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The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies contributes to the academic and professional development of its students by developing their skills in critical thinking and writing as well as honing their linguistic expertise. As Italian film director Federico Fellini once said, a different language is a different vision of life. Learning a new language or improving proficiency in a language learned at home or in school gives students a deeper understanding of other cultures and their literary traditions as well as cognitive and professional advantages. Our classes help students become critical, independent thinkers by teaching them to interpret literary and visual texts and showing them how to analyze language using the theoretical approaches and methods of linguistics. We also offer a new minor in Latin American Studies.
In conjunction with the Department of Urban Education, we help students interested in teaching become certified to teach world languages as they complete their majors in Spanish or Portuguese. Many of our majors complete a second major in a wide variety of departments, including Business, Criminal Justice, English, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Nursing and Pre-Medicine, Psychology, Social Work, and Visual and Performing Arts, where knowledge of a foreign language is increasingly important for the development of both local and global connections. According to recent research, learning a second language as an adult sharpens cognitive skills correlated with academic success. Language study also improves employment prospects in a global economy; a study by Georgetown University found that foreign language majors had the lowest rate of unemployment of any field in the humanities.
Explore our website to learn more about what the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies has to offer you. Details on members of the faculty - including CVs, as well as courses taught, can be accessed under the Faculty and Staff section. All courses can be found under the Undergraduate Programs section. Department-related activities can be found under the News and Events section. For more information about the program in Portuguese and Lusophone Studies, visit the Camões Institute Center section. In addition to Spanish and Portuguese, we offer classes in several other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. To learn more about the faculty members teaching these languages, visit the Faculty and Staff section.