Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish


Thank you for your interest in the graduate programs in Spanish at Northern Arizona University. Through Linguistics, Literature and Pedagogy, we guide you in the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical expertise for understanding the process of second language acquisition in general, and Spanish in particular. 

 The MAT in Spanish is designed to prepare you to apply the most current methods, strategies, and technologies for teaching Spanish in a classroom environment that fosters cultural diversity.

Interested applicants would be the following:

  • Current Spanish teachers at the secondary level.
  • Students whose major is Spanish (or a related field).
  • Current and future community college faculty and adjuncts.
  • Students planning to earn a Ph.D. in Spanish or an Ed. D. degree.

The study of foreign-language pedagogy has become an important discipline in the past twenty years, with various organizations --e.g., the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages , the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese -- supporting research on effective foreign-language teaching. We aim to provide Spanish teachers and future scholars with a learning context in which they can become masters of this growing source of knowledge directly related to classroom practices.

The Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish offers a professional foundation in the academic areas of Teaching and Pedagogy, Literature and Culture, and Linguistics to prepare teachers to excel in a rapidly changing classroom with an increasing number of bilingual and heritage language speakers.

Students (both native and non-native Spanish speakers) will be enrolled in graduate-level courses conducted entirely in Spanish. This will allow you to attain a high level of proficiency in the language.

Students who wish to practice the theories and strategies they learn have the opportunity to receive graduate assistantships to teach lower-division Spanish classes (SPA 101 and SPA 102) in the Department of Global Languages & Cultures.


The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours, including a Capstone Project. You must also pass a written comprehensive exam in the last semester of the program.

The MAT curriculum consists of three areas:

  • Teaching and Pedagogy: 12 credit hours
  • Literature and Culture: 9 to 12 credit hours
  • Linguistics: 9 to 12 credit hours
  • Capstone Project: 3 credit hours
  • Comprehensive Written Exams

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

All applicants to the program are automatically considered for a graduate assistantship, which provides free tuition and medical benefits while you are paid to teach two Spanish courses per semester. If you do not want a graduate assistantship, please inform the graduate coordinator when you complete your application materials.

The number of assistantships per year are limited so apply early!

More information

Visit the academic catalog for more information on this degree.