programs are prepared in consultation with the Department Graduate Advisor.  Students who have been admitted to the University and have submitted the departmental application should make an appointment with the Department Graduate Advisor as soon as possible.

The M.A. program in Spanish at CSLA is intended to provide a basic, yet comprehensive preparation that will meet the needs of students for whom the M.A. will be a terminal degree, and for those wishing to pursue a doctorate. Candidates are required to select an area of emphasis, either Literature or Linguistics, but students are expected to evidence competence in both areas.  Questions on the M.A. examination in Spanish will be based on the Reading List that is in place at the time the exam is taken.  All the works on the Reading List are governed by the guidelines found below.  In cases where the term "selections" appears on the Reading List without qualification, it is expected that students will have read sufficient material by the author to enable them to discuss him/her in accordance with the guidelines. 

1. Questions on literary topics are designed to allow students to demonstrate the following with respect to the selections read:

a. A familiarity with the work in question: themes and their development; style; relevant narrative, theatrical or poetic techniques, etc. 

b. An awareness of ways in which the work is representative of its author. 

c. An ability to relate the work and author to the period or literary movement with which they are commonly associated.

2. Questions on linguistics are designed to allow students to demonstrate the following:

a. An awareness of the internal and external influences that contribute to the formation of the Spanish language through the centuries, with special attention to the major phonetic, morphological and lexical changes that Latin underwent to become Spanish.

b. An awareness of (1) the ways in which Spanish varies geographically and sociologically (i.e.,  its main “diatopic” and “diastratic” varieties) and (2) main concepts studied in sociolinguistic variation, including (but not limited to) those of a sociolinguistic variable, social factors conditioning variation and phenomena identified by the study of languages in contact.

The examination in Spanish will be administered over three days, on Fridays* of the 5th, 6th and 7th weeks of the Fall and Spring quarters. CANDIDATES MUST APPLY TO TAKE THE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION AND ENROLL IN SPAN 596 NO LATER THAN THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF THE QUARTER IN WHICH THEY INTEND TO SIT FOR THE EXAMINATION.

Eligibility to take the Comprehensive Examination:

In order to be eligible to take the Comprehensive Examination for the first time, a student may not have more than one outstanding class or “Incomplete” on his/her M.A. program. Moreover, (a) all courses that expired BEFORE the quarter in which the exam is taken must be validated BEFORE the comprehensive exam is attempted;
 (b) courses that are expiring DURING the quarter in which the exam is taken do not need to be validated if the student passes the exam; (c) if a student fails the exam on that attempt and further courses expire, rules a and b will be reapplied for subsequent attempts.
 2. In order to be eligible to take the Comprehensive Examination for a second or third time, a student must have no outstanding courses or “incompletes” on his/her M.A. program.

IV. Structure of the Spanish Comprehensive Examination

The M.A. Comprehensive Examination in Spanish is a written exam structured to reflect the two emphases within the Master’s program:  literature and linguistics.  Students will be tested according to the emphasis they have chosen and followed at CSLA.  The various sections of the examination will be administered on each day according to the following schedule.  There will be a break on each day as appropriate.

Literature Emphasis:

Four literature examinations, each 135 minutes in length.  Three questions (out of five) on each examination to be answered.

Two linguistics examinations, each 90 minutes in length and divided into historical linguistics and sociolinguistics.  Two questions (out of five) on each examination to be answered.

Linguistics Emphasis:

Four literature examinations, each 90 minutes in length.  Two questions (out of five) on each examination to be answered.

Two linguistics examinations, each 135 minutes in length and divided into historical linguistics and sociolinguistics. A total of three (out of five) questions on each examination to be answered.

Please note: Questions for both emphases are the same. The difference is only in the number of questions answered, and the duration of each exam.


1.     Peninsular Literature: Beginning to 1700

2.     Peninsular Literature: 1700 to the present


1.     Latin American Literature: Beginning to 1910

2.     Latin American Literature: 1910 to the present


1.     History of the Spanish Language

2.     Sociolinguistics

*Subject to change. Check with Department.

Each exam receives a grade of Pass or Fail. Exams are graded independently by two readers, and must receive the equivalent of a “B” to pass. If the grades assigned by the two readers (who do not consult with each other in the process) do not coincide, either the two readers negotiate the final grade or a third reader is asked to break the tie.

Candidates will be notified of the results by the end of the quarter in which they took the exam. Failing candidates have the right to request a meeting with the Department Chair and/or the Spanish Exam Coordinator in order to be  informed of the reasons for failing.

A candidate in Spanish must pass all six parts in a maximum of three attempts in order to pass the comprehensive examination. Candidates are reminded that courses in M.A. programs expire after seven years.

NOTE: Grammatical correctness, spelling, coherence, and level of expression will be taken into account in the grading of the M.A. examination.

V. Other Requirements

All students must pass the Writing Proficiency Examination in English (UNIV 400) within two quarters semesters of admission.  See the Schedule of Classes for further information and examination dates.

The approved M.A. program must be completed within seven years, with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.  Failure to sustain a 3.0 average will result in probation and eventual disqualification from the Master's program.  The GPA must be raised to 3.0 after completion of two quarters in residence or 16 units, whichever is later.  Failure to meet this requirement will result in disqualification.

All applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English.  Those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  For further information regarding this requirement, consult the University catalog.


Spanish MA Reading List

Effective as of Fall 2014

Peninsular Literature: Beginning to 1700


R: Río, Ángel del. Antología de la literatura española, I y II. NY: Destino, 1989.

S: Elías Rivers. Poesía Lírica del Siglo de Oro. Madrid: Cátedra, 2004.


Anónimo - Cantar de Mío Cid

Berceo, Gonzalo de - Los milagros de Nuestra Señora

Ruiz, Juan (el Arcipreste de Hita) - El libro de buen amor

Manrique, Jorge - Coplas a la muerte de su padre

Anónimo - Romancero (R)

Vega, Garcilaso de la - (R) y (S)           

León, Fray Luis de - (R) y (S)

Góngora, Luis de - (R) y (S)

Quevedo, Francisco de - (R) y (S)

Cruz, San Juan de la - Noche oscura 


Don Juan Manuel  - El conde Lucanor

Anónimo - Lazarillo de Tormes

Cervantes, Miguel de - Don Quijote

De Jesús, Santa Teresa  - Meditaciones sobre los Cantares

Quevedo, Francisco de -  El Buscón

Zayas, María de - Desengaños amorosos: (“La esclava de su amante” y “Estragos que causa el vicio”)


Rojas, Fernando de - La Celestina

Ruiz de Alarcón, Juan  - La verdad sospechosa

Lope de Vega, Félix - Fuenteovejuna, El caballero de Olmedo

Molina, Tirso de - El burlador de Sevilla

Calderón de la Barca, Pedro - La vida es sueño

Cervantes, Miguel de - Entremeses: “El retablo de las maravillas”; “La cueva de Salamanca”; El viejo celoso

Peninsular Literature: 1700 to Present


Azorín - La ruta de don Quijote

Feijoo, Benito Jerónimo - "Razón del gusto", "Tradiciones populares"

Larra, Mariano José de - "El castellano viejo", "El día de difuntos de 1836", "La nochebuena de 1836"


Alas, Leopoldo (Clarín) - "¡Adiós, Cordera!", "Cuesta abajo"

Atxaga, Bernardo - "Método para plagiar" y "Para escribir un cuento en cinco minutos"

Baroja, Pío - Las inquietudes de Shanti Andía

Bécquer, Gustavo Adolfo - "El monte de las ánimas" y "El rayo de luna"

Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente - El intruso

Cadalso, José - Noches lúgubres

Cela, Camilo José - La familia de Pascual Duarte

Cercas, Javier - Soldados de Salamina

Delibes, Miguel - El hereje

Laforet, Carmen - Nada

Landero, Luis - Juegos de la edad tardía

Marías, Javier - "La canción de Lord Rendall"

Martín Gaite, Carmen - El cuarto de atrás

Matute, Ana María - "El árbol de oro" y "Pecado de omisión"

Mendoza, Eduardo - La verdad sobre el caso Savolta

Pardo Bazán, Emilia - La Tribuna

Pérez Galdós, Benito - Doña Perfecta

Rivas, Manuel - El lápiz del carpintero

Rodoreda, Mercè - La plaza del Diamante

Unamuno, Miguel de - Niebla

Valera, Juan - Pepita Jiménez


Aguirre, Francisca - "Paisajes de papel", "Los trescientos escalones"

Alberti, Rafael - "A galopar", "A Niebla, mi perro", "Balada del que nunca estuvo en Granada", "Desahucio", "Hace falta estar ciego", "Nocturno", "La paloma", "Si mi voz muriera en tierra", "Tiempos de condena"

Aleixandre, Vicente - "En la plaza", "Unidad en ella"

Alonso, Dámaso - "A un río le llaman Carlos", "¿Existes? ¿No existes?", "Hombre y Dios", "Insomnio", "Monstruos"

Andreu, Blanca - "Desde Irak"

Arenal, Concepción - "El sobrio y el glotón"

Bécquer, Gustavo Adolfo - "Rima I", "Rima II", "Rima III", "Rima IV", "Rima V", "Rima VII", "Rima XI", "Rima XXI", "Rima XXVI", "Rima XLI", "Rima LIII", "Rima LVI"

Brines, Francisco - "Alocución pagana", "La piedad del tiempo"

Cadalso, José - "Al pintor que me ha de retratar"

Campoamor, Ramón de -  Humoradas

Castro, Juana - "Alicia desposada", "Toda la piel del mundo"

Castro, Rosalía de - "A través del follaje perenne", "Alma que vas huyendo de ti mismo", "Busca y anhela el sosiego", "Del rumor cadencioso de la onda", "Hora tras hora", "Negra sombra", "No subas tan alto", "Otra vez, tras la lucha que rinde", "Soledad", "Una sombra tristísima, indefinible y vaga", "Los tristes"

Celaya, Gabriel - "España en marcha", "Momentos felices", "La poesía es un arma cargada de futuro"

Cernuda, Luis - "A un poeta muerto", "Cómo llenarte, soledad", "Nevada", "No decía palabras", "Peregrino", "Quisiera estar solo en el sur", "Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama", "Te quiero"

Champourcín, Ernestina de - "No fue para mí", "Si derribas el muro"

Conde, Carmen - "Canto funeral por mi época"

Cuenca, Luis Alberto de - "Mal de ausencia"

Diego, Gerardo - "Romance del Duero"


Buero Vallejo, Antonio - Historia de una escalera

Ferández de Moratín, Leandro - El sí de las niñas

García Gutiérrez, Antonio - El trovador

García Lorca, Federico - La casa de Bernarda Alba

Saavedra, Ángel (Duque de Rivas) - Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino

Sastre, Alfonso - Escuadra hacia la muerte

Sender, Ramón J. - "La llave"

Valle-Inclán, Ramón del - Romance de lobos

Zorrilla, José - Don Juan Tenorio


Latin American Literature


A.I.:        Anderson Imbert, Enrique.  Literatura Hispanoamericana I y II.  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970. 

C.R.:        Chang Rodríguez, Raquel y Malva E. Filer. Voces de Hispanoamérica: Antología Literaria.  New York:    
                Heinle and Heinle, 1996. 

J.O.J:       Jiménez, José Olivio   
D.S.        Departmental Selection

Beginning to 1910


Colón, Cristóbal - “Carta anunciando el Descubrimiento”

Casas, Fray Bartolomé de las  - Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias. Apologética historia. “Memorial al Papa” (D.S.)

Cortés, Hernán - "Segunda carta de relación" 

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal - Verdadera historia de la conquista de la Nueva España (D.S.)

Garcilaso de la Vega, Inca - Comentarios reales de los incas  (D.S.)

Núñez Cabeza de Vaca - Naufragios  (D.S.)

Cruz, Sor Juana Inés de la  - "Respuesta a Sor Filotea"

Fernández de Lizardi, José Joaquín  - El periquillo Sarniento (D.S.)

Echeverría, Esteban - "El matadero" (AI and CR)

Isaacs, Jorge - María

Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino  - Facundo. Civilización o barbarie (D.S.)

Palma, Ricardo  - "El alacrán de Fray Gómez” y “Amor de madre” 

Lillo, Baldomero  - “La compuerta número 12” “El chiflón del diablo”

Viana, Javier de  - “La tísica” 

Rodó, José Enrique -  Ariel  (A.I.)


Cruz, Sor Juana Inés de la  - (Selections from C.R. and A.I.)

Darío, Rubén  - (C.R.)

Ercilla y Zúñiga, Alonso de - La Araucana (C.R.) + (D.S.)

Gómez de Avellaneda, Gertrudis - “Al partir” “A él” “La noche del insomnio y el alba” (A.I.)

Heredia, José María de - “A una tormenta” “Al Niágara” (A.I.)

Hernández, José -  Martín Fierro

Martí, José -  “Dos patrias” “Copa con alas” “Versos sencillos” “Si ves un monte de espumas”

Silva, José Asunción - “Nocturno” “Paisaje tropical” (A.I. or C.R.)

Latin American Literature: 1910 to the Present


Bombal, María Luisa - “El árbol”

Borges, Jorge Luis - “El jardín de los senderos que se bifurcan” “El sur” “Hombre de la esquina rosada” “Las ruinas circulares” “El Aleph”

Carpentier, Alejo - “Viaje a la semilla”

Cortázar, Julio - “Las babas del diablo”, “La noche boca arriba”, “Axolotl”, “Continuidad de los parques”, “La isla al mediodía”

Darío, Rubén - “El rey burgués”

García Márquez, Gabriel  - “La prodigiosa tarde de Baltasar” “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas   enormes”

Quiroga, Horacio - “La gallina degollada” “El almohadón de plumas”

Rulfo, Juan - “El hombre” “No oyes ladrar los perros” “Luvina” “Nos han dado la tierra”


Asturias, Miguel Ángel  -  El Señor Presidente

Azuela, Mariano -  Los de abajo

Bolaño, Roberto - Amuleto

Carpentier, Alejo - El reino de este mundo

Castellanos, Rosario - Oficio de tinieblas

Donoso, José - El jardín de al lado

Fuentes, Carlos - La muerte de Artemio Cruz

García Márquez, Gabriel -  Cien años de soledad

Peri Rossi, Cristina - La nave de los locos

Gallegos, Rómulo - Doña Bárbara

Rulfo, Juan -  Pedro Páramo

Onetti, Juan Carlos - El pozo

Vargas Llosa, Mario - Pantaleón y las visitadoras 


Agustini, Delmira - “El intruso” “La sed” “Rebelión”

Borges, Jorge Luis - “La noche cíclica” “Fundación mítica de Buenos Aires” “Arte poética” “Las calles” “Llaneza” “Inscripción en cualquier sepulcro”

Castellanos, Rosario - (Selections C.R.)

Dalton, Roque - “Por qué escribimos” “El Salvador será” “Formularios hoja 2” “El credo del Che” “De nuevo acerca de las contradicciones en el seno de                                     la poesía”

Guillén, Nicolás - (Selections A.I.)

Huidobro, Vicente - (Selections A.I.)

Neruda, Pablo - (Selections C.R.)

Pacheco, José Emilio - “Tierra de nadie” El silencio del alma (Biblioteca de CSULA)

Parra, Nicanor - “El anti-Lázaro” “Solo” “Soliloquio del individuo” (Selections J.O.J.)

Paz, Octavio - “Piedra de sol” (fragmento) (J.O.J.), “Himno entre ruinas” (J.O.J.), “La poesía”  (A.I.)

Storni, Alfonsina - (Selections C.R.)

Vallejo, César  - (Selections C.R.)


Tradición oral maya - Rabinal - Achí

Carballido, Emilio - Yo también hablo de la rosa

Buenaventura, Enrique -  En la diestra de Dios Padre

Castellanos, Rosario - El eterno femenino

Gambaro, Griselda - Los siameses

Rodríguez, Jesusa - Sor Juana en Almoloya

Wolff, Egon -  Los invasores


Barnet, Miguel - “Introducción a la Biografía de un cimarrón”

Menchú, Rigoberta - Me llamo Rigoberta  Menchú y así me nació la conciencia (D. S.)      

Poniatowska, Elena - La noche de Tlatelolco (D.S.)



Azevedo,  Milton M. Introducción a la lingüística española.Third edition.  Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2009.

Blas Arroyo, José Luis. Sociolingüística del español: desarrollos y perspectivas en el estudio de la lengua española en contexto social Madrid: Cátedra, 2005. 

Díaz-Campos, Manuel. Introducción a la sociolingüística hispánica. Malden, MA: Wiley/Blackwell, 2014.

Hualde, José Ignacio, Antxon Olarrea , Ana María Escobar  y Catherine E. Travis. Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. Segunda edición.Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.

Lipski, John, El español en América. Madrid: Cátedra, 1996 or a more recent edition (trad. de Lipski, John. Latin American Spanish. New York: Longman, 1994).

Historical Linguistics

Nuñez Méndez, Eva.  2012. Fundamentos teóricos y prácticos de historia de la lengua española, New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

Penny, Ralph .Gramática histórica del español.Segunda edición.Barcelona: Ariel, 2006. (trad. de  Penny, Ralph. A History of the Spanish Language. Cambridge: Cambridge  UP, 1991.

Pharies, David A. Breve historia de la lengua española.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Resnyck, Melvin, and Robert Hammond. Introducción a la historia de la lengua española. Washington DC: Georgetown UP, 2011.