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Graduate Certificate in Hispanic Studies


Students eligible to apply for a Certificate will be any students working on a doctoral degree in the Laney Graduate School (except those in the Hispanic Studies doctoral program). Consideration will also be given to students in professional schools who are interested in the Certificate program. Any student interested in applying to pursue the Certificate must provide evidence of language proficiency sufficient to pursue doctoral coursework in Spanish: for example, an oral interview with a member of the graduate faculty or successful completion of advanced undergraduate or graduate courses taught in Spanish. In some cases, a student’s necessary language level will depend on the desired course of study. The DGS in Hispanic Studies may determine proper language level in an initial interview with the student.

Course Requirements

In order to successfully complete the Certificate in Hispanic Studies, students must complete four three-credit graduate courses listed or cross-listed in/with the Hispanic Studies doctoral program, for a total of twelve (12) credit hours of coursework, as follows:

  • HISP 510 (Understanding Hispanic Studies: Theories and Methods)
  • 3 additional HISP electives or courses cross listed with HISP, chosen by the student in consultation with his/her Certificate advisor.
  • Courses related to Hispanic Studies issues but not cross listed with HISP must be approved by the DGS of Hispanic Studies (students may be required to submit a syllabus in such cases).
  • One of the three electives may be a directed reading in which the student works with a faculty member on a scholarly project or presentation (e.g., research paper, exhibition, community-engaged project, teaching an advanced-level course in Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Students must achieve a grade of B or higher in a course in order for it to count toward the certificate program.

Additional Requirements

1) Attendance at four scheduled events sponsored by the Hispanic Studies PhD program or other approved relevant event (not for credit). These may include lectures given by visiting faculty, working lunch meetings with visiting faculty, reading group discussions, and professional concerns seminars. The Hispanic Studies PhD program regularly sponsors these events over the course of the academic year. These events may, at times, be co-sponsored with other departments and/or programs. 

Students will be expected to complete this requirement while pursuing coursework for the Certificate and will be required to document their attendance at each event by notifying the Hispanic Studies Graduate Program Coordinator in writing of the date and nature of their attendance (one- paragraph summary). They will also include this information on their annual student activities report form.

2) A scholarly project (written in Spanish, English, or Portuguese) approximately 20-30 pages in length that is prospective in focus, contributing to the development of the dissertation project and promoting greater professional relevance. The project may take the form of an essay but might also assume other forms (e.g., a translation, a chapter of the dissertation, etc.), with the intent of helping students connect the Certificate work to their own dissertation research.

The project will be evaluated by a committee composed of the Hispanic Studies Certificate advisor and one additional Hispanic Studies faculty member.

To enable students to integrate the Certificate project with their principal PhD research, the timeline for completing this component is flexible. The one stipulation is that students must complete all Certificate requirements by their final semester in their course of study.

How to Apply

Student participating in a certificate program should also declare their certificate with the LGS to add the certificate participation into the student's OPUS record and ensure that the certificate is noted at the time of graduation. Students should declare as soon as they have started work towards the certificate using the LGS online student action form:

Additional Certificate Procedures

Students pursuing a Certificate in Hispanic Studies will select a Certificate advisor from the Hispanic Studies graduate faculty based on field of specialization (willingness to serve in this role will be formalized by the Certificate advisor's signature on the Certificate in Hispanic Studies Declaration form). Affiliated faculty in Hispanic Studies may serve as secondary readers. The Director of Graduate Studies in Hispanic Studies will also be available for consultation by the student and/or Certificate advisor as needed. Regular consultation with the advisor in the student's home department or program regarding advising and Certificate requirement integration is also strongly encouraged.

Certificate students should include a member of the Hispanic Studies graduate faculty (normally the Certificate advisor) when selecting faculty to form their dissertation committees in their respective home departments/programs.

Certificate students will be required to complete an annual activities report form that covers information about their coursework, teaching (if applicable), and other professionally-related activities relevant to Hispanic Studies. A portion of the annual meeting convened by the core graduate faculty in Hispanic Studies to evaluate doctoral student progress will be devoted to an evaluation of Certificate students. Where relevant, input will also be sought from members of the Hispanic Studies affiliated faculty. Students who are not making satisfactory progress toward meeting the requirements may be asked to leave the program.

Certificate students will participate in an exit interview with the DGS to assess how the Certificate has contributed to the student's advancement in interdisciplinary research and publication, teaching, and professional preparation for employment in academic and non-academic positions.

The administrative structure of the Certificate program in Hispanic Studies will include the DGS in Hispanic Studies (who will be responsible for general oversight of the program), the Hispanic Studies Graduate Program Coordinator (who will be responsible for administrative paperwork and communication with the LGS), and the Hispanic Studies core faculty who will serve as Certificate advisors. Students interested in pursuing a Certificate in Hispanic Studies should complete a Certificate in Hispanic Studies Declaration Form, available on the website for the PhD in Hispanic Studies. The declaration form should be signed by the student’s primary advisor in the home department or program, by the proposed Certificate advisor, and by the Director of Graduate Studies in Hispanic Studies.

Once a student has completed all requirements for the Certificate program, he/she should complete and submit to the graduate program coordinator in Hispanic Studies the Certificate Completion Form to be signed by all advisors and the DGS in Hispanic Studies.

The yearly progress of students enrolled in the Certificate in Hispanic Studies program will be evaluated at the annual meeting of the Hispanic Studies graduate faculty devoted to evaluation of the graduate students. Additionally, each student completing a Certificate of Hispanic Studies will be asked to participate in an exit interview with the DGS, who serves as Director of the Certificate Program, in order to discuss how the Certificate in Hispanic Studies has contributed to the student’s advancement in research, teaching, professionalization, marketability, and the potential of interdisciplinary publications.

At intervals alumni of the Certificate program will be contacted and asked to report on their professional trajectory and the degree to which they believe that the Certificate in Hispanic Studies has been a contributing factor in their job search and/or other career milestones. The graduate faculty will review that information in order to assess the success of the program.

The Graduate Certificate in Hispanic Studies is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes by students’ completion of the requirements:

1)  Students will be able to demonstrate a foundational knowledge of culture, history, theory and research across disciplines in the field, and be able to incorporate that knowledge in their own disciplinary expertise.

2)  Students will be able to evaluate critically scholarly work in the field as well as in an interdisciplinary context.

3) Students will have acquired a demonstrable level of knowledge in the field adequate to conduct and present original scholarship in the field as well as in an interdisciplinary context.

Each of these learning outcomes is measured by direct and indirect means on the Assessment Report which we submit biennially.