Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Romance and Classical Studies
Home > Graduate


The Department of Romance and Classical Studies offers five graduate degrees: an M.A. in French, a Ph.D. in French Language and Literature, an M.A. in Hispanic Literature, an M.A. in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language (formerly know as Applied Spanish Linguistics), and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Cultural Studies.

The M.A. program in French allows students with a B.A. in French to further their studies in the French language, culture, and literature, while preparing them to further their career. Most of our M.A. graduates continue on to a Ph.D. program at MSU or elsewhere, or become certified high school teachers. Others pursue careers in translation, sustainable development, editing, advising study abroad programs, among others.

The Ph.D. program in French Language and Literature offers several options which allow the doctoral students to work with a truly personalized degree, while retaining a strong foundation in French literature and culture. In recent years, dissertations have focused on Rabelais, 17th-century Theater, 20th-century holocaust writings, francophone children literature, the language in the banlieue, and the effect of text genre on reading comprehension. All of our recent Ph.D. graduates have successfully been placed in tenure-track or temporary positions in colleges and universities.

The M.A. program  in Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language (formerly known as Applied Spanish Linguistics), is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study in Spanish linguistics, with a focus on the psycholinguistic aspects of second language acquisition and the sociolinguistics of language contact. The program intends to meet the needs and goals of students who seek academic preparation to pursue advanced work in these fields.

The M.A. program in Hispanic Literatures is designed primarily for students who plan to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree, and to join the faculties of colleges or universities as scholars and teachers. The program prepares students in the language, literatures, and cultures of the Hispanic world, with an emphasis on literary, linguistic and cultural studies and scholarly investigation.

The Ph.D. program in Hispanic Cultural Studies prepares students in the literatures, languages, and cultures of the Hispanic world. Students who are enrolled in this program will select a primary and a secondary area of emphasis, and may elect an emphasis in interdisciplinary studies.

Students enrolled in the above-mentioned programs have access to a Spanish and French teaching experience at the college level in the traditional classroom as well as in digital environments. They also participate in research-oriented activities, academic interdisciplinary emphasis and service to the University community at large.



What resources are available at MSU?

MSU homepage - https://msu.edu

About MSU - https://msu.edu/about/

College of Arts and Letters (CAL) - http://www.cal.msu.edu/

Department of Romance and Classical Studies (RCS) - http://www.rcs.msu.edu/

Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives - https://inclusion.msu.edu/

Graduate School - https://grad.msu.edu

Mail Library - https://lib.msu.edu/

Special Collections - https://lib.msu.edu/spc/index/

Digital Humanities - https://lib.msu.edu/dh/

Center for Language Teaching Advancement - https://celta.msu.edu/

Council of Graduate Students - https://cogs.msu.edu/

Graduate Employee Union - https://geuatmsu.org/

What is MSU? Where is MSU?

Michigan State University was founded in 1855. It was the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions established under the Morrill Act of 1862. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community. MSU has approximately 50,351 students: from all 83 counties in Michigan, all 50 states in the United States and Washington, D.C. and 141 other countries:39,423 undergraduate, 10,928 graduate and professional; 51.9 percent women, 48.1 percent men; 20.6 percent students of color, 12.4 percent international students. For more information about the quality and the research and academic programs at MSU go to https://msu.edu/about/thisismsu/facts.php

City of East Lansing - https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/

City of Lansing - https://www.lansingmi.gov/

East Lansing is the home of MSU. It is located in the center of the state just east of Michigan’s capital city, Lansing. This is a prime location in the Midwest: about 1 and a half hours to Detroit, 1 hour to Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and 3 hours to Chicago. The area offers a variety of places to live near MSU: some are rural and some more urban. 

How can I finance my degree from beginning to end? We offer…

  • Graduate School Fellowships - https://grad.msu.edu/msu-graduate-school-fellowships
  • Teaching assistantships, technology assistantships, and editorial assistantships, which include a full tuition waiver (24 credit hours/year), health and dental insurance.
  • Summer teaching assignments available
  • Opportunities for summer employment abroad in Spain and France.

Is funding available for research and travel?

  • In CAL - http://www.cal.msu.edu/currentstudents/graduate/resources
  • The Dissertation Completion Fellowship offers a 1 semester release from teaching. (PhD students)
  • Summer Support Fellowship (PhD students)
  • Generous travel funding for professional conferences and research (MA and PhD students)

How will the RCS allow me to achieve my academic goals?

  • Close faculty interaction and mentoring from world-class scholars
  • Innovative and interdisciplinary research topics
  • Graduate Certificates available with units throughout the university – College Foreign Language Teaching (College of Arts and Letters), College Teaching (College of Arts and Letters), Chicano-Latino Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies, Digital Humanities, Center for Gender in Global Context, Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, Film Studies.

Does RCS prepare me for what’s next?

  • Numerous teaching opportunities
    • Graduate students gain teaching experience in the basic- and intermediate-sequence language courses as well as in the major.
    • Training in current teaching methods
  • Involvement in TROPOS graduate student journal and conference http://www.rcs.msu.edu/graduate/tropos/
  • Extensive professional development through workshops, presentations, practical experience
  • Outreach and service experiences in the community
  • Graduate Student Association – participation in governance in the Department, College, and University
  • Job-search preparation