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The Undergraduate Program in Portuguese offers a variety of language, literature, and culture classes for students interested in Portuguese language and the Luso-Afro-Brazilian world. Whether you grew up speaking Portuguese or are just starting out, you can find a class to fit your needs and expand your knowledge of the Portuguese-speaking world. The program now offers a minor in Portuguese, which combines language instruction with classes on the cultures of the Lusophone world. Students have the opportunity to study abroad in Brazil or Portugal on a faculty-led summer program or during the semester or academic year. The department also organizes events such as visits from Brazilian authors, lectures by prominent scholars in the field, and a ‘bate-papo’ conversation group.

Why Study Portuguese?

  1. Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. It is the sole official language of countries on three continents: Brazil (South America), Portugal (Europe), and Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé e Príncipe (Africa). It also has co-official language status in Macau and East Timor (Asia) as well as in Equatorial Guinea.
  2. Learn about world-famous writers including Clarice Lispector, Mia Couto, and José Saramago, music genres such as samba, fado, and funk carioca, political struggles like the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil and the anti-colonial wars in Lusophone Africa, histories of slavery, colonialism, and their legacies … Studying Portuguese will provide you with insight into an incredibly diverse world.
  3. If you already have a good grasp of Spanish, you have an edge in learning Portuguese; there are many similarities between the two languages.

For more information on the Portuguese program, contact Prof. Krista Brune ( or Prof. Sarah J. Townsend (