All students admitted to the graduate program in Hispanic & Lusophone Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics are guaranteed financial support (four academic years for students entering with an MA in Spanish or six academic 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.

Grad Award News

  • Jacob Dixon received the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States Duque de Bragança Scholarship, which is awarded once a year to one student with demonstrated interest in Portuguese history. 
  • Sabrina Fluegel received a highly competitive 2023 Nexus Community Partners Open Road Fund grant. The Fund is, as stated on its website, " a community resource granting $50 million to Black folks in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in order to create tangible pathways to liberation, prosperity, and healing on our own terms." 
  • Kaylee Rasmussen received a Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Career Development Grant to attend the 2024 Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention in Philadelphia
  • Perla Escobar-Faerber received a Council of Graduate Students (COGS) conference travel grant to present her paper, "Spanish Heritage Language Speakers Studying Abroad: Language Use and Social Networks" at the Georgetown University Round Table on Saturday, March 2.
  • Marie Mangold received an ACTFL Research Priorities Grant to help fund her project "The impact of pronunciation on global constructs: The case of L2 Spanish." 
  • James Ramsburg received UMN Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Graduate Employment

Employment opportunities include Graduate Assistantships, the Writing Center, Hispanic Issues, various Research Assistantships, and more outside the department.

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 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.

The Spanish Writing Center is dedicated to helping Spanish students become better communicators by engaging students in the process of crafting a written essay. The center's objective is to empower students with strategies for writing in Spanish through a process of organizing, drafting, and revising their analytical ideas. We aspire to unite students who desire to be proficient and creative writers in a community with instructors and faculty. Every semester, one graduate student is assigned to staff the writing center. For more information, visit the Spanish Writing Center page.

Hispanic Issues

A refereed scholarly series devoted to the study of Hispanic and Lusophone cultures--including literary criticism and historiography, Hispanic cultural studies, human rights, Hispanic linguistics, and other areas of inquiry. Each publication stresses collaborative research, drawing on a network of scholars from the United States and abroad. One graduate student in the spring semester is awarded an Editorial Research Assistantship to work on the publication. More info can be found on the Hispanic Issues site.

La Corónica

A refereed journal published every spring and fall by the Modern Language Association Forum, LLC Medieval Iberian. It publishes groundbreaking articles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, and Catalan on topics in medieval Iberian cultural studies, literature, and historical linguistics. Edited by Michelle Hamilton, there is often a semester RA-ship available to a graduate student.

Research Assistantships are frequently available with individual faculty working on specific projects.

As students progress in the department, they may have opportunities for Graduate Instructorships and Research Assistantships in other departments such as CARLAGlobal Studies, the Center fo Premodern Studies, and Human Rights. Students work with their advisor to determine the appropriate opening.



Fellowships & Awards

The Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies offers fellowships and competitive research semesters to our graduate students. Additionally, we offer travel awards and career development to further scholarship and professionalization.


Our internal fellowship and award opportunities include:

First Year Summer Fellowship

Guaranteed for all incoming students after completing their first year

Competitive Summer Fellowships

Summer research/writing funding

Research Semesters

Full semester stipend, plus tuition and health coverage

Research & Conference Travel Awards

Career Development Awards