Spanish and Portuguese (BA)

Department Website

Program Description

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is an interdisciplinary department focused on the language, cultural formations, and critical thought emerging from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Luso-Afro-Brazilian world. Spanish and Portuguese are among the world’s leading languages of culture, sociopolitics, and commerce. Once languages of empire, Spanish and Portuguese are now the lingua franca of important sectors of the Global South, and Spanish is the growing second language of the United States. We practice inclusive, decolonial approaches to language and translation; critical and comparative approaches to film, literature, performance, music, and visual art; humanistic engagements with historiography, memory, and archives; and we participate in debates in philosophy and critical and social thought, including Black and Indigenous perspectives from the Global South. 

The department offers a range of majors and minors: the major in Spanish and Portuguese (Spanish or Portuguese tracks), the major and minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, as well as minors in Spanish and in Portuguese. The Department also offers joint majors in Romance Languages and Spanish and Linguistics. Students are encouraged to study away at NYU Madrid and NYU Buenos Aires, as well as our summer program in Recife, Brazil, where they may fulfill major or minor requirements through site-specific classes and immersive experiences. In addition, students participate in internships and collaborate on the online undergraduate journal, Esferas.

Honors Program

Writing an Honors Thesis allows students majoring with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to undertake advanced, independent research, analysis, and writing under close faculty guidance. By writing an original thesis, students participate in the production of new knowledge and critique, and make genuine contributions to our field. Engaging in self-designed research can be one of the most exciting experiences of a college career. Students with an overall and major GPA of 3.65 qualify and should confer with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the second semester of their junior year. During their senior year, students register for SPAN-UA 498 Senior Honors Seminar (fall), then enroll in SPAN-UA 499 Honor Thesis Seminar (spring). Students also present the conclusions of the thesis for different audiences, including participation in the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Conference and the Annual Departmental Showcase. Students write an abstract and have the opportunity to submit an extract of the thesis to Esferas, the Department’s Undergraduate Research Journal.


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