How to Apply

hllcl welcomes students to join us

Apply from September 5 - December 15, 2023

All application materials must be submitted electronically through the online application system (unless indicated otherwise) by the deadline, December 15. Please refer to the application checklist below for important details. Applicants are accepted for admission fall semester only.

For more information pertaining to the Graduate School and the University of Minnesota, visit the Graduate School's page for prospective students.

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Our program is designed for scholars who intend to pursue careers in university-level research. For prospective students interested in Spanish or Portuguese interpreting or language instruction, please consider the excellent graduate programs in the College of Education and Human Development.

To request a waiver to the application fee, please fill out this short form.

Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application under the "Academic History" tab. International transcripts must be translated into English by accredited/certified translation service. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts; there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material. Important information about uploading your transcripts and credentials.

The TOEFL is only required for non-native English speakers who have not attended or received a degree from a recognized institution of higher learning in the US. Test date must be within 2 years of the program start date. The University standards are:

TOEFL: Internet based test, 79 or above with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading

Official TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Minnesota. The ETS institution code for the Twin Cities campus is 6874.

MELAB: minimum score of 80

Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address:
Graduate School Admissions OfficeUniversity of Minnesota
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN  55455

IELTS: minimum score of 6.5

Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address:
Graduate School Admissions Office
University of Minnesota
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN  55455

Three references/letters are required written by professors with whom you have had close academic association and who can judge your promise as a graduate student and scholar. It is highly preferred that all recommendations are sent via the application recommendation submission system; however, if a reviewer is unable, they may send a paper copy to the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. Please note that you are responsible for reminding reviewers to send recommendations by the deadline.

A 1–3 page statement describing your background and interests, the area in which you intend to specialize, why you are interested in our program, previous research experience, faculty with whom you want to work, and your future plans (in and beyond graduate study). This may be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese

Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. 2-page maximum.

This statement will allow us to assess your candidacy for fellowships including the Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship and must be written in English.

Please include:

If you have had teaching or research experience, a list of courses you have taught and at what level and/or a description of research projects to which you have contributed.
A list of original works, if any, including published papers, theses or unpublished materials, or other pertinent materials.

This may be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

A research paper written for a course that best represents your interests and skills in relation to the field in which you are applying. This may be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, and can be of any length.

Explanation of circumstances that have negatively contributed to your transcript or test scores. This is optional but highly encouraged. This may be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

In the digital portfolio section of the online application, please add a voice sample. Identify yourself and the degree for which you are applying. You may talk about your studies, future plans, or share an interesting anecdote. Applicants are encouraged to use as wide a range of grammatical structures as possible and a diverse range of vocabulary.

Hispanic Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics applicants

  • Native Spanish speakers: please provide voice sample in English
  • Non-native Spanish speakers: provide voice sample in Spanish

Lusophone Literatures & Cultures applicants

  • Native Portuguese speakers: please provide voice sample in Spanish and English
  • Non-native Portuguese speakers: please provide voice sample in Portuguese and Spanish