Our Programs: Spanish & Portuguese

Spanish and Portuguese are global languagesfrom Spain and Portugal to Latin America and the United States and parts of Africa, such as Angola and Mozambique.

Our program focuses on the intersection of the local and the global, studying the literatures and cultures of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world across the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Studying this multilingual world allows our students to critically evaluate political and social systems and to develop an appreciation for the multiple cultural expressions of these contemporary societies.

For more information about the requirements for the major in Spanish and Portuguese, please consult the General Announcements or contact the Program Advisor, Esther Fernández.

Rice’s major in Spanish and Portuguese is part of the Department of Modern and Classical Literatures and Cultures. We offer a full range of undergraduate courses from the medieval period to contemporary literature, from visual culture to environmental policies, and from colonial to postcolonial studies to language policies. Linguistic diversity, the development of heritage languages, bilingualism and multilingualism are a valuable cultural capital.

The program stresses linguistic competence, interdisciplinary study, and a truly transnational perspective on Spanish, Latin American and Brazilian literature and culture. Courses are offered on the novel, poetry, essay, film, art, cultural theory, translation and gender and provide foundational knowledge about Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula and the United States. The major provides Rice students with a comprehensive professional program of studies focused on the development of critical thinking through faculty-guided academic research and experiential learning opportunities, including internships and study abroad.

Our students are highly motivated and have the opportunity to choose from a variety of innovative academic courses. Through these courses, students develop the critical thinking skills to identify and articulate areas of inquiry, debate and investigation associated with Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities; the ability to engage, communicate and develop productive interactional abilities with multilingual communities; and the academic foundation to pursue an advanced graduate or professional degree.

Our students follow many different professional paths, including business, education, health services, international relations and political science, interpretation or translation, linguistics and psychology.

Major Requirements

For the Spanish and Portuguese major, students must complete 30 credit hours (10 courses) listed under Spanish and Portuguese. These courses include core requirements, such as the Hispanic Writing Seminar, Brasil Atual, Approaches to Hispanic Literatures and one Hispanic Linguistics course.

Additionally, students can choose from a range of survey courses and advanced courses as well as focused research seminars.

Detailed requirements can be found in Rice University’s General Announcements.