Jesus Mosaic of Hesburgh LibraryFamous mosaic tile mural of Jesus Christ featured on the Hesburgh Library celebrating 50 years 1963-2013


The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures comprises a community of scholar-teachers based in the humanities division of the College of Arts and Letters, the oldest and largest of the four undergraduate colleges of Notre Dame. As the University of Notre Dame's largest foreign language and literature Department, Romance Languages and Literatures plays a critical role in interpreting and expressing Notre Dame's complex identity as both a residential liberal arts college and a dynamic research university, and in contributing to the University's mission as a Catholic institution of international standing.  

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The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures houses a vigorous cohort of nationally and, in some cases, internationally recognized scholar-teachers with strong research profiles and publication records.  Our faculty also boasts an impressive record of securing grants and outside support for research from the agencies - such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim, and Fulbright - that are used by the National Research Council in its rankings. 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.

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Undergraduate Studies

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers first and supplementary majors in French, Italian, and Spanish, as well as minors in Italian and Portuguese. Students may also study two languages through our Romance Languages major or through a concentration in Italian Studies. Since Fall 2012, Romance Languages and Literatures has teamed with Economics to offer a major in International Economics and Romance Languages. 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.

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Graduate Studies

Over the last decade, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures has embarked on an unprecedented period of graduate-level research.  The M.A. Program offers a comprehensive two-year course of study that cultivates strong theoretical and analytical skills. The Ph.D. in Literature is an innovative interdisciplinary program that allows intellectually creative students to design their own course of study both within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students with interests in Medieval and Renaissance culture also are able to take advantage of the Ph.D. program offered through Notre Dame’s renowned Medieval Institute.

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