In response to the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, graduate programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh are pausing admissions for fall 2021. This one-year intermission will enable us to devote our resources and attention to our continuing students. Graduate training and research are central to the mission of the Dietrich School and the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. While we do not pause admissions lightly, in these uncertain times we are committed to optimally supporting our current students’ success and wellbeing. 

If you seek to begin your graduate studies in the fall of 2021, we thank you for your understanding and wish you all the best in your endeavors. If you consider applying to our program for fall 2022, or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Elizabeth Monasterios, at

Students applying for admission to the graduate program are evaluated on the basis of previous academic performance, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a writing sample. 

Students are expected to hold a BA or MA or an equivalent degree in Latin American literatures, comparative literature, cultural studies, or a related field (other literatures, Latin American-focused major or MA specialization), and to be fluent in Spanish and English. 

All students who are offered admission to the Ph.D. program receive five years of financial support in the form of fellowships or teaching assistant fellowships.  

Financial options may include applying for grants and/or considering fellowships and teaching assistantships.

How to Apply

The application forms should be filled out and submitted through the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Grad Cas System.

In addition to completed forms, applicants are required to submit a fee of U.S. $75, a brief (2–3 single-spaced page maximum) statement of academic interests, three (3) letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary academic work, and official translations if documents are not already in English.

Applicants for the graduate program must submit a sample of written work, at least 15–20 pages in length, in Spanish, Portuguese, or English. If the paper submitted is in English, we ask that a 3-5 page text in Spanish also be submitted.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required for applicants to the Hispanic Languages program.

All documents and materials in support of the application must be submitted electronically via the Grad Cas System. 

All applicants to the PhD graduate program will be considered for departmental funding as teaching assistants or Arts and Sciences fellows. There is not a separate application for such funds.

For answers to specific questions not dealt with elsewhere, please email Mike Orbin, Graduate Administrator at

The department's Admission Committee evaluates all completed applications and makes recommendations regarding admissions and financial aid. The applications of those students recommended for admission, with or without financial assistance, are forwarded to the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Office of Graduate Studies for final approval.  Once the Dietrich School gives its final approval, they notify the applicants. 

The application deadline for fall term admission and most forms of financial aid is Wednesday, January 15th, at 11:59pm, Eastern Standard Time. Incomplete applications, or applications arriving after the deadline, are at a significant disadvantage and may not be considered for either admission or financial support. International students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow for delays in the postal service, evaluation of foreign transcripts, receipt of TOEFL scores or retesting in the case of low scores, and matters related to immigration procedures. 

Applications are not accepted for spring term. 

International Applicants

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required for applicants whose native language is not English; only those students who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree at an accredited university in the United States or another English-speaking country are exempt from this requirement.

A minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL (and with a score of at least 22 each in speaking, listening, reading and writing) or 7.0 on the IELTS (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) is required for consideration for admission to graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, individuals with TOEFL scores below 100, if subsequently admitted, are required to take the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency upon arrival. The University requires that all teaching assistants speak comprehensible English as certified by the University’s English Language Institute. Based upon the outcome of these tests, students may be required to enroll in courses to improve their command of English.

Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS).  At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation.  More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found here. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.

Transfer Students

Students who have completed graduate level courses in degree-granting graduate programs at other accredited institutions before admission to the University of Pittsburgh may petition the department for acceptance of up to six credits toward the Master of Arts or PhD. Students who have received an MA in Spanish or a related field at another university may petition for the transfer of up to 24 credits toward the PhD, and up to 23 credits of additional credit for any work carried out beyond the MA. Acceptance of more than 6 such credits, however, would reduce the term of funded support for the PhD by one year, entitling them to four years rather than the usual five.