Modern Languages and Literatures (MA)


Modern Languages and Literatures, MA

On Campus 30 - 36 cr

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers graduate degrees with specializations in German, French, and Spanish.


The program allows for combining broad courses in literature, specialized seminars, interdisciplinary or supportive work in other fields, languages, and research.

Graduate assistants hone their teaching skills in a seminar on methodology and by working closely with course coordinators. The department hosts research conferences and participates in university programs such as the digital texts initiative, Latin American studies, and study abroad.

As a department housing many languages, it is possible for graduate students to teach in more than one language and to do significant advanced study in the literature of a second foreign language which may lead to a minor in a second language at the M.A. level or a Ph.D. dissertation with a multinational focus.

Some online courses are available in this program.


  1. French
  2. German
  3. Spanish

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV (optional): This resume/CV should NOT include a photo of you.
  • Personal Statement: This statement--written in English, approximately 500 words--should discuss your preparation and motivation for graduate study at our department, intellectual interests, research abilities, academic and work experience (current and former studies, experience outside the US, etc.), and your professional goals. Indicate whether you are applying for an assistantship and describe any previous teaching experience.
  • Portfolio/Voice Recordings: The oral sample should include two statements, both three to four minutes long, usually covering the same material, one in English and the other in the target language. You can discuss the same topics as in the personal statement. Do not read the statements, but "speak" them. The recording must be presented as an mp3 file.
  • Writing Sample: The writing sample should be at least 10 pages written in the target language, and it should demonstrate your potential to research and analyze culture and literary texts. It will be used to evaluate your ability to use the target language, to write effective essays, to do research, and to analyze literature and culture. The best writing sample is a research paper on a literary subject from an advanced or senior class in your field. If you do not have one available, contact the graduate advisor in your language about a substitute, for example, an essay or a research paper from a related discipline. Generally, creative writing is not appropriate.

Admission Application Deadlines

To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the priority application deadline is February 1 for Fall.

Graduate Chair

Isabel Velazquez

Support Staff

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UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.