Why Study Portuguese?

Portuguese is the 6th most spoken in the world with 270 million native speakers all over the world, including the Americas (Brazil), Europe (Portugal), Africa (Angola and Mozambique), and Asia (Macau and East Timor). In spite of its world importance, Portuguese is less studied than other European languages, so if you learn it, you will stand out from the crowd!

If you speak a Romance Language (French, Italian, and especially Spanish), you have a huge advantage in learning Portuguese fast. Since Brazil is such a huge and relevant player in Latin American geopolitics, studying Portuguese is essential to become a real specialist in the region.

This interdisciplinary minor opens doors for you to explore topics in diplomacy, history, business, international relations, social sciences, and much more. For example, our undergraduate students have traveled to Brazil to study the incipient bamboo industry and the ever-growing Brazil-China trade relations or to study the Brazilian response to the global refugee crisis.

Rll Week Portuguese Event

In our Portuguese minor, you will have the opportunity to learn the language through interactive, dynamic, and communicative classes with lots of cultural activities including the Portuguese Language table, trips to a Brazilian Churrascaria in Chicago, Carnaval celebrations, Festa Junina and much more!

There is also a list of upper-level courses you can choose from to learn about Brazil’s fascinating culture and society including Brazilian Pop Culture (sports, soap operas, music, and cinema), Brazil Beyond Stereotypes (soccer, Amazon, Rio, and Carnaval as big topics to understand Brazilian society), Brazil Giant of the South (current issues in Brazilian society and politics), Race and Social Inequality in Brazil, and Brazilian Literature.

Requirements (5 course or 15 credit hours)

Minor Worksheet

Required Courses: Three of the five courses must be in Portuguese language and/or Luso-Brazilian literature, film and culture taught in Portuguese.

  • ROPO 20201 (Intermediate I)
  • ROPO 20202 (Intermediate II)
  • ROPO 30000/40000-level course
  • Elective Courses: The fourth and fifth courses may be on Luso-Brazilian literature, film and culture (taught in English or Portuguese).
  • (2) ROPO 30000/40000-level courses

Elective courses may be on a Portuguese or Brazilian subject in another discipline (for example, Anthropology, History, Latin, American Studies, FTT, Political Science, Romance Languages and Literatures, Theology, etc.).

Note: Courses from foreign study programs or other universities may be substituted by permission, but at least three courses for the Portuguese minor must be taken in residence at Notre Dame. AP credit may not be applied toward the minor.


Student Opportunities

Portuguese minors at Notre Dame have a large number of opportunities to hone their language and cultural skills in Brazil and Portugal. Kellogg Institute, and Nanovic Institute offer undergraduate research grants for Brazil and Portugal respectively.

The Center for Social Concerns offers an eight-week program in Brazil in which students can be immersed in service-oriented activities. Additionally, the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures offers summer language programs in Rio and São Paulo, and Notre Dame International offers a large number of courses and internship opportunities including semester abroad programs in Brazil, Business-oriented programs, and the popular summer program in Brazil.

Learn More

For more information, contact Professor Marcio Bahia Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Portugese, or any faculty member in Portugese.