Graduate Curriculum

Master of Arts in German, Japanese, and Spanish Language and Literature

The Master of Arts is a graduate degree with a major in German, Japanese, or Spanish language and literature. 

This degree is available with a thesis or a non-thesis option. The thesis option is generally recommended for students who intend eventually to obtain a doctorate. The non-thesis option is often appropriate for those who intend to use their MA coursework as direct preparation for secondary school teaching or another career. Students should consult with their advisor to determine the best option. Review the Spanish Master's checklist.

Contact world@pdx.edu to request a Graduate Language Advisor.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the Master of Arts in a world language must complete a minimum of 45 graduate credits, of which 30 must be taken in residence after admission to the degree program. You choose either a thesis or non-thesis option. Download MA in World Language (German, Japanese, Spanish) Requirements.

The 45 credits are to be distributed as follows:

Thesis Option

In addition to the required coursework, the candidate will have to submit a thesis, written in either the world language or in English, and pass a final examination in accordance with University requirements.

  • 560, Principles of Scholarly Research = 4 Credits
  • 551, 552, 553 (Poetry, Drama, Prose any two) = 8 Credits
  • WLL 593 (Testing) or WLL 598 (Methods) = 4 Credits
  • 503 Thesis = 6-9 Credits
  • Additional adviser approved coursework = 20-23 Credits

TOTAL = 45 Credits

Non-Thesis Option

In addition to the required coursework, the candidate will have to submit two research papers in different adviser approved subject areas, written either in the world language or in English, and pass a final written and oral examination.

  • 560, Principles of Scholarly Research = 4 Credits
  • 551, 552, 553 (Poetry, Drama, Prose any two) = 8 Credits
  • WLL 593 (Testing) or WLL 598 (Methods) = 4 Credits
  • 501 Research, other adviser approved credits = 6-9 Credits
  • Additional adviser approved coursework = 20-23 Credits

TOTAL = 45 Credits


Master of Arts in World Languages and Literatures (MA in WLL)

The M.A. in World Literature and Language is a graduate degree with concentration in a primary language, a secondary language, and linguistics. The primary language may be German or Spanish; the secondary language may be Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish. 

In addition to the required coursework the candidate will have to:

  1. Submit two research papers to the graduate committee, one dealing with the primary, the other with the secondary area.  These may be written either in the primary or secondary languages, respectively, or in English.
  2. Be rated in oral and written proficiency in the secondary language only. Minimum proficiency level for French, German, and Spanish: Advanced. For Japanese and Russian: Intermediate High.
  3. Pass a final comprehensive written and oral examination over coursework taken in the primary and secondary areas and over the research papers.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits, of which 40 must be earned in residence distributed among the 3 following areas:

Primary Language

  • Principles of Scholarly Research 560 = 4 Credits
  • Eight credits chosen from courses numbered 551, 552, 553 = 8 Credits
  • Other adviser approved 500 level courses = 16 Credits

Total = 28 Credits

Secondary Language

  • Advanced  Language 511 and 512 or Span 514 = 8 Credits
  • Twelve graduate credits chosen from: 500 level literature courses (not to include Literature in Translation) and/or Linguistics 594, 595 and/or Stylistics 584  = 12 Credits

Total = 20 Credits

If upper division courses in fourth year language (411 and 412 or 414) have been successfully completed at the undergraduate level (with a GPA of 3.00 or above), they can be waived, reducing the total credits required by a maximum of 8.

Linguistics and Methods

Graduate courses chosen from:

  • WLL 593 Language Proficiency Testing and Teaching
  • WLL 598 Methods of Teaching World Languages
  • FR 594 French Linguistics
  • FR 597 Applied French Linguistics
  • GER 594 German Linguistics
  • GER 597 Applied German Linguistics
  • SPAN 594 Spanish Linguistics
  • SPAN 597 Applied Spanish Linguistics
  • Other advisor-approved courses

Total = 12 Credits

Total Credits for the Master's = 60 Credits

Download MA in WLL Requirements


Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik

Graduate credits earned in German through the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik can be accepted as in residence credit at Portland State University only if taken after formal admission to the MA in World Language program in German, to the MA in World Literature and Language, or to the MAT or the MAT with initial license in German. Graduate credit earned at the DSAP prior to admission to either program is normally limited to 15 credits, in accordance with the University’s transfer regulations.

A master's degree in German earned solely by attendance in Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik normally entails work over four summers and a thesis.

MA Curriculum