The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the largest foreign language and literature department at the University of Notre Dame, houses a vigorous cohort of nationally and internationally recognized scholars with robust research profiles and publication records. Members of our faculty also have an impressive record of securing grants and support for research from prestigious sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Fulbright Program.

Nd Backpack In Rome

Faculty in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures work in areas that intersect along interdisciplinary and interdepartmental trajectories, with some of the University of Notre Dame’s strongest areas of research and teaching.

Some of our many partnerships are with the following entities at Notre Dame: The Devers Program in Dante Studies, The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, The Institute for Latino Studies, The Medieval Institute, and The Nanovic Institute for European Studies. 

Our research and teaching is also enriched through Notre Dame Global's network of international facilities, including in Rome, Mexico, Santiago, and São Paulo.

The Department contributes in many ways to the University's mission as a Catholic institution of international standing.

One of Notre Dame's distinctive goals is "to provide a forum where through free inquiry and open discussion the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity."

Given their common Latinate and Catholic origins and their continuing deep cultural kinship and global range, the Romance languages represent particularly vital intersections of Catholic intellectual, artistic, and cultural traditions both within the University of Notre Dame and within a wider "globalized" network of contemporary humanities scholarship and creative expression.

The Department bears witness through its scholarship and teaching to the importance of studying foreign languages and getting to know the world through them. It promotes and supports language learning through programs that work toward the common goal of "educated citizenship." Our commitment to service-learning is exemplified through our involvement in Community Based Learning.

Undergraduate Studies

Romance Languages Week Group Photo

Since Fall 2012, Romance Languages and Literatures has teamed with Economics to offer a major in International Economics and Romance Languages.

The Department's undergraduate program offers first and supplementary majors in French, Italian, and Spanish, as well as minors in French, Italian, and Portuguese. We also offer the opportunity to specialize in two languages through our Romance Languages major.

In addition to proficiency in foreign languages, our majors develop invaluable skills in critical, interpretive, and creative thinking, which have led to marked success in a variety of career paths.

Graduates of our program are regularly accepted to some of the most prestigious doctoral programs in the country and have received Fulbright scholarships and other major post-baccalaureate awards.

Graduate Studies

The Department's graduate program offers Master of Arts degrees in French, Iberian and Latin American Studies, and Italian Studies. The M.A. Programs offer a comprehensive two-year course of study that cultivates strong theoretical and analytical skills.

Created in 2016, the Ph.D. programs in Italian and Spanish comprise a curriculum and a dissertation-oriented course of study designed to achieve both a high degree of specialization and a broad understanding of literature and culture.