UMKC Catalog


Master of Arts: Romance Languages - The master of arts degree program provides nece...

The master of arts degree program provides necessary training in French or Spanish language and literature for those who want to teach those languages at the secondary school or junior college level. It also serves students who plan to continue with studies at the doctoral level. Other employment opportunities can be found in government, business and industry, publishing houses, foundations, etc.


Admission Requirements

A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 (B) grade-point average in the subject area and a 2.75 overall GPA is required for admission.

The Graduate Record Examination (Advanced Achievement) is recommended, and two letters of recommendation are required. Students' transcripts with accompanying data are carefully evaluated.

Applicants with inadequate preparation may be required to make up deficiencies by taking more than the standard 30 hours of coursework.

Courses taken prior to admission into a graduate program will not count for graduate credit.


Requirements for Retention

If students' graduate grade-point averages fall below 3.0 (B), they may take coursework only on the 300 and 400 levels until a 3.0 graduate grade-point average has been achieved. Coursework completed under this condition will not count toward the master's degree.


Transfer Credit

No more than 6 hours of transfer credit are normally allowed toward degree requirements.



Students interested in pursuing a master's degree in Romance languages should meet with the appropriate principal graduate adviser before beginning studies:


French: Kathy M. Krause
(816) 235-1340,   

Spanish: Louis Imperiale

(816) 235-2822,

In consultation with the adviser, a course of study will be planned listing the courses that will satisfy requirements for the degree. Prior to registration at least once each year, candidates must meet with their advisers for approval of their course programs. They also must seek their adviser's endorsement whenever a change in the agreed course of study is necessary.


M.A. Degree Requirements

  1. Students must earn 30 graduate credit hours to complete the M.A. in Romance Languages.  Of these credits, at least 21 hours must be at the graduate level (courses numbered 5500 and above).  When appropriate and/or necessary, students may count up to 9 hours of 400-level courses taken while enrolled as a graduate student towards the M.A.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in all graduate work.  Students must take courses in a variety of areas, genres and periods in order to achieve both breadth and depth of knowledge.  See below for specific course and distribution requirements for each emphasis area (Spanish & French).  Students must obtain approval of their study programs by the graduate adviser for their area at least once a year.
  2. Students must demonstrate ability to read, speak and write, idiomatically and with accuracy, the language in which the M.A. degree is being pursued.
  3. Final Examination: Students must take a final examination consisting of both written and oral sections.  See details below for each emphasis area. 
  4. Second Language Proficiency: In addition to the mastery of the target language, students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language in one of the following ways:
    • Taking a reading examination in French, Spanish, Italian, German or Latin administered or approved by the department or given by the Educational Testing Service.
    • Achieving a grade of 3.0 (B) or better in a 211 (3 credit hour), or equivalent, language course.
    • Achieving a grade of 2.0 (C) or better in each of two 300-level courses or in one 400-level literature or civilization course taught in the second language.

M.A. in Romance Languages:  French emphasis

   1.  Distribution of courses

A.  Students will choose courses covering five out of the seven following periods or fields:

i.  Medieval/Early Modern

ii.  Renaissance

iii.  17th and 18th Centuries

iv.  19th Century

v.  20th and 21st Centuries

vi.  Linguistics or Pedagogy

vii.  Francophonie

B.  In addition, as part of their 30 credit hours of study, students will take one course in advanced French stylistics.

   2.  Exams.  The final exam will be comprised of a written and an oral portion. 

A.  Written exam

i.  In consultation with the French faculty, students will draw up a list of eight subjects covering most periods/fields and one explication de texte of a poem. 

ii.  The written exam will consist of 2-3 questions, written by the faculty and based on the subjects from the student's list.  The student will have two hours in which to write the essays.  No notes are allowed, but the student may consult the texts during the exam. 

B.  Oral exam

On a subsequent day, the student will take the one-hour oral exam, which will consist of the explication de texte and follow-up questions to the written exam.  The student may bring brief notes, on index cards, to help in the explication de texte.

M.A. in Romance Languages:  Spanish emphasis

   1.  Distribution of courses

A.  Students will choose courses covering six out of the eight following periods or fields: 

i.  Medieval/Early Modern

ii.  Golden Age

iii.  18th and 19th Centuries

iv.  20th and 21st Centuries

v.  Spanish or Romance Linguistics

vi.  Foreign Language Pedagogy

vii.  Pre-Columbian / Indigenous/ Colonial Literature

viii.  U.S.-Latino Studies

B.  In addition, a student's coursework must include at least one course in each general category of Peninsular or Latin American.

   2.  Exams.  The final exam will be comprised of a written and an oral portion.

A.  Written Exam

Questions will be based on a reading list prepared in advance by the students and their graduate adviser, based on the periods and fields covered in all their graduate courses; it will consist of 15 (out of 30 possible) identifications, two short and two long essays.  The student will have four hours in which to write the essays.  No notes, texts or dictionaries will be allowed. 

B.  Oral Exam

On a subsequent day, the student will take the one-hour oral exam, which will consist of a textual analysis.  Prior to the exam, the student will be given a text and will have 30 minutes to prepare the analysis.