PhD Manual


I. Academics

a. Program Structure

i. Coursework

Students must complete 72 credits as part of the program requirements. Required courses include: Seminar in Theory; Dissertation Proposal Workshop (two semesters); and an Independent Study in the fall of Year 3.

Students typically take four courses each semester during their first year in the program (including Seminar in Theory, taken in the fall), three courses each semester during the second year (plus Foreign Language Teaching Methodology, taken in the fall and required for all graduate students teaching for the first time, who must teach a Spanish language course concurrently), three courses during the fall semester of their third year (including the Independent Study and Dissertation Proposal Workshop), and two courses in the spring semester of their third year (including the Dissertation Proposal Workshop).


Year 1

FALL                                                                                    SPRING

-Seminar in Theory (required) – 4 credits                       -Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (optional) – no credit

-3 elective courses – 12 credits                                         - 4 elective courses – 16 credits


SUMMER: Summer funding of $3,000 provided by Department


Year 2

FALL                                                                                     SPRING

-Foreign Lang Teaching Methodology (required) -         - 3 elective courses – 12 credits

2 credits (prior to Fall 2017, no credit)

-3 elective courses – 12 credits                                         - Apply for Summer predoctoral

                                                                                            research funding (GSAS/Tinker)


Year 3

FALL                                                                                   SPRING

-Dissertation Proposal Workshop (required) - 2           -Dissertation Proposal Workshop (required) -

credits                                                                                2 credits

-Independent Study (required) – 2 credits (prior to     1 elective course – 4 credits

Fall 2017, 4 credits)

-1 elective course – 4 credits

-December: take Comprehensive Exam                          -May: defend dissertation proposal


SUMMER: Summer funding of $5,000 provided by Department to those who defend their proposal by end May.


Year 4

FALL                                                                                       SPRING

-Write dissertation in consultation with Committee        -Write dissertation in consultation with Committee


Year 5

FALL                                                                                       SPRING

-Write dissertation in consultation with Committee       - Write dissertation

                                                                                                in consultation with Committee

-Apply for GSAS or External Dissertation                          - Apply for a GRI for the summer

-Writing Fellowship (highly competitive)


Year 6

FALL                                                                                       SPRING

-Write dissertation in consultation with Committee        -Write dissertation

                                                                                               in consultation with Committee

-Go on job market                                                                 -DEFEND DISSERTATION

                                                                                                 BY START MAY

                                                                                               -GRADUATE MID MAY


ii. Comprehensive Examination

In December of their third year in the program, all students will take the Comprehensive Examination. The Examination will be administered by a committee of three faculty members, chosen by the student, and will consist of a written and an oral examination on three individualized reading lists. Each list will cover one of three "fields" and will be elaborated by the student in the course of the Fall semester, in collaboration with the three advisors (one advisor per list). It is the student’s responsibility to contact the three advisors and begin working on the lists early in the Fall semester. The three advisors for the Comprehensive Examination should be from NYU, and normally from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, so that regular meetings are possible. The reading lists are to be organized as follows:

1) “Dissertation Field”: a list of 20-25 titles that will provide the groundwork for the Dissertation Proposal. This includes "primary" and "secondary" readings of literary, critical, theoretical, historical materials that are directly relevant to the dissertation topic;

2) "Theory Field”: a list of 20-25 titles referring to literary critical or theoretical areas that complement and provide a larger context of debate for the issues discussed in the “Dissertation Field”;

3) “Teaching Field”: a list of 40-50 titles representing texts that the student would expect to include in his or her future teaching portfolio. It should consist of texts that might be included in 2-3 future syllabi that are representative of the range of the student’s teaching interests.

Students will register for an Independent Study in the same Fall semester, normally with the member of their committee who will be their future dissertation advisor and with whom they will work on the list for their Dissertation Field (there may be cases when an Independent Study would be more beneficial with the committee member with whom they will work for their Theory Field).

The advisor for the Dissertation Field will serve as committee Chair for the Comprehensive Examination.

The written and oral components of the examination will take place during the last weeks of the Fall semester. An example exam schedule is as follows:

Fall 2017 Exam Schedule

  • November 23: Students to submit their three reading lists to the Graduate Program Administrator. On the basis of these reading lists, the three committee members will set the questions on which the students will write their essays for the written component of the Comprehensive Exam.
  • December 2: Questions for the written component of the exam are distributed to students, who have one week to complete the essays: one essay for each of the Dissertation and Theory Fields; two essays for the Teaching Field. Each essay should be approximately10 pages long (total of 40 pages for the four essays).
  • December 9: Deadline for students to submit their essays to the Graduate Program Administrator; all four essays are read by the three members of the Committee.
  • December 14-15: Oral examination with the three members of the Committee, comprising an oral presentation (10-15 minutes) by the student on the essays submitted, followed by discussion.


B. Degree Requirements


In addition to completing 72 credits of coursework and passing the Comprehensive Examination, students must successfully defend a dissertation proposal and fulfill all language requirements.

i. Dissertation Proposal

Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposals in the spring of their third year in the program. The dissertation proposal will be approved by a committee consisting of the student’s three advisors from the Comprehensive Examination. In the summer following the successful defense of the dissertation proposal, students will receive a $3000 stipend from the department.


ii. Language Requirements

The Department requires reading knowledge of two additional languages.  The Portuguese language requirement may be fulfilled by taking "Portuguese for Spanish Speakers," a no-credit course the Department offers every Spring and which is normally taken in the first year, or by passing the GSAS Portuguese language test offered on specific dates each academic year.  The Research Language requirement may be fulfilled by passing a reading course offered by several departments during the summer (no tuition charged) or by passing the GSAS language exam.  Either of the language requirements may also be fulfilled by previous undergraduate courses taken by students and shown on their transcripts. 

Students entering the PhD program in Fall 2017 or later are required to complete both language requirements by May of Year 3 in order to progress to ABD status after their dissertation proposal defense. 


iii. Doctoral Dissertation

Graduate students should meet with their committee (by Skype where necessary) by mid-November in the Fall Semester and by the end of March in the Spring Semester.

Students are encouraged to maintain close contact with their dissertation advisors. Ideally, the dissertation should be submitted by the end of the second year following the successful presentation of the dissertation proposal. Prior to the oral defense, the dissertation will be read and approved by the dissertation advisor and two readers from the faculty, who will submit written evaluations. Two additional readers will also take part in the oral defense.


C. Registering for Classes


i. Advising

Before the start of each semester, students will receive information about the upcoming courses offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Students will then sign up for an advising appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss their choices and their progress in the program.

After meeting with the DGS, students may request permission numbers from the Graduate Program Administrator. All Department courses require permission numbers. No permission numbers will be given until students have obtained the permission of the DGS. Students planning to take courses in other departments must consult with the host department for permission to enroll, in the event that it is required.


ii. Courses in Other Departments and the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium

Students are encouraged to take courses outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese that will complement their training in a meaningful way. Up to three courses may be taken outside the Department, per consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. Often, courses with other departments such Comparative Literature, American Studies, and Performance Studies are cross-listed with Spanish and Portuguese, so these would not count as outside courses. All students should seek the approval of the DGS before registering for outside classes.

The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) offers students the opportunity to take courses at distinguished universities throughout the greater New York area. Participating schools are: Columbia University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Fordham University, CUNY Graduate Center, Stony Brook University, and The New School for Social Research. Students interested in taking courses at any of the participating schools must consult with the DGS for approval and complete the IUDC Registration Form, available on the GSAS website.

Please note that courses taken at other schools may not carry the same number of credits as courses at NYU. For example, courses taken through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Columbia University are worth 3 credits instead of 4. All students interested in IDUC courses should consult with the Graduate Program Administrator to discuss how credits will transfer.


iii. English and Other Language Courses

English- Students who wish to improve their command of academic English are eligible to enroll in courses through the American Language Institute, part of NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Students interested in English language courses should speak to the Graduate Program Administrator for instructions on how to enroll.

Please be aware that these courses are graded and therefore require regular attendance and participation. More information can be found at:

Other languages- All MacCracken PhD students are awarded tuition remission for undergraduate-level language courses. Only classes taken at the Intermediate II or Intensive Intermediate level will fulfill the additional research language requirement. Language courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Common languages studied by students in the department include French, Italian, Latin, German, and Catalan (offered at Columbia University).

Students must consult with the host department for placement and enrollment into the appropriate level course. In many cases, the host department may request that students take a placement test to determine their level. Graduate students are not given priority when registering for undergraduate language classes, so interested students should register early to ensure a place in their desired course.

Once a student has enrolled in an undergraduate-level language course, he or she must consult with the Graduate Program Administrator to finalize the tuition remission paperwork. Please note that undergraduate language courses are graded and will appear on your transcript. It is recommended that students elect to take undergraduate language courses Pass/Fail. If you choose this option, the Graduate Program Administrator will provide you with the necessary paperwork.


II. Policies and Procedures


A. Grading

i. Grades

The grade scale for the Graduate School of Arts and Science and grade point average (GPA) equivalencies are as follows:

Standard Letter Grades (count for credit and are factored into GPA)



GPA Value


Highest grade





















Lowest passing grade






Pass/Fail Option (count for credit but are not factored into GPA)

P          Pass

F          Fail


Incomplete Grades

I           Incomplete

W        Withdrawal


ii. Final Papers/Annotated Bibliographies

Students taking three or more classes during a given semester may elect to complete an annotated bibliography in lieu of a final paper. If a student is taking three courses in a semester, he or she may elect to complete one annotated bibliography for one course. If astudent is taking four courses in a given semester, he or she may elect to complete two annotated bibliographies. Any student wishing to pursue the annotated bibliography option must first discuss this plan with the course professor and then meet with the Graduate Program Assistant to declare this option.


iii. Incomplete Grades

Students will receive a grade of Incomplete if, due to extenuating circumstances, they are unable to finish the required work for a course. If a student is unable to finish his or her coursework by the assigned deadline, he or she must request an extension from the course professor and the DGS. The student and professor will agree upon an appropriate timeline for completion. No grade of Incomplete will be awarded unless the student has formally requested an extension.

A grade of Incomplete will become an F one year after the beginning of the semester in which the course was taken unless an extension of the incomplete grade has been approved by the Vice Dean. For example, if a student receives a grade of Incomplete in the Fall 2015 semester, this grade will become an F at the start of Fall 2016 semester. Any student requiring an extension of an incomplete grade must seek approval from the course professor and from the DGS. Extensions will be re-evaluated each subsequent semester. Incomplete grades can be extended for a maximum of two years from the start of the semester the course was taken.


B. Academic Standing


i. Criteria for Good Academic Standing

Students must maintain good academic standing while enrolled at NYU. To be in good standing, the Graduate School of Arts and Science requires that students maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and successfully complete 66 percent of credits attempted at NYU, excluding the current semester.

A grade of “I” signifies an Incomplete. Courses with grades of I, W, and F are not considered successfully completed.

For example, if in the first year in the program a student registers for 32 credits (8 seminars) but only receives a passing letter grade for 20 of those credits (5 seminars), he or she will have successfully completed only 62 percent of their attempted credits. This student would not be considered in good standing with GSAS.


ii. Academic Probation


If a student’s academic performance falls below the Graduate School’s standard for good standing, a hold is automatically placed on the student’s account by the Office of the Vice Dean. This hold will prevent the student from registering for any future semesters and will make the student ineligible to receive any form of financial aid, such as MacCracken fellowship payments.

In order for a hold from the Office to the Vice Dean to be lifted, the student must be placed on academic probation by the department. Any student placed on academic probation will be notified of the terms of his or her probation by the department. The notification will inform the student of the grounds for this determination, the specific steps that must be taken to return to good standing, the means by which the student’s performance will be evaluated, and the penalty that will be imposed if these requirements are not met.

Students on probation who do not satisfy the stated terms of probation may be formally terminated from the program by the Vice Dean.


C. Credit Transfers


On a case-by-case basis, the Department will accept the transfer of credits earned as part of a Master’s degree or other previous graduate study, which will be applied toward the 72 credits required as part of the PhD program. Students would be allowed to transfer a maximum of 8 credits from previous MA or PhD work. Any student wishing to transfer credit from a Master’s degree should meet with the Director of Graduate Studies during his or her first year in the program.


D. Maintaining Student Status


i. Maintenance of Matriculation and Student Health Insurance

Students will enroll in courses for their first three years of the program. Following the completion of coursework, students will be registered for MAINT-GA 4747 “Maintenance of Matriculation” (MM), which maintains their status as a student at the University. Students who receive a five year MacCracken award will be automatically enrolled in MM from the time they finish their coursework until the end of their seventh year in the program. During this period, all costs associated with MM and with student health insurance (Comprehensive Plan) are waived for the student. Any student receiving a MacCracken award for less than five years should consult with the Graduate Program Administrator about MM.

Any student continuing in the program after his or her seventh year will need to register for MAINT-GA 4747.004 Maintenance of Matriculation on Albert and pay all associated cost for both MM and student health insurance. Students in Year 8 and up may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they can provide proof that they are covered by another insurance plan. All students must be enrolled in a health insurance plan the entire time they are enrolled at NYU. Any questions about health insurance coverage should be directed to the Student Health Insurance Office at the Student Health Center.


ii. Full-Time and Full-Time Equivalency Status

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must maintain Full-Time or Full-Time Equivalency status every semester they are enrolled at NYU. Failure to do so will jeopardize their visas.

U.S.  students who are deferring student loans may also need to maintain Full-Time or Full-Time Equivalency status.

Students taking 12 credits or more in a given semester will automatically receive Full-Time status. Students who are taking less than 12 credits or who have finished with their coursework will be given Full-Time Equivalency status by the Department, which is posted to their Albert accounts. Generally, students do not need to request that the Department post their Full-Time Equivalency. At the start of each semester, the Graduate Program Administrator will review student enrollment and post Full-Time Equivalency for all students who are taking less than 12 credits or who are finished with their coursework. However, if you are an international student and you are contacted by the Office of Global Services (OGS) regarding your status, please contact the Department to verify that Full-Time Equivalency has been posted for you.


iii. Fieldwork Waivers

The Graduate School of Arts and Science will grant a waiver of the Maintenance of Matriculation fee to students who will be away from campus for an extended time doing field work, an internship, or other scholarly or research work that is required for the completion of degree requirements.

If a student who is maintaining matriculation (i.e. finished with coursework) plans to be away from NYU for an extended period of time for an activity related to his or her studies, the Department may request that a fieldwork waiver be granted for that student. If the student is receiving MM waivers (see description above) during that time, the waivers for the semester(s) that the student is away will be banked, and can be used in the student’s eight year in the program.


iv. Leave of Absence

A student who is obliged to withdraw temporarily for national service, serious illness, or compelling personal reasons may request a leave of absence, which, if approved by the Vice Dean, maintains the student's enrolled status at the University. This also includes Maternal or Paternal Leave, which the Graduate School will grant for childbirth and care for the newborn.

Any student dealing with one of the issues named above should meet with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the possibility of a Leave of Absence. For more information, please consult the GSAS Policies and Procedures Manual.


III. Financial Aid and Teaching Appointments


A. Fellowship Support

i. Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship Program

Most students in the PhD program in Spanish and Portuguese are fully funded for five years through the Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship program. This fellowship package includes a full scholarship covering all tuition, registration, and service fees as well as the full cost of NYU student health insurance (Comprehensive Plan). In addition, it provides a generous yearly stipend to cover living expenses and a one-time, $1000 startup grant. A number of these awards are enhanced by a Dean's supplement reserved for historically underrepresented minority groups.


ii. GSAS Dissertation Writing and Research Fellowships

The Graduate School of Arts and Science offers a number of fellowships for students at the dissertation level who have already received five years of funding through the MacCracken program. These awards include the Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, the Mellon Dissertation

Fellowship in the Humanities, and the Lane Cooper Fellowship, among others.

In order to be considered for one of these awards, students must first apply for nomination by the Department. Once GSAS announces the fellowship application deadline, the Department will announce the internal deadline to be considered for nomination. Students wishing to be considered for nomination must submit all application materials (except recommendation letters) to the Graduate Program Administrator by the stated deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.


B. Teaching Eligibility

Starting in the second year of the program, all students are given the option to teach as a Spanish language instructor or recitation leader. Students are not required to teach as part of their MacCracken fellowship package, but all Spanish and Portuguese doctoral students are given the opportunity to teach for at least four semesters if they choose. PhD students who teach will be appointed as Adjunct Instructors and will be compensated according to the current university agreement with the Adjunct Instructor union. All students who choose to teach must take the zero-credit course “Foreign Language Teaching Methodology Workshop,” offered every fall.

MacCracken Funding Period (Years 1-5)


The Department takes seriously its responsibility to prepare its graduate students for their future academic career as teachers as well as researchers. We therefore offer all our graduate students the maximum amount of teaching recommended by the Graduate School during the period of MacCracken funding: a total of 4 courses, with no more than one in any given semester. Given lack of sufficient teaching slots, the Department will, from Spring 2015, enforce strictly the Graduate School’s strong recommendation that students teach a maximum of 4 courses (not counting summer teaching) during the MacCracken funding period. Subject to availability, we try to offer one literature/culture course to every graduate student who requests it. Only very rarely would a second literature/culture course be available. Graduate students do not teach in their first year.

Graduate students may elect not to teach but this is strongly discouraged for reasons of professionalization. Graduate students are paid for their teaching at the standard adjunct rate (calculated per contact hour; i.e. courses with 3 meetings per week pay more than courses with 2 meetings per week).

We strongly recommend graduate students to “bank” one quarter of their annual MacCracken funding for each of their 4 courses taught (the payment for a 3-meetings-per-week course is roughly equal to one quarter of the annual MacCracken funding). This means that you will have “banked” a full year’s MacCracken support which you can use to fund yourself for an additional 6th year. This is a good financial option since the “banked” MacCracken funding would be paid at the increased level offered by the time you get to Year 6 (MacCracken funding normally increases each year). One caveat: if you defend your dissertation in Year 5, then you would not be able to claim any “banked” MacCracken funding, so consider carefully whether you expect to want funding for a 6th year – almost all students do need a 6th year to complete the dissertation.

The courses available to graduate student instructors in Years 2-5 are as follows:

·                  Language courses: 3 meetings per week

·                  Critical Approaches (normally 2 sections available per semester): 2 meetings per week. Given that there are so few Critical Approaches sections available, students should not expect to teach Critical Approaches more than once.

·                  Recitations for Core Curriculum courses (normally 1 offered by the Department per semester): 3 meetings per week. Core Curriculum courses are taught in English to freshmen from across the whole university in classes of 80+; each course employs two graduate student instructors who each take two recitation groups of 20 students, and do all the grading for the course. See With so few Core Curriculum courses available, students should not expect to teach for a Core Curriculum course more than once.

The recommended roadmap for graduate student teaching is as follows:

·                  Year 2: one language course in Fall + one language course in Spring

·                  Years 3, 4, and 5: one Critical Approaches or Core Curriculum course if available, plus one language course at a more advanced level. We suggest you may want to teach your remaining two courses in Years 4 and 5, so that you can concentrate in Year 3 on the Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation Proposal, successful completion of which in Year 3 gives you $5,000 summer funding at the end of Year 3.

Rationale for teaching two language courses in Year 2:

All students wanting to teach must take the Foreign Language Teaching Methodology course in Fall of Year 2; this requires you to teach your first language course concurrently so as to implement the teaching techniques discussed. Thus during their first semester of teaching all students will teach a language course (and will be required to attend the orientation week for new instructors held before the Fall semester starts).

·                  It makes sense to teach two language courses in succession in the first year of teaching, so as to acquire maximum proficiency before starting work in Year 3 for the Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation Proposal Defense.

·                  Having taught two language courses in Year 2 puts you in a strong position to get Summer Teaching at the end of Year 2 (see separate document on allocation of Summer Teaching).


·                  Teaching evaluations, coordinator reports and class observations for previous courses taught will be taken into account when deciding which courses are allocated to which students.

·                  Graduate adjuncts for Core Curriculum courses must be able to demonstrate some competence in the field (though you do not need to be writing your dissertation on the period or geographical area covered); excellent teaching evaluations, coordinator reports and class observations; and the ability to teach in English (your English does not have to be perfect but you need to be able to communicate well with non-Spanish speaking students).

·                  For Critical Approaches, preference will be given to more veteran MacCracken period students (5th year over 4th year students and 4th year over 3rd year students) provided that they have not taught a literature / culture course before, to ensure that they get a chance to teach this course before the end of the funding period.

·                  If a student’s circumstances will require absence from New York City or NYU for one or more semesters of Years 4 and 5, subject to their advisor’s approval, they should notify these circumstances to the Graduate Administrative Aide when responding to the request to submit their language teaching preferences for the following year, so that these circumstances can, where possible, be taken into account.

·                    For any questions relating to their course assignment, students are encouraged to speak with the Director of Language Programs directly.


·                  Starting in February 2015, teaching will be allocated for the whole of the following academic year at once, rather than on a semester-by-semester basis. The Graduate Administrative Aide will thus in February or March of each year ask graduate students to submit their teaching preferences for the whole of the following academic year.

·                  Information about what Core Curriculum Courses will be offered the following academic year will be provided with the annual February “call.” Those who express an interest in taking recitations for a Core Curriculum Course will be interviewed informally by the professor teaching the course; students’ advisors will also be consulted.

·                  Those who express an interest in teaching a section for Critical Approaches will be interviewed informally by the Coordinator; students’ advisors will also be consulted.

·                  We cannot guarantee that students will be allocated their preferred course, since a number of factors have to be taken into account to satisfy departmental needsand to procure a fair distribution of teaching among the graduate students requesting it. You should thus, when replying to the “call,” express your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd preferences.

·                  As mentioned above, students should not expect to teach more than one Critical Approaches course or to teach for more than one Core Curriculum course; and it is rarely possible to able to offer students more than one non-language course.

·                  The allocation of courses will be made by the Director of the Language Program, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies.


Post-MacCracken Students (Years 6 and above)

Intensive Language Courses

Students who have completed their 5 years of MacCracken funding will be given priority for the allocation of intensive language courses (5 meetings per week and therefore better paid). To be eligible to teach an intensive language course, post-MacCracken students must have completed all elements of their Comprehensive Exams, have no incompletes, and be making good progress with writing their dissertations (confirmation will be requested from the advisor). They must also have a proven record of providing a good, professional language-teaching service to the Department (teaching evaluations, coordinator reports, and class observations will be taken into account).

·                  6th year students who fulfill these requirements will be given top priority.

·                  For the academic year 2015-1016 next in line for consideration will be students in Year 7. Preference will be given to those who are making good progress toward degree and have an excellent teaching record. Please note that there are not normally enough intensive courses to be able to offer them to all Year 7 students requesting them.

·                  Starting with the academic year 2015-1016 students in Year 8 and above will not be given a teaching assignment. Beginning in the academic year 2016-2017, students in Year 7 and above will not be assigned any further teaching.

·                  Graduate students assigned an intensive language course are expected to work in close, strict collaboration with the Course Coordinator throughout the semester.

·                  Contracts are contingent on there being sufficient student enrollments for the course to run.

·                  As should be clear from the above, since there are many more requests for intensive courses than there are slots available, we cannot satisfy all requests. Students should not expect to be assigned more than three intensives overall.


Other courses

Subject to availability, regular language courses (3 meetings per week) may also be offered to post-MacCracken students, provided they have a proven record of providing a good, professional language-teaching service to the Department (teaching evaluations, coordinator reports, and class observations will be taken into account).

In the unlikely event that a slot is available after satisfying demand from students in Years 3-5 who have not yet taught a literature/culture course, post-MacCracken students may be offered a Critical Approaches section if they have not taught a literature/culture course before. Students should bear in mind that Critical Approaches courses meet only twice a week and are thus paid proportionately less than a 3-meeting-a-week language course

Preference for any language (or Critical Approaches) courses will be given to students in Year 6 over those in Year 7 and so on. The Department cannot promise that there will be sufficient slots to be able to offer teaching to students after Year 6 during the academic year 2015-2016. If slots are available, the deciding factors will be progress toward degree and language teaching performance (based on teaching evaluations, coordinator reports, and class observations). Beginning in the academic year 2016-2017, students in Year 7 and above will not be assigned any further teaching.


C. Summer Funding


i. Summer Teaching in New York and Madrid

Each year, a number of graduate students are selected to teach Spanish language courses as part of NYU’s Summer in New York program. These courses are offered in two, six-week sessions, one spanning from approximately mid-May to late June, and another from early July to mid-August. In 2017, compensation for most summer teaching was $8,208.

Students will be contacted via email during the spring semester and asked to indicate their interest in summer teaching and session preferences, if any. Summer teaching assignments are competitive and selection criteria will be based on a student’s standing in the PhD program and previous teaching experience both during the summer and academic year. No student on academic probation will be considered for a summer teaching assignment. As is the case during the academic year, summer teaching assignments are contingent on course registration. If enough students do not enroll in a summer course, it will be cancelled.

Two students are also selected annually to teach at NYU Madrid during the summer. These positions are awarded to students who will benefit from the opportunity to conduct research in Spain. In the spring semester, interested students will be contacted with instructions on how to apply for these positions.


ii. Other Summer Funding Opportunities

Graduate School of Arts and Science Pre-doctoral Summer Fellowships

Fifteen awards of $2,000 are available annually for outstanding doctoral students who, within one year of the award, expect to complete remaining coursework and other requirements (qualifying, comprehensive and language exams). These awards are to be used for visits to research sites, such as archival resource facilities, laboratories and fieldwork locations that will be necessary for later sustained dissertation research.

In addition to these basic awards, GSAS also offers a number of other awards ranging from $2500 to $6000 to support summer research. More information is available on the Graduate School’s website. Much like the GSAS Dissertation Writing and Research fellowships, students must first apply for nomination by the department. The internal deadline will be announced to students once the Graduate School announces the award competition.

Tinker Grants

Tinker grants support pre-dissertation, preliminary fieldwork in Latin America. These grants are primarily meant to cover the cost of transportation to and from fieldwork sites, though 25% of the award can be used to cover other expenses as well. These awards are well suited for students in their first and second years in the program.

Foreign Language Area Study (FLAS) Fellowship

FLAS fellowships support students who wish to study Brazilian Portuguese, Amerindian languages (Quechua, Nahuatl etc.), or Haitian Creole. The grant provides $6000 to cover the cost of tuition and $2500 to cover expenses. FLAS fellowships can be used to study at the elementary level in the US or at the intermediate or advanced level abroad. As these awards are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Both Tinker grants and FLAS fellowships are administered by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Interested students should contact CLACS for more information. Both of these awards are competitive and students are encouraged to begin working on their applications well before the deadline, which is usually in February.

NYU Remarque Institute Fellowships

For students working on European and Transatlantic topics, the Remarque Institute offers a number of grants and fellowships that support summer research and study at European institutions.

Institut Ramon Llull Grants for Catalan Courses

For students interested in learning Catalan, the Institut Ramon Llull offers grants to take language courses anywhere in the Catalan-speaking region (Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Andorra).


IV. Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get paid?

Students will receive their fellowship and adjunct instructor payments on a bi-monthly schedule, usually on the 1st and 15th of each month. For a full schedule of pay dates, please consult the 2016-17 Disbursement Plan, available at:

What is direct deposit and how do I sign up?

Students’ paychecks will be delivered to their department mailboxes unless they enroll in direct deposit. In lieu of physical checks, students enrolled in direct deposit will have their fellowship and adjunct instructor payments automatically deposited into their bank accounts. It is strongly recommended that all students enroll in direct deposit. To enroll, visit

When will I receive my summer funding?

All students receive a $3000 stipend from the department in the summer following their first year in the program. These payments will be made in bi-monthly $500 installments. For more information and a complete pay schedule, students should consult the Disbursement Plan:

Will the Department reimburse me for travel to conferences?

For the past several years, the Department has been able to offer a small number of travel grants to students presenting papers at academic conferences. If funds are available, the application period for these grants will be announced in late August. The Graduate School also sponsors the Dean’s Student Travel Grant Program, which provides a total of 225 awards each year, in the amount of $500 each. For more information, see the GSAS website.

How does the student health insurance work?

Students are automatically enrolled in an NYU-sponsored student health insurance plan as part of the University's registration process. This insurance allows students to access the NYU Student Health Center, located at 726 Broadway. All students are required to maintain health insurance coverage during the entire time they are matriculated at NYU. MacCracken PhD students receive health insurance coverage free of charge through their 7th year in the program. For more information about NYU’s student health insurance and about the Student Health Center, please visit:

I have questions about my visa, who should I talk to?

All questions relating to visas and immigration status should be directed to NYU’s Office of Global Services, located at 383 Lafayette Street. All new international students must also make an appointment with OGS for a mandatory check-in workshop. For more information, visit

How and when do I register for classes?

Fall semester registration will begin in April of the preceding spring semester. Spring semester registration will begin in November of the preceding fall semester. Registration will remain open until approximately two weeks after the start of classes. All registration (except late add/drop transactions) will take place online though the Student Center on Albert.

Can I take classes Pass/Fail?

The department recommends that all students taking undergraduate-level language courses do so Pass/Fail. To take a course Pass/Fail, students must complete the necessary Pass/Fail form during the first three weeks of the semester or it will not be accepted. Students must consult with the DGS about the possibility of taking graduate courses Pass/Fail.

I’ve taught Spanish before, why can’t I teach during my first year?

The PhD program in Spanish and Portuguese offers rigorous training meant to prepare students intellectually and professionally for careers in academia and related fields. The first year in the program is especially demanding and students are expected to successfully complete a heavy course load. As a result, students are not allowed to teach until their second year in the program, regardless of prior teaching experience. Exceptions will not be made.

How do I get a letter of employment?

Often, students will ask for letters of employment to assist in the search for an apartment. The department cannot provide these letters. All requests for employment verification letters must be made to the Office of Human Resources. However, the department may provide letters verifying that a student is the recipient of a MacCracken fellowship and is fully enrolled at NYU.

I’m an international student. How do I do my taxes?

Unfortunately, the department cannot assist international students with tax matters. The Office of International Students and Scholars purchases CINTAX, a tax software for non-resident tax aliens. NYU international students may use this software free of charge. For more information, visit

Where do I get a copy of my w2 tax form?

Your w2 tax form will be sent to the address you have on file with the university in the beginning of the calendar year. Be sure to update this address any time you move or change address. You may also access this information via PeopleSync: