Romance Languages and Cultures students are encouraged to view language/ literature/culture in their interrelatedness and combine linguistic proficiency with cultural and literary expertise. Students develop skills in communication and the critical tools to explore issues in aesthetics, cultural studies, the history of ideas, and gender studies.

Our curriculum is designed to help students build on the knowledge and skills from the introductory level through the completion of their minor or major. The content of the courses and how they are taught are meant to enhance, reinforce, and integrate knowledge. Students can take courses in the Departments of Classics and Italian, French, and Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies at Mount Holyoke, as well as, in Catalan and Portuguese in the Five Colleges. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College’s learning goals and the Romance Languages and Culture program’s learning goals. More detailed information can be found in the Romance Languages and Cultures chapter of the course catalog.

Given the complexity of the RL&C program, we recommend that students use the RL&C major/minor requirements form to help them plan their studies in their conversations with their respective advisors or the program chair.

The Romance Languages and Cultures Major

Students who major in Romance Languages and Cultures at Mount Holyoke select two of the following languages—French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish—one for primary, and one for secondary emphasis. A student is encouraged first to broaden her acquaintance with the two principal cultures in which she is working, then to organize her course work around a specific topic, theme, period, literary form, or genre. Advanced language courses can be taken at Mount Holyoke and throughout the Five College Consortium. The major requires a minimum of 40 credits (each course is 4 credits), which are distributed in the following manner:

  • 12 credits, 3 courses at the 200 level above the Intermediate Level (201 Italian and Spanish, or 203 in French), in the primary or the secondary languages of study
  • 28 credits, 7 courses at the 300 level:
    • 16 credits, 4 courses at the 300 level in the primary language
    • 12 credits, 3 courses at the 300 in the secondary language

One of the courses at the 300-level must be the Seminar in Romance Languages and Cultures (RLC 375)

Romance Languages and Cultures Minor

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credits, four courses, with course work in both a primary language and a language of secondary emphasis. Courses below French 203 and Spanish or Italian 201 do not count toward the 16-credit minimum.

  • 4 credits, one course at the 200 level in the primary language
  • 8 credits, two courses at the 200 level in the secondary language
  • 4 credits, one course at the 300 level in the primary language