Why Study with Us?

The Ph.D. program in Hispanic Languages and Literature at UCLA offers an exciting combination of research, writing, teaching, and public-facing humanities. The department supports a range of critical and theoretical approaches and encourages interdisciplinary work that takes advantage of UCLA’s many strengths. In the Latin American-Iberian and Afro-Luso-Brazilian tracks, students take a variety of courses in literature, culture, film, and theory, balancing a broad understanding of the cultural field with their chosen specialization as they develop their research agendas. In Spanish and Portuguese Linguistics, students explore theoretical fields—including phonetics, phonology, syntax, and historical linguistics—and engage in psycho- and socio-linguistic research.

Our faculty includes distinguished scholars and writers across a number of fields. Afro-Luso-Brazilian ranges from colonial studies to film, popular music, and contemporary art, while Linguistics focuses on first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, and heritage languages. Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary, transatlantic field, with strong ties to CMRS/Center for Early Global Studies and the Center for 17th & 18th Century Studies. Our Peninsular Studies faculty focus on theater and performance, Mediterranean studies, new media, historical memory, gender and sexuality, and migration. Our Latin American section, with support from the vibrant UCLA Latin American Institute, has strengths throughout the region in literature and film, from the Southern Cone and the Andean region to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. Several faculty are both critics and distinguished creative writers in their own right; others are involved in the public humanities, including documentary films on immigration, translation for performance, and K-12 outreach.


In addition to Spanish and Portuguese, graduate students may study Basque, Catalán, Quechua, and Nahuatl in our department and a wealth of languages at UCLA. Students participate in interdisciplinary programs such as Digital Humanities, Urban Humanities, and Experimental Critical Theory, as well as research groups such as Diversifying the Classics and the Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group. All students are trained in pedagogy and have opportunities to teach language, literature, and culture. Several have received university-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards. 

Faculty work closely with graduate students, mentoring them from their acceptance into the program until their job placement. We support students in their preparation for diverse careers via internship opportunities, interdisciplinary projects, and public-facing work. 

The department showcases vibrant approaches to the discipline via lectures and symposia, art exhibits, and film and theater festivals. Our graduate students are particularly active in organizing events and series, including works-in-progress presentations and an annual conference. Two graduate-run journals, Mester for criticism, reviews, and interviews; and Párrafo for experimental creative work, provide invaluable editorial and writing experience. A list of recent and current dissertations gives a good sense of the research produced in our program.


We welcome your interest in our program and would be delighted to tell you more. For any questions, please contact Professor Jorge Marturano, Director of Graduate Studies, or our Graduate Student Advisor, Gloria Tovar.