Did you know that Portuguese is spoken by 240 million people worldwide? The sixth most spoken language in the world, Portuguese is the official or co-official language of 10 countries in 4 continents: Europe (Portugal), South America (Brazil), Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea), and Asia (East Timor and Macau). Today, there are large and growing Portuguese and Brazilian immigrant communities in the U.S. Brazil, the fifth largest country and seventh largest economy in the world, hosted the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
A respected program
Our Portuguese program, established in the 1960s, is one of the oldest and most respected in the nation. Our faculty have lived, traveled, and studied in Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa, giving you access to some of the latest research in the field.
While your initial focus is on the study of the Portuguese language, you also gain an in-depth encounter with the rich and diverse realm of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone African literature and culture. Your courses explore topics such as race, ethnicity, national cinemas, and women's writing. The study of language, literature, and culture gives special emphasis to issues of historical and political importance that cut across geographic boundaries in the Portuguese-speaking world.
Combine your degree with other areas of study
This degree combines well with others. A number of Portuguese majors and minors also major in Spanish. They supplement their knowledge by learning Portuguese and studying the culture and literature of Portuguese-speaking countries.
You might consider a double or triple major in other fields as well. You can choose secondary degrees in complementary areas such as Latin American Studies, International Studies, and History.
We also offer a minor in Portuguese that complements many areas of study. For the Portuguese minor, you complete 15 credit hours.
Talk to the undergraduate advisor to craft your own pathway to the degree that helps you meet your goals.
Our students are highly encouraged to pursue one or more study abroad experiences. In fact, 82% of our B.A. students participate in study abroad – the highest percentage of any department in the College. There are a variety of study abroad locations to choose from.