Graduate Program

The Spanish graduate program is one of the top Spanish departments in the nation. Indeed, according to the annual Academic Analytics survey, we are currently ranked #1 in scholarly productivity in our field. The program offers comprehensive training in Iberian and Latin American - including Portuguese and Brazilian - Literatures and Cultures, as well as Hispanic Linguistics. Our faculty's intellectual and teaching philosophy is geared toward incorporating new theoretical and scholarly models, especially cross-disciplinary methods, without ceasing to pay attention to national literatures. The Ph.D. program requires coursework in the history of the Spanish language and in literary or linguistic scholarship, and competence in two foreign languages other than Spanish.

Faculty members bring a strong interdisciplinary focus to scholarship and teaching and participate actively in a variety of other programs at UC Davis, including: Graduate Groups in Linguistics and Cultural Studies; Programs in the Humanties and Film Studies; the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, the Chicana/Latina Research Center, and the Davis Humanities Institute, through which faculty and graduate students are involved in research clusters focused on Documentary Studies, Early Modern Studies, Language and Social Contexts, Latin American Cultural Studies, Medieval Studies, Queer Studies, and Studies in Performance and Practice.

Some of our faculty are also affiliated with the Designated Emphases (graduate minors) in: Classics and Classical Receptions, Critical Theory, Feminist Theory and ResearchHuman Rights,  Second Language Acquisition, Environmental Humanities and Studies in Performance and Practice.

We welcome students from every country, culture, and creed who seek rigorous study of Spanish and Portuguese cultural production. People speak Spanish and Portuguese in communities all over the globe, and the commitments and research of our program's students and faculty reflect these varied cultures. Because of this, we actively recruit talented, passionate students from around the world to our graduate program. A diverse graduate student body and a diversity of perspectives are key to our program's success and the success of our students as scholars, researchers, and instructors. So we affirm the university’s Principles of Community and commit ourselves to fostering an equitable, hospitable, and inclusive educational environment that is supportive of all students' success.


The Department of Spanish offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Spanish with an emphasis in:

  1. Hispanic Linguistics
  2. Iberian or Latin American Literatures and Cultures

M.A. and Ph.D. programs at UC Davis offer in-depth specialization in literary and cultural studies, as well as a track designed for those interested primarily in language study. The programs may be supplemented with offerings from other departments and programs, such as Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Critical Theory, Native American Studies, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and Chicana/o Studies. Mentoring Guidelines are available here.

Time to Degree and Placement Record

The expected time to degree is 2 years for M.A. students and 5 for Ph.D. students. The Department's placement record is excellent. Our recent graduates have accepted tenure track appointments at outstanding colleges and universities around the United States.

Graduate Program Contact Information

Maria Ruby
Graduate Coordinator
Phone: (530)752-2239
210 Sproul Hall
UC Davis
One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez
Chair of the Graduate Program 
Graduate Adviser

Library Facilities

The General Library and departmental libraries at Davis have extensive holdings, including a strong Spanish and Latin American collection. This collection is divided into five major categories: Literary History and Criticism, Spanish Literature, Individual Authors, Latin or Spanish American Literature, and Spanish Linguistics.

In addition, graduate students and faculty have easy access to the UC Berkeley collection through daily bus service between the libraries, and the UC system has an easy-to-use interlibrary loan program. Intercampus research grants facilitate faculty and graduate students' use of libraries at the nine campuses of the UC system.


UC Davis is situated 15 miles west of Sacramento, the state capital, and 72 miles northeast of San Francisco in the pleasant college town of Davis. It is the third largest campus of the University of California. Diversified cultural activities at UCD are enhanced by the proximity of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Sacramento. The City of Davis (Davis Community Network) is also ideally located near a variety of recreational and scenic areas including Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada ski resorts, Gold Rush country, Napa Valley wine country, and the San Francisco Bay Area.