The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLLT) offers several programs of study leading to the BA degree in French, Italian, or Spanish literature and culture; or in some combination, which may include Catalan or Portuguese. Catalan and Portuguese offerings include a two-year language sequence, minor programs in Catalan and Portuguese, and selected literature and culture courses. The BA programs are designed to give students knowledge of the literature and culture of their area of concentration, as well as to develop their linguistic competence in one or more of the Romance languages.
Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in RLLT. Information follows the description of the major.
Courses in the major may not be counted toward general education requirements. For courses that are not taken as part of a University of Chicago study abroad program, students must petition for elective credit from the College before requesting departmental credit. Advanced language students should consider taking special topic courses at the 20000 and 30000 levels. Some of these courses require consent of the instructor.
For full program requirements, see the College Catalog or click below.
RLL Major Form (download and open with Adobe Reader to complete electronically)
The programs in more than one Romance literature consist of twelve courses beyond the second-year language sequences. They are designed to accommodate the needs and interests of students who would like to broaden their literary experience. Linguistic competence in at least two Romance languages is assumed. There are two options: a program with equal emphasis on two literatures, and a program with greater emphasis on one literature. Students who wish to include Catalan or Portuguese in their program must choose the second option, with Catalan or Portuguese as a secondary literature.
Students who elect this major program must meet with the RLL undergraduate adviser in each literature before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the major and to complete the required paperwork. Students choose courses in consultation with both RLLT undergraduate advisers. Students must submit to the departmental office an approval form for the major program signed by both RLL undergraduate advisers by the end of Spring Quarter of their third year. Students must then submit a copy of the signed approval form to their College adviser.
Students who wish to be considered for honors must write a BA paper under the guidance of a faculty adviser, as is the case of the major in a single literature.
Summary of Requirements
Program with Equal Emphasis on Two Literatures
- 1: one advanced-language course (FREN 20500; ITAL 20400; SPAN 20400, 20402, 20500, or 20602 )
- 5: courses comprising one introductory literature sequence in Spanish, and/or the agreed upon alternative in French or Italian
- 6: literature courses equally divided between the same two Romance languages, one of which must be or the agreed-upon alternative in Italian , ,
- – BA paper (required only for honors)
12 courses total
Program with Greater Emphasis on One Literature
- 1: one advanced-language course (intermediate-advanced CATA language course; FREN 20500; ITAL 20400; PORT 21500; SPAN 20400, 20402, 20500, or 20602 )
- 3: one three-course introductory literature sequence in Spanish, or the agreed-upon alternative in French or Italian
- 4: literature courses in the same Romance language (French, Italian, or Spanish)
- 3: literature courses in a second Romance language (Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish)
- 1: PORT 21500, , or the agreed-upon alternative in Catalan or Italian ,
- – BA paper (required only for honors)
12 courses total
Students majoring in RLL must receive quality grades in all required courses. Non-majors may take RLL courses on a pass/fail basis with consent of instructor. However, all language courses must be taken for a quality grade.
To qualify for honors, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and an average GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major. They must also submit a completed BA paper to their adviser by fifth week of Spring Quarter of their fourth year.
By the beginning of their fourth year, students may be asked to submit a writing sample in the language of their major (or, in the case of equal emphasis on two literatures, in both). If the department deems language proficiency inadequate, there may be additional requirements to ensure that the BA paper can be successfully written in the language of study. Students should select a faculty supervisor for the paper early in Autumn Quarter of their fourth year. During Winter Quarter they may register for FREN 29900 BA Paper Preparation: French, ITAL 29900 BA Paper Preparation: Italian, or SPAN 29900 BA Paper Preparation: Spanish, with the faculty member chosen to direct the writing of the BA paper. This course does not count as one of the literature or culture courses required for the major; it must be taken for a quality grade. The BA paper typically is a research paper with a minimum of twenty pages and a bibliography written in the language of specialization.
Students must seek permission from their BA paper adviser to use a single paper or project to meet both the major requirements of Romance Languages and Literatures and those of another department or program. A significant and logical section of the BA paper must be written in the appropriate Romance language in consultation with the student's BA paper adviser. Students must also obtain the approval of both program chairs on a form available from the College adviser. The form must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation. Students with papers judged superior by the BA paper adviser and another faculty reader will be recommended to the Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division for honors.