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The Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages is designed for students interested in French, Italian, Spanish, or any combination of two of these. It provides advanced training for those who plan to complete their graduate studies in literature, language, literary, and cultural theory at the master's level, and for those who anticipate continuing graduate work up to the doctoral degree. The program is tailored to the needs of those who wish:

  • To teach these languages at the elementary, middle school, or high school levels, whether they are seeking initial certification or cross-endorsement;

  • To teach these languages at the college level;

  • To work in related fields, such as foreign service, other government service, private industry, translation and interpreting, librarianship, etc.


The program is built on three premises:

  • The teaching of language and culture requires mastery of literary works, from different periods and genres, as well as other forms of cultural production.

  • Scholarly research and writing, such as is required in graduate courses, is essential for exploring and understanding such production. This kind of explorative activity culminates in a capstone experience (i.e., thesis, comprehensive exams, or special project).

  • Use of the target language at all times in classroom discussion and the research and writing of examinations and papers, assures fluent, correct, and idiomatic mastery of the language.


The mission of the program is to prepare students:

  • With a knowledge of historical, political and social contexts that shape language, literature, and culture;

  • To conduct research using a variety of scholarly resources;

  • To apply critical analysis and a variety of theories to the study of literature, language, and culture;

  • To write critical analyses of literary works and cultural artifacts from a range of period, currents, and genres;

  • To advance their written and oral communicative abilities in the language of study;

  • To analyze their target language from a linguistic perspective, including its structure, its comparative historical/cultural development, as well as how this foreign language is acquired;

  • To engage in informed discussions about linguistic, historical, and cultural varieties of their target language;

  • To articulate the significance of literary and cultural artifacts within their historical and cultural context;

  • To create original work in the target language.