Romance Languages Major


The undergraduate major in Romance Languages and Literatures is designed for qualified students who wish to major in two programs (French, Italian, or Spanish). Cross-cultural in focus, the major recognizes the importance of studying the correspondences and differences among various Romance literatures and cultures and of reexamining traditional disciplinary boundaries.


The requirements for a major in Romance Languages and Literatures include competency in two languages and successful completion of 36 credit hours or 12 courses at the 200 level and above, distributed equally between the two respective language programs as follows:

  • Two survey courses in each language and literature program (French or Italian); Spanish requires either four survey courses (two in peninsular and two in Latin American) or a combination of two survey courses in one area and two 400-level courses in the other area;
  • Textual Analysis in one program;
  • Two 400-level courses in each program (if the survey requirement in Spanish is fulfilled with two 400-level courses, these courses may count for the 400-level requirement in Spanish);
  • One senior seminar in one program;
  • Two elective courses at the 200 level or above in the department (any exception requires permission).

The Honors Track in Romance Languages and Literatures

To be eligible for the honors track, students in Romance Languages and Literatures must be first majors with a minimum GPA of 3.7 in the major, and will have completed at least eight courses toward the major. It is strongly recommended that students take at least one 400-level class in the major at Notre Dame by the end of their junior year. In addition to the general requirements for the major, honors track students will maintain a 3.7 GPA
in the major through graduation and complete one graduate-level course in one of the Romance languages with a grade of A- or higher. Highly motivated students who have already been accepted to the honors track may be invited to complete a capstone comparative honors thesis in lieu of taking the graduate course.

The honors thesis option must be carried out under the direction of two department faculty members, one in each area of specialization. Students interested in this option must follow the same procedures as those outlined above. He or she will identify the professor with whom he or she intends to work, obtain approval of the topic, and submit application materials by March 15th of the junior year. Students are also encouraged to take at least one course that addresses cultural or literary theoretical questions and readings; this course may be a 400-level course offered in the Department of Romance Languages, or a similar course in a related field (English, gender studies, FTT, philosophy, sociology, etc.). Romance languages and literatures majors are admitted to the honors track by invita- tion, although qualified students may petition for admission in the second semester of their junior year. For full consideration, students should contact the advisor for the romance languages and literatures major no later than March 15 of their junior year. Applications for eligible seniors will be accepted through October 1st.

For questions about the Romance Languages and Literatures major please contact Professor Shauna Williams, Assistant Chair