Honors in Spanish and Portuguese

Honors Advisor

Professor Luis Muñoz
420 PH 335-3452

Honors courses allow students to explore the topic of a class further through additional assignments and increased interactions with the professor. The honors thesis allows for either a creative writing project in Spanish or a research project in one of the following areas: Hispanic linguistics; literature, culture, or film from Spain; literature, culture or film from Spanish America; or, Lusophone literature or culture.  If you would like to graduate with honors in Spanish or Portuguese, please read on.

Graduating with honors

Graduating with honors in Spanish or Portuguese involves collaboration between the student, a faculty mentor, the honors advisor in Spanish & Portuguese, and the Honors Program.  You'll need to satisfy the following:

  • Maintain an overall UI gpa of 3.33 as well as a 3.5 gpa in Spanish or Portuguese;
  • Complete two honors courses in the department, one of which must be SPAN:4998, "Honors Research and Thesis";
  • Write and defend an honors thesis.  Additional coursework is required to pursue the creative thesis. Please read below.

Honors Courses

Honors courses can be selected from established honors sections or students can arrange to take any course with Honors Contract at the discretion of the instructor.  The student and the instructor must agree on an additional project, such as a paper or outside reading that would help enrich the course.  The student must also file the appropriate form with the Honors Program by the end of the fifth week of the semester (http://honors.uiowa.edu/current-students/honors-in-the-major/thesis).

Honors Thesis

In the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, students can undertake either a creative thesis or a research thesis.  Please read below about the two options.  For both the creative and research projects, the student will defend the thesis orally to a faculty committee in a meeting conducted in Spanish or Portuguese.  In consultation with the thesis director, the student will select an additional two professors from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for the thesis committee.  The student must defend the thesis with the three-member committee no later than the last Friday of classes.  Then the student must file the thesis along with a title page and an abstract with the Honors Program (420 BHC) no later than the Wednesday of Finals Week during the semester of graduation.  The Honors Program has very specific guidelines about submitting the thesis.  Note that the Honors Program requests that students submit an abstract in English and another in Spanish or Portuguese.  For additional requirements, please see their website: http://honors.uiowa.edu/current-students/honors-in-the-major/thesis.

  • Creative Thesis: Students who wish to write a creative thesis in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction writing in Spanish must have taken "Intro Wrkshp Creative Writing in Spanish" (SPAN:3060) and either "Journalistic Narrative" (SPAN:4940) or "Adv Workshop Creative Writing in Spanish" (SPAN:4950).  The student will elaborate the project under the supervision of one of the faculty members in Creative Writing in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  The creative thesis should consist of three parts written in Spanish: a creative piece, or pieces, of at least 25 pages; an annotated reading list of 12-15 works; and a reflective essay of 8-10 pages examining an issue of craft, subject, or genre.
  • Research Thesis: Students who wish to write a research thesis will write a research essay, in Spanish or Portuguese, of approximately 40 pages on a topic related to an area of study in the department, i.e. linguistics, literature, culture, or film.  The student will develop the essay under the guidance of one of the faculty members from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Dates to Remember

You will submit your materials to the Honors Program during the semester of graduation. Please consult the Honors Program webpage to confirm their deadlines for submitting forms and the final thesis.

  • Early in the semester, students will submit an Application for Graduation with Honors to the Honors Program.
  • Defense: plan the defense for the final month of the semester, no later than the last Friday of classes.
  • Turn the final version of the thesis in to the committee members at least two weeks prior to the defense.
  • Before filing the thesis with the Honors Program by the Wednesday of Finals Week,
    • complete the official title page.  Please take the title page to Mary Uhl at the UI Honors Program, 420 BHC, for proofreading and formatting approval before you take it to your thesis director and the departmental honors advisor for signatures.
    • prepare two abstracts of the thesis (one in English, and the other in Spanish or Portuguese)
    • properly format the thesis itself.

Past Honor Theses

Here are a few titles of past Spanish and Portuguese honors theses.  Abstracts for these and other honor theses are available at the Honors Program.

  • El matrimonio, la violación y la seducción: El sistema patriarcal en tres dramas del Siglo de Oro (director, Denise Filios)
  • Alejandro Amenábar: Estilo internacional del nuevo thriller (director, Kathleen Newman)
  • Mistério Do Caboclo: A Única Religião Verdadeiramente Brasileira (director, Maria José Barbosa)
  • ¿Te acuerdas? El enfrentamiento crítico con el pasado en la novela contemporánea española (director, Luis Martín-Estudillo)
  • Power and Bias in the Transcription Process (director, Mercedes Niño-Murcia)