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All students admitted to the graduate program in Hispanic & Lusophone Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics are guaranteed financial support (four years for students entering with an MA in Spanish or six years for students entering with a BA). This financial support is in the form of a graduate instructorship that includes full tuition, academic year stipends, and subsidized health insurance coverage. All funding is subject to the student's satisfactory academic progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance as an instructor.

Department Employment

The duties and responsibilities of a graduate instructor (GI) in the department consist of a combination of teaching, training, and departmental services. The basic teaching assignments are two undergraduate level courses per year. The training consists of a one-week orientation workshop conducted prior to the beginning of classes each fall semester by the director of language programs (DLP) and meetings throughout the year. Further training occurs during meetings with the DLP throughout the year.

GIs must also successfully complete SPPT 5999: The Teaching of College-Level Spanish: Theory and Practice. Service includes things such as administrating proficiency tests, working in the tutor lab, and performing other tasks in support of the department’s program of language instruction. All of these activities combined average 20 hours per week over the semester which is equivalent to a 50% appointment. Graduate Instructor benefits include a nine-month stipend, tuition waiver for full-time registration (6-14 credits), and eligibility for health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Plan.

Appointment Eligibility for Graduate Instructors

In order to remain eligible for a graduate instructor appointment, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance as an instructor. Please see the Graduate Handbook for more information on program progress. Students with any outstanding incompletes on their degree programs will not receive an instructorship.

If a graduate instructor is discharged, disciplined, or not reappointed, he/she is entitled to a written explanation of the cause, and to avenues of appeal. Graduate instructors should address the following individuals with issues relating to their appointment or grievances:

  • the director of language programs
  • the director of graduate studies
  • the graduate studies committee
  • the department chair

Appointment Dates

Academic year appointments generally run from mid-August until mid-May. Since students are being paid during this time, they are expected to be local and available during the dates of their appointments. Students may be required to attend events at the end of the year (such as the annual evaluations) even after their classes have ended, and should, therefore, be available.

Tutor Lab: 217 Folwell Hall

The departmental tutor lab provides an extremely important service to Spanish and Portuguese students. Students are able to seek help throughout the day, decreasing their reliance on their own instructor’s office hours. Graduate instructors are required, as part of their contract, to work one hour per week in the tutor lab and to hold one office hour per week.

Fulfilling your assigned tutor hours is mandatory and considered part of your teaching responsibilities. If you cannot be present for your tutorial period, arrange in advance for a substitute; if you arrive late, compensate your colleagues appropriately. For emergencies when a substitute cannot be found, please notify the main office immediately.

Employment Policy


The Graduate School
The Graduate School offers a variety of funding opportunities through the academic year including the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF).

College of Liberal Arts Research & Graduate Programs
The Office of Research and Graduate Programs offers the Graduate Research Partnership Program (GRPP) and Ethnic Studies GRPP.

Travel Grants

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Calls for application submissions for the Graduate Student Travel Fellowship will be sent early fall semester.

Community of Scholars Program (COSP)
COSP is for underrepresented students (US citizens and permanent residents)

Council of Graduate Students (COGS)
COGS now has two kinds of awards for graduate students: the COGS Travel and Educational Awards and the COGS Leadership Awards. Applications are due in late March.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Programs Office Student Travel Grants
Small grants are available to any University student in good academic standing to be used for transportation, conference registration, hotel and meal expenses. Priority is given to students attending national conferences, their first conference, and/or presenting at a conference.