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How to Apply

November 2 Update

We are still waiting on a decision from the college regarding our exception request. Please check back for updates.

Important Update

The College of Liberal Arts is asking all programs to pause admissions for the upcoming academic year, with limited exceptions. The Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies is requesting an exception and at this time, plans to admit an incoming, albeit smaller, class of PhD students for the 2021-2022 academic year. While we wait for the college to review our exception request, Slate, our application platform, is closed until October 31. If you have started an application, please know that it remains active in the system, but you will not be able to finalize and submit it. All updates will be shared here.
 

Although next year is uncertain, we are planning on hosting an online info session about our program on November 6 from 10:30-11:30 central time (GMT -6). You are welcome to attend and hopefully we will have more news to share. Register here.

online info session announcement

 

Apply from September 10 - December 15

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 graduate programs in the College of Education and Human Development.

Admissions

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.

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

Checklist

  1. University of Minnesota Application & Fee
  2. Transcripts
  3. TOEFL Test Scores
  4. Letters of Recommendation x3
  5. Research Statement
  6. Diversity Statement
  7. Resume/CV
  8. Writing Sample
  9. Extenuating Circumstances
  10. Five Minute Voice Sample
Transcripts

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.

TOEFL/MELAB/IELTS Test Scores

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 Office
    University 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

Letters of Recommendation

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.

Research Statement

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

Diversity Statement

Narrative statement on how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the University's goal of promoting excellence through diversity. If applicable, you should mention hardships or obstacles that you have overcome to complete your undergraduate education (e.g., coming from a low-income background or being the first-generation college student). 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.

Resume/CV

Please include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Writing Sample

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.

Extenuating Circumstances

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.

Five Minute Voice Sample (Digital Portfolio)

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