Major in Romance Languages

Visit departments’ websites:
13-19 University Place • New York, NY 10003-4573 (French; Spanish and Portuguese)
24 West 12th Street • New York, NY 10011-8604 (Italian)

Directors of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor Mendelson (Spanish and Portuguese)
Professor Tylus (Italian)
Associate Professor Usher (French)

Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies

Clinical Associate Professor Dávila (Spanish and Portuguese)

Director of French Language Programs

Clinical Associate Professor Moran

Director of Italian Language Programs

Doctor Cipani

Director of Spanish Language Programs

Clinical Associate Professor Elorrieta

The Romance languages are the group of related tongues that emerged from spoken Latin after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. In the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance, they developed and evolved into languages that we recognize as the basis of (among others) modern Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The great works of literature produced in these centuries became the foundation of the national literatures of their respective cultures.

The nine-course major in Romance languages in the College of Arts and Science is administered by the Departments of Italian, French, and Spanish and Portuguese. Students choose a combination of any two of these four languages, taking five courses in one and four in the other. Thus, majors in Romance languages are able to take advantage of the rich course offerings and resources of our world-renowned language departments and to learn from distinguished scholars in two fields.

The major stresses competence in speaking and writing before moving into literary and cultural coursework. To improve students’ facility with their two languages and promote cross-cultural understanding and exposure, study away at NYU Buenos Aires, Florence, Madrid, and Paris is encouraged. While they are at the Washington Square campus, students can take advantage of talks, exhibitions, films, and other events sponsored by the Departments of French, Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese and NYU’s Maison Française, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, and King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, as well as by cultural institutions in New York.

A major in Romance languages is applicable to careers in international law and business, communications, education, fine arts, tourism, and diplomacy, and also complements majors in such fields as art history, cinema studies, comparative literature, history, international relations, linguistics, medieval and Renaissance studies, and music