Romance Languages and Literatures

The field of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) offers a broad area of investigation and studies in diverse cultures (past and present) all around the world. Besides providing linguistic skills, the undergraduate programs teach all students, from beginner to advanced, to use various cognitive and critical skills in order to discover, question, interpret, and understand Romance cultures and literatures.

The secondary field in RLL offers students four pathways, one in each of our major areas of study:

Each of these options requires 5 courses (20 credits). The requirements for the four options are symmetrical, except that in Italian and Portuguese two advanced language courses may count instead of one, as in French and Spanish. This difference takes into account the fact that students in Italian and Portuguese are more likely to have started their language study in college.

While RLL requires certain levels of courses, the department does not impose any thematic consistency within each special field. Students may choose their courses in order to focus on a certain period, genre, or cultural issue. Or they can explore a variety of aspects of their field. They may also fulfill one of the requirements with a course in a related field offered in another program or department (e.g., a course on the history of Latin America or on Italian Renaissance art).

REQUIREMENTS: 5 courses (20 credits)

French

  1. A maximum of one French course at the 40s-60s level.
  2. A maximum of two French courses at the 70s-80s level.
  3. At least two French courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70 level or above.
  4. At least three courses must be taught in French.

Students who plan to pursue a secondary field in French are required to meet once with the Undergraduate Adviser in French, Sylvaine Guyot (guyot@fas.harvard.edu) or with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Cathy Downey (cdowney@fas.harvard.edu).

Italian

  1. A maximum of two Italian courses at the 40-60 level.
  2. At least three Italian courses at the 70-level or above. One of these three courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70 level or above.
  3. At least three courses must be taught in Italian.

Students who plan to pursue a secondary field in Italian are required to meet once with the Undergraduate Adviser in Italian, Elvira G. Di Fabio (edifabio@fas.harvard.edu), or with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Cathy Downey (cdowney@fas.harvard.edu).

Portuguese

  1. A maximum of two Portuguese courses at the 40-60 level.
  2. At least three Portuguese courses at the 70-level or above. One of these three courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70 level or above.
  3. At least three courses must be taught in Portuguese.

Students who plan to pursue a secondary field in Portuguese are required to meet once with the Undergraduate Adviser in Portuguese, Viviane Gontijo (vivianegontijo@fas.harvard.edu), or with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Cathy Downey (cdowney@fas.harvard.edu)

Spanish

  1. A maximum of one Spanish course at the 40-60 level.
  2. A maximum of two Spanish courses at the 70-80 level.
  3. At least two Spanish courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70 level or above.
  4. At least three courses must be taught in Spanish.

Students who plan to pursue a secondary field in Spanish are required to meet once with the Undergraduate Adviser in Spanish, María Luisa Parra (parra@fas.harvard.edu), or with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Cathy Downey (cdowney@fas.harvard.edu).

OTHER INFORMATION

Secondary field students can take any RLL course offered in their chosen pathway (from levels 40 to 200) except for the senior tutorial (99).  Students in Italian, Portuguese, and Catalan may enroll in supervised reading and research (91r), as needed.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of an optional Freshman Seminar. Requirements may include a course in a related field offered in another program or department, courses taken abroad or courses taken at the Harvard Summer School. For these three options, students will need their RLL adviser's permission. A maximum of two courses taken out of residence and approved both by the Office of International Education and RLL for Harvard credit and a maximum of one course in a related field may count for the secondary field.

ADVISING RESOURCES AND EXPECTATIONS

Students who plan to pursue a secondary field in Romance Languages and Literatures are required to meet once for an advising session with the Undergraduate Adviser in their chosen track before they have taken all of their courses. That Undergraduate Adviser or the Undergraduate Program Coordinator must sign the final form for secondary field credit. For more information students may also contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Cathy Downey (cdowney@fas.harvard.edu).