Distinguished Major Program

Please note: Per university policy, "The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://www.virginia.edu/registrar/."

Spanish majors of exceptional ability and dedication are encouraged to enroll in the Distinguished Major Program (DMP). This program enables qualified students to explore at a higher level their interests in Hispanic literature, language, and culture.
 
Like other Spanish majors, DMP students are required to take ten (10)  courses (30 credits) at the 3000-level or above. However, three (3) of these courses must be 4000-level seminars or, with the approval of the DMP Coordinator, 5000-level courses. In addition to the ten courses required of all majors, DMPs take two additional courses (6 hours) devoted to researching and writing a thesis in Spanish.
 
In the fall semester of their fourth year, DMP students enroll in the DMP Colloquium (a 3-credit credit/no credit course), meeting regularly with the DMP Coordinator to discuss research strategies and set intermediate goals. In the second semester of their fourth year, DMPs meet regularly with a faculty adviser to receive guidance on advanced research techniques, critical thinking skills, and effective writing strategies. Distinguished Major Program students receive three (3) additional credits upon the successful completion of a thesis. At the end of this year they present their research results to faculty, graduate students, and invited guests.

The DMP will give you the opportunity to:

  • Matriculate with priority in fourth-year seminars.
  • Research a topic of interest in depth over the course of a year.
  • Meet with a professor on an individual basis and receive guidance on advanced research techniques, critical thinking skills, and effective writing strategies.
  • Share your ideas and enthusiasm with other exceptional undergraduates in Spanish in a monthly colloquium.
  • Present your research results to faculty, graduate students, and DMPs in Spanish at the end of your fourth year.

For more information, please consult the pages below.

Eligibility

Spanish Majors possessing a GPA close to a 3.4 are eligible, but GPA alone will not bring automatic admission. Interest, dedication and past record will be taken into account. The last semester of the fourth year, a 3.4 cumulative GPA in all courses is an unconditional requirement in order to graduate with any level distinction.

When to Apply

Students should apply to the program by the end of the first semester of their third year. Admission will be granted by the DMP Coordinator.

How to Apply

Students must fill out an application form plus secure a written recommendation from a departmental faculty member, and present both to the DMP Coordinator. Application deadline for 2018 graduates:  February 15, 2017. To download the Distinguished Major application form, please click here.

Program Requirements

DMP Coursework

Distinguished Major Program students must take at least nine (9)  hours of undergraduate seminars in Spanish. A seminar is defined as a student-centered course (i.e., more discussion than lecture) with 25 or fewer students and with a total writing requirement of at least 3,000 words. Please consult the DMP Coordinator to find out which courses qualify.

With the approval of the DMP Coordinator, students may substitute a master’s level linguistics or literature course or a 4000/5000-level culture and civilization course for one of these seminars. These seminars and courses will be included in the 30 credits for the Spanish major.

DMP Thesis

At the end of the second semester of their third year, students will select a thesis topic in coordination with the member of the faculty who will become their thesis advisor. (Students who are studying abroad in the spring semester of the third year should select their thesis topic before the end of the summer before their fourth year.)

In the first semester of their fourth year, students will take Span 4980, “Distinguished Majors Colloquium,” for three credits [credit/no credit], meeting periodically with the DMP Coordinator and other DMPs to develop research strategies and goals. It is expected that significant work on the thesis will be completed in this semester. During their final semester, students will take Span 4989, “Distinguished Major in Spanish Thesis,” for three credits [grade option] and complete work on their thesis. DMPs will present their research at a departmental colloquium in the spring of their final year.

Theses will be read by the thesis director, a second reader, and the DMP Coordinator, who together will decide on levels of distinction. Details about the format of the final project should be discussed with the DMP Coordinator. A bound copy of the thesis will remain on file in the department’s Del Greco Library.

Levels of Distinction

A departmental committee determines different levels of distinction -- Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction -- based on the quality of the student’s thesis, the student’s overall work in the major field of study, and the student’s overall college record. Please note that the minimum GPA is a 3.4.

Wyatt Family Summer Fellowship for Distinguished Majors in Spanish

This award provides support up to $4,000 for Distinguished Majors in Spanish to conduct research in a Spanish-speaking country during the summer between their third and fourth years. The funds may be used for field research, archival research, interviews, museum study, or other activities related to the student’s proposed thesis topic.

To dowload the application form for the Wyatt Family Summer Fellowship for DMPs, please click here.

Past DMP Projects (2006-present)

Distinguished Majors in Spanish 2006-2017

2006
Andry Gray: “Dialogue and Discipline in Cervantes’s Don Quijote Part I and Avellaneda’s Apochryphal Continuation.”
Kristin Barth, “La retórica de la persecución: ‘Tratado acerca de los moriscos de España’ y ‘La execración de los judíos.’”
 
2008
Kristy Klare:  “Enfrentándose con Richard Rodriguez: Una expresión chicana de la educación bilingüe.”
Allison Martin: “Soldados de Salamina por Javier Cercas: una traducción.”
Teresa Daniels: “Discursos de legitimidad en la literatura indigenista y la política peruana contemporánea.”
Margaret Sessa-Hawkins: “La poesía de Dionisio Ridruejo.”
 
2009
Jennifer Barlow: “La deconstrucción de la masculinidad hegemónica en El celoso extremeño de Cervantes y “Tristana” de Buñuel.”
Kristen C. Holmes: “Dialectos en contacto: la nivelación léxica en la comunidad hispanohablante en Richmond, Virginia.”
 
2010
Malerie Ma: “Gustavo Becquer and the Libro de los gorriones.”
Kristina Wolf: “Francisco Franco y su influencia duradera en la práctica del catolicismo en España.”
Julia McLaughlin: “El camino de Santiago: la peregrinación, la communitas, y las identidades españolas.”
Carlos Cueto: “Estudio comparativo de las dos últimas décadas de Francisco Franco y Fidel Castro: ¿una transición en progreso?”
 
2011
Marguerite McNeal: “La ley de servicios de comunicación audiovisual: el primer paso hacia la democratización latinoamericana.”
 
2012
Logan Cochran: "Schopenhauer, España y existencialismo.”
Ilona De Zamaroczy: “Su Alteza Real: Manifestaciones y manipulaciones de la princesa en el cine y la literatura española.”
Corey Steinhouse: “La innovación y el desarrollo de los tiempo perfectos compuestos en el castellano.”
 
2014
Rachel Dobbs: “El cine español y la enfermedad: Una manera eficaz para diseminar la información.”
Edy Ndem: “La España trágica de García Lorca.”
Audrey Birner: “Fervor de Buenos Aires: desarrollo metafeorico de la obra de Jorge Luis Borges.”
Mac Wilkerson: “España, la Guerra Civil, Franco y mi familia: una historia personal
Andrea Wen: “Acción Poética: Sin poesía no hay ciudad.”
 
2015
Nicholas Radulescu: “Creando monstruos: traducción y perversión en la obra de Leopoldo María Panero.”
Megan Lubash: “Los efectos de los lazos débiles en las redes sociales de la España medieval: la influencia lingüística de los sefardim.”
Mathilda Shephard: “La televisión iraní en castellano: HispanTV, los 'desheredados' del mundo y la exportación de la revolución a España.”
Yurim Kim: “¿Quién soy yo? La identidad personal en Borges.”
Adam Cohn:  “L'estat d'esperit de Catalunya davant la gran gesta madrilenya: El tratamiento de Cataluña en El Mono Azul.”
 
2016
Blake Selph, “De nocte a noche: la evolución fonética del latín -CT- y -ULT- al español ch en Iberia.”
William Bravante: “La influencia literaria y política de Nietzsche en España.”
 
2017 (expected)
Victoria Thomas:  “Tipología sociolingüística del español medieval.”    
Mitchell Wellman: “Transferencia lingüística en EEUU y Barcelona: interacciones bilingües inglés-español vs. catalán-español.”