Romance Studies

The Romance Studies major at Duke involves advanced study in two of the department’s language/culture sections and an international and experiential learning experience. This major consists of foreign language study at the major level (300 level or above taught in the language) within two departmental fields. Example combinations include: two continental fields, for example peninsular Spanish and Italian; two fields encompassing the diversity of cultures and engagement in the “developing” and the “developed” worlds, such Creole and French; or two fields in geographically proximate postcolonial spaces such as lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) and francophone Africa, or Spanish and Portuguese-speaking environments in South America. Our course requirements are paired with international/experiential learning requirements.

Requirements: 10 Courses

  • 5 courses at the 300 level or above taught in the language in each of your two chosen fields. Depending on where you begin your study of the language, courses below the 300 level may count (i.e. the entry level for the minor of each field):
  • 2 of the following international/experiential learning opportunities. Each must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
    • Study abroad (up to 2 programs may be counted)
    • An appropriate Duke Engage or another Duke service and/or experiential learning program
    • Research experience related to the Romance language/culture field in a humanities lab, a fellowship, a research independent study, research assistantship, professional research environment, etc.
    • An honor’s thesis uniting your two chosen fields
    • A certificate in a related field with content directly related to that of the fields of language/culture study

Study Option: Students with unusual depth of study in Creole or Portuguese may petition the Romance Studies faculty to substitute one sequence of five foreign language departmental courses with a combination of three courses and a required thesis (involving two semesters of independent study courses) in Creole or Portuguese. The Romance Studies major in French, Italian, or Spanish and Creole or Portuguese therefore requires unusual initiative and experience in the field of either Creole or Portuguese. Petitions to undertake this option must include a one-page abstract of the project, a bibliography, and the names of three committee members who have consented to serve on the thesis committee.