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:

French

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. A maximum of one French half-course at the 40s-60s level.

  2. A maximum of two French half-courses at the 70s-90s level.

  3. At least two French half-courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70s-100s level.

  4. At least three half-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, Mylene Priam (priam@fas.harvard.edu), or with the undergraduate coordinator, Walter Hryshko (hryshko@fas.harvard.edu).

Italian

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. A maximum of two Italian half-courses at the 40s-60s level.

  2. At least two Italian half-courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70s-100s level.

  3. At least three half-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, Guiliana Minghelli (minghell@fas.harvard.edu), or with the undergraduate coordinator, Walter Hryshko (hryshko@fas.harvard.edu).

Portuguese

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. A maximum of two Portuguese half-courses at the 40s-60s level.

  2. At least two Portuguese half-courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70s-100s level.

  3. At least three half-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, Clémence Jouët-Pastré (cpastre@fas.harvard.edu), or with the undergraduate coordinator, Walter Hryshko (hryshko@fas.harvard.edu).

Spanish

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. A maximum of one Spanish half-course at the 40s-60s level.

  2. A maximum of two Spanish half-courses at the 70s-90s level.

  3. At least two Spanish half-courses at the 100 level or above. One of these two courses can be replaced by a Romance Studies course at the 70s-100s level.

  4. At least three half-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, Johanna Liander (jliander@fas.harvard.edu), or with the undergraduate coordinator, Walter Hryshko (hryshko@fas.harvard.edu).

Information for all pathways

Each of these options requires 5 half-courses. 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.

Our requirements impose limits on the level of the courses taken but we do not impose any thematic consistency within the linguistic field chosen. Students can 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. The requirements can include 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).

Other Information

Secondary field students can take any RLL course offered in their chosen pathway (from 40s to 200s level) except for supervised reading and research (91r), junior tutorial (98), and senior tutorial (99).

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 half-courses taken out of residence and approved both by the Office of International Programs and RLL for Harvard credit and a maximum of one half-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 with an RLL adviser for an advising session before they have taken all of their half-courses. The undergraduate adviser in the specific language chosen must sign the final form for secondary field credit. For more information students may also contact the assistant to the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Walter Hryshko (hryshko@fas.harvard.edu).