Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: Graciela Maldonado 
Director of Graduate Studies: Alessandra Russo
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA, MPhil, PhD

The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia aims to provide its graduate students with a rigorous formation in the literatures and cultures of Spain and Latin America, to oversee their specialization in one or more areas of Hispanic studies, and to allow them the flexibility to pursue comparative and interdisciplinary work under the supervision of its distinguished faculty. Students complement their work in the department with coursework in other disciplines such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, and English.

The department is located in the Casa Hispánica, a five-story townhouse adjoining Columbia's Morningside campus, between Broadway and Riverside Drive. It contains classrooms, a lecture hall, a graduate lounge, and a library. The Hispanic Institute, housed in the department, offers a regular program of lectures and activities. It also sponsors the Revista Hispánica Moderna, a prestigious academic journal published continuously since 1934.

Financial Aid

A comprehensive program of financial aid, including fellowships and appointments in teaching, is available to PhD students. PhD students admitted to the program receive annually the prevailing stipend and appropriate tuition and health fees through the fifth year, provided that they remain in good academic standing. If students receive a year of advanced standing, they are entitled to four years of fellowship funding.

Student Profile

The department fosters a stimulating, cosmopolitan environment for the study of Spanish and Latin American culture. The graduate students in the program come from various parts of the United States and from a multitude of nations throughout the world: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, and Venezuela.


Graduates of the doctoral program have consistently secured tenure-track positions at some of the best colleges and universities in the country. Recent graduates have found employment at prestigious academic institutions in the US and abroad such as Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Michigan (Ann Arbor), Duke, Georgetown, Middlebury, Northwestern, Sarah Lawrence, Chicago, Toronto, Wisconsin (Madison), and many others.

Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) awards a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society. For more information, see the ICLS website.

Special Admissions Requirements: 

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades for every school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a writing sample (a course paper, senior thesis, etc.), and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

Entering students are expected to have a high degree of proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish and a broad knowledge of Peninsular and/or Spanish American culture.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Deadline for Fall Admission: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Resume Requirement: Yes
Writing Sample: Yes (in English or Spanish)
Writing Sample Number of Pages: 10-15
GRE General: No
Degree Programs: Full Time
Letters of Recommendation: 3