Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies contributes to the academic and professional development of our students by developing their skills in critical thinking and writing as well as honing their linguistic expertise.  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.   

Our department also serves as an important link between Rutgers-Newark and the sizeable Latino and Lusophone populations in northern New Jersey and in the city of Newark.  We foster cultural and intellectual ties to these communities through our teaching, research, and outreach activities, and many of our students come from these communities. Every semester, our department offers scholarly and cultural events that are attended by faculty, students, and members of the wider community.

 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.  We also offer a new minor in Latin American Studies.

Explore our website to learn more about what the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies has to offer you. In addition to Spanish and Portuguese, we offer classes in several other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, and Japanese. To learn more about the faculty members teaching these languages, visit the Faculty and Staff section.

News & Announcements

  • Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) students and scholars have lost a scholar and mentor with the death of Elpidio Laguna Diaz, Emeritus Professor of Spanish and former chair of the Department of Classical & Modern Languages in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences.  He passed away Jan. 25 at his home in South Carolina. He would have been 71 in February. Please click here to read more

  • In 2015-2016, The Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at Rutgers-Newark will sponsor a lecture series on Cuba: Vuelo Directo/Direct Flight: Havana-Newark.


    Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 2:30 - 3:50pm

    "Freedom's Mirror:  Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution"

    Dr. Ada Ferrer, New York University

    Dana Library - The Dana Room, 4th Floor


    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 2:30-3:50pm

    "Critical Interdisciplinarity and Intersectional Feminism: Aréito for Lourdes Casal"

     Dr. Laura Lomas, Rutgers-Newark

    Conklin 424



    These lectures are free and open to the public.  For parking information, visit