About the Master’s and Ph.D.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese awards the degree of Ph.D. with specializations in Spanish and Latin American Literatures, Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures, and Iberian Linguistics, plus optional emphases on Translation Studies, Feminist Studies, Medieval Studies and Applied Linguistics. The Department offers two types of programs: the MA/Ph.D. program, intended for students who do not have a MA degree, and the Ph.D. program, intended for students who already have a MA degree. Note that the Department does not offer an MA-only program: the MA is not considered a terminal degree; it is only awarded as part of the MA/Ph.D. program. From the moment you apply to our program, your degree objective must be the Ph.D.

An important part of the Center's mission is to support Graduate Students and students in the Literatures and Cultures of the Portuguese speaking world. As such, the Center promotes not only acitivities, but unique opportunities for Graduate Students. The students in the Portuguese area receive important training in skills that will prepare them for their future careers not only in Academia, but also academic related fields. They fully participate, as junior associate editors in the preparation of the volumes of the digital journal of the Portuguese area, the Santa Barbara Portuguese Studies. As junior editors, they are involved in all stages of digital publication. They learn how to prepare manuscripts for publication and how to work in a peer reviewed journal. As the Center for Portuguese Studies also helps in the convening and promotion for colloquia, invited talks and congresses, our students also acquire experience in those important areas of Academic life.


Graduate Program Coordinator: Jeremy Moore

Location: Phelps Hall 4212

Advising Hours: Monday - Friday: from 9 am to 11:30 am | from 1:30 pm to 4 pm

Contact Info: jmoore@ucsb.edu


Graduate Advisor & Diversity Officer to the Graduate Division: Professor Antonio Cortijo 

Location: Phelps Hall 4219

Advising Hours: By Appointment 

Contact Infocortijo@spanport.ucsb.edu


Frequently Asked Questions

Which materials do I need to submit for the M.A./Ph.D. in Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures? All materials must be received by December 15. Tests should be taken early enough for results to be received prior to this deadline.

Submitted online:

  • Online application
  • Statement of Purpose (in English)
  • Statement on Personal Achievements / Contributions (in English)
  • CV or résumé
  • Two writing samples, in Spanish or Portuguese: Normally these are academic papers, between 10-30 pages long, ideally drawing from primary and secondary sources. Submit samples that best show your analytical and critical skills, and your potential as a scholar and researcher.
  • Copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions uploaded in the online application
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. These letters are submitted online directly by your recommenders (not by you). The online application provides instructions on how to submit the letters of recommendation.

Test scores:

  • If your first language is not English: TOEFL scores (minimum: 550 Paper-Based Test [PBT], 80 Internet-Based Test [IBT]) or IELTS scores (Overall Band Score must be 7 or higher). Applicants taking the TOEFL should instruct ETS to report scores to UCSB (the institution code is 4835; no department code is required). Applicants taking the IELTS must make arrangements directly with IELTS for testing and score reporting.  Scores may be mailed from IELTS or sent electronically. If sending paper test reports, please have your score report sent to the Graduate Division:

    UCSB Graduate Division | Attn: Graduate Admissions | 3117 Cheadle Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070

  • Official TOEFL or IELTS test score dates must be within two years from the day the applicant submits the online graduate application.

What is my application status? Is my application complete? Your application status is available online using the email address you used and the password you created when you started your application.


Whom should I contact if I cannot remember my password? Your password can be reset online. An email will be sent to the email account that you used to originally create your application. If you do not receive an email with an updated password, first check your junk or spam mail. If you still do not have access to your updated password, please contact Graduate Division Admissions.


What do I do if the deadline is approaching, but the department has not received my materials? You must check your Application Status Page online to determine which materials have been received. Check with the department about which materials are still needed. Application deadlines are typically strict, requiring that all materials, including test scores, be received by the application deadline. The Graduate Division Admissions staff can confirm whether your application fee, fee waiver, and test scores have been received (note: you can also check your Application Status Page for this information). Please contact the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese regarding all other application materials.


I called and emailed the department, but I did not get a response. What should I do? Please be patient. The departments are very busy and it can often take a several business days to return either your email or phone call. Please make sure the information you are looking for cannot be accessed on the academic department or Graduate Division web sites.


How do I find out about my admissions decision? You will be notified by email when a decision has been made on your application, and your Application Status Page will be updated with a decision letter.


I have been admitted, now what do I do? Congratulations! Complete the Statement of Intent to Register through the Application Status Page. This form lets us know whether you plan to attend UCSB. If you accept the offer of admission, your information will be transmitted to the Office of the Registrar. If you ​also received a financial offer with your admission, you will need to formally accept or decline the offer according to the instructions outlined in your offer letter. If you inform us you are not coming, we will close out your application. Additionally, please notify your department of your decision and inquire as to whether there is any additional information that they need.


What are final/official transcripts? How do I submit them? If sending paper documents by mail, transcripts and other documents are considered official when they are sent to the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division directly from the school in the institution's sealed envelope, with all official seals and stamps intact. If sending electronic ​documents, transcripts must be sent directly from​ ​the institution's approved official transcript or document delivery service to transcripts@graddiv.ucsb.edu to be considered official. Transcripts are considered final ​when all grades have been finalized and posted to your official student records and all degrees reported have been finalized and conferred. If you reported a degree in your online application (such as a master's degree or credential) that you do not intend to complete after all, please contact the Deparment of Spanish and Portuguese immediately.