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Why pursue graduate studies at Notre Dame? 

We offer graduate degrees in French and Francophone Studies (M.A.), in Italian Studies (M.A.) and Italian (Ph.D.), and in Iberian and Latin American Studies (M.A.) and Spanish (Ph.D.).

All our programs are highly selective. They teach and train students working in three of the principal fields of Romance Languages & Literatures. Each program offers a flexible curriculum tailored to each student’s interests and background that is designed to achieve both a high degree of specialization and a broad understanding of the literature and culture of a particular linguistic area.

Each program aims to cultivate a dynamic and productive graduate academic community benefiting from high-quality teaching, one that is engaged in original research leading to academic publications, to attending and contributing to scholarly meetings, and to completing successful masters theses (if appropriate) and doctoral dissertations in a timely manner. In addition, students are offered the opportunity, depending on their academic status, to develop and teach language, literature, and culture courses as part of a broader endeavor to prepare them in all aspects of life as doctoral students if they are studying for an M.A., and as university teachers and researchers, if enrolled on a Ph.D. course.

The Department hosts a high number of internationally recognized scholars, including some who have a world-leading reputation. Colleagues are happy to make themselves available to graduate students, to collaborate with them, and to provide regular mentoring and encouragement. We make every effort to be inclusive and supportive. Our overarching aim is to foster a lively, friendly, inquisitive, and intellectually challenging academic community. Each section hosts regular academic events, including research seminars, invited lectures, training programs, and workshops.

Areas of particular academic strength are:

French: cinema and media studies; the intersections of literature, philosophy, and religion; global Francophone literature and film; Renaissance literature; seventeenth-century literature; nineteenth-century literature; twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture; music, particularly opera; gender studies; and migration.

Italian: medieval literature (in particular Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Dante’s reception, thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Florentine culture); Renaissance studies; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and culture; twentieth- and twenty-first century literature and culture; cartography and literature; and Italian cinema.

Spanish: Latin America; Caribbean literary studies; critical theory; cultural studies; early modern (colonial, baroque, etc); interdisciplinary research; memory studies; Mexican Studies; nineteenth-century literary and cultural studies; Southern Cone; visual culture, Modern and Contemporary Iberian culture.

Graduate Student Resources