Admissions for 2014-2015

Welcome to our applicants!

The Department of Romance Studies at Duke University offers doctoral programs in French and Francophone, Italian, Spanish and Latin American literatures. It also offers an innovative Ph.D. track in comparative Romance Studies for students who want to combine two linguistic traditions in their research plans.

The Duke Department of Romance Studies has a nationally and internationally recognized faculty of specialists in many fields and critical methods, who offer a variety of courses. Crucial to our work is collaboration. Our faculty and students regularly are connected to nearby programs like those at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through exchange and co-taught courses, and participate in the events organized by the National Humanities Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute. During the academic year, the department sponsors numerous lectures and visits by distinguished critics and writers, as well as an annual Romance Studies conference and monthly colloquia.

The Duke learning environment includes exceptional library and computer facilities in the humanities. Perkins Library, one of the nation's major research libraries, houses among others the Gustave Lanson Collection in French, the Guido Mazzoni Collection in Italian, the Pérez de Velasco Collection in Latin American Studies. Students and faculty also benefit from the Triangle Research Library Network, which gives access to the main libraries of the Triangle area.

The department has about fifty resident students in the various programs and fields. The academic needs of individual students are met through regular advising and close work with members of the faculty. The aim is to provide a meaningfully adjusted course of study in light of the different individual interests and strengths that graduate students bring to the department. A Graduate Committee comprised of faculty and students constitutes the official link between the departmental faculty and the student body.  

Applicants will find information about the admission process and requirements on the Graduate School Admissions website. The applicant’s college record should include substantial advanced course work in French, Italian or Spanish. Proficiency in the major language is fundamental and the applicant's letters of recommendation should address this question. A balanced and diversified education is essential, and knowledge of a second language (other than English) prior to admission is desirable. Students holding or acquiring an MA are welcomed as applicants, but an MA is not required for admission. The Duke program is not designed for applicants seeking only an MA, except for those who apply for the JD-MA program offered in conjunction with the Law School.

For further information about our Graduate Programs, please consult this website. You can also contact , our Director of Graduate Studies.

    • Bosch, Tower of Babel
    • Photo Credit: GNU Free Documentation License
    • Bosch, Tower of Babel

For information on the Graduate Program in Romance Studies, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies,

Director of Graduate Studies


212 Languages Bldg,

919-660-3111

View Full Profile.

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies

Denise Wilborn

(919) 660-3114

For more information on the Graduate Program, please see the Romance Studies Graduate Brochure.

The Graduate School

Students seeking to do graduate work at Duke University for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean.  The Graduate School welcomes applications from students holding a U.S. bachelor's degree (or the international equivalent) from an accredited institution. For more information, please see

The Graduate School's admissions site.

The Graduate School's 2010 Newsletter, featuring Professor Walter Mignolo.

Please also see the News & Events page for information on the Colloquium in Romance Studies and the Research page for information on Graduate Research.