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College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Handbook

romance languages and literatures

Handbook in pdf format* for print copy

This Handbook contains information on the undergraduate degrees offered by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and is designed to provide an overview of all program requirements, policies, and procedures.

Table of Contents

The Undergraduate Program in French

The Undergraduate Program in Hispanic Studies

The Undergraduate Program in Italian

Academic Policies and Procedures

Study Abroad Guidelines and Policies

Resources and Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

The Undergraduate Program in French

The Major in French requires 30 credits (ten three-credit courses)

  • Four courses to be chosen from among the following:
    • RL305 Introduction to Drama and Poetry
    • RL306 Introduction to Narrative Forms
    • RL307 Masterpieces of French Literature
    • RL308 Advanced Language Studies in French
    • RL309 Topics in French Culture and Civilization
  • Four advanced courses in French language, literature, or culture at the 400 level or above
  • Two electives to be chosen among the following:
    • RL210 French Composition, Conversation, and Reading II (when taken as the first course in the major)
    • Additional courses at the 300 or 400 level:
    • RL572 Comparative Development of the Romance Languages
    • RL597 (ED303) Foreign Language Pedagogy

The Minor in French requires 18 credits (six three-credit courses):

  • Two foundation courses to be chosen from among the following:
    • RL305 Introduction to Drama and Poetry
    • RL306 Introduction to Narrative Forms
    • RL307 Masterpieces of French Literature
    • RL308 Advanced Language Studies in French
    • RL309 Topics in French Culture and Civilization
  • One advanced course at the 400 level or above
  • Three electives to be chosen among the following:
    • RL209-RL210 French Composition, Conversation and Reading I and II (as entry-level courses only)
    • Additional courses at the 300 or 400 level

The Undergraduate Program in Hispanic Studies

The Major in Hispanic Studies requires 30 credits (ten three-credit courses):

  • RL395 Contextos
  • Four 600-level Advanced Courses in Literature and Culture, which must include one course in each of the following categories:
    • Pre-1800 Peninsular literature and culture
    • Pre-1900 Latin American literature and culture
    • Post-1800 Peninsular literature and culture
    • Post-1900 Latin American literature and culture
  • Five electives, which can be chosen from:
    • CCRII (RL216)
    • Any 300-level course
    • Any 600-level course
    • Related courses allowed by departmental permission
    • The minimum entry level for the major is CCRII (RL216)

The Minor in Hispanic Studies requires 18 credits (six three-credit courses)

  • RL395 Contextos
  • At least two courses at the 600 level; the minimum entry level for the minor is CCRII (RL216)

The Undergraduate Program in Italian

The Major in Italian requires 30 credits (ten three-credit courses):

  • Six advanced courses in Italian literature or culture (RL500 and above)
  • Four electives to be chosen from the following:
    • Additional courses at the 300, 500 or 800 level
    • RL213 and RL214 (Italian Conversation, Composition and Reading I and II)
    • Related courses allowed by departmental permission

The Minor in Italian requires 18 credits (six three-credit courses)

  • Two foundation courses
    • RL213 and RL214 Italian Composition, Conversation, and Reading I and I
  • Two advanced courses in Italian Literature, or Culture at the RL500 level or above (for undergraduates)
  • Two electives to be chosen among the following:
    • RL114 Intermediate Italian II or RL151 Italianissimo (as an entry-level course only for students graduating prior to 2011)
    • RL300 (or above) courses in Culture

Academic Policies and Procedures

Advising

Please contact faculty in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures for questions in your area of interest.

See your RLL advisor or your teacher in RLL for:

  • Assistance in course selection and advising during pre-registration
  • Help with drop/add, pass/fail options, and difficulties throughout the semester

See the Director of Undergraduate Studies for:

  • Questions about the majors and minors
  • Extraordinary difficulties in registration, courses, placement and questions of credit
  • Details about the Language House programs, including application and monthly activities
  • Assignment of an RLL advisor
  • Pre-approval and approval of coursework abroad
  • Final approval of plans abroad
  • Paperwork for Student Services Office upon returning from abroad

To schedule appointments with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, contact the Departmental Administrator in Lyons 304B.

Study Abroad Guidelines and Policies

Romance Languages and Literatures students should be aware that not all study-abroad programs available to Boston College students will have courses acceptable toward the major or minor. No RLL credit will be granted for courses conducted in English. Credit is not automatically granted for courses taken in the target language. Courses must show a direct relationship to the student's program of study in the department.

Students are urged to gain approval for specific courses from the Department's study-abroad adviser before departing. Students who seek approval only after they return from abroad risk not getting Romance Languages and Literatures credit for study-abroad courses. Final approval of courses taken abroad requires the signature of the Department's study-abroad adviser on the Approval Forms available from the Office of International Programs in Hovey House.

To schedule appointments with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, contact the Departmental Administrator in Lyons 304B.

Transfer of Credits from Study Abroad

RLL majors may earn credit for up to three courses (nine credits) toward their major in a single semester of study abroad, and credit for up to five courses (15 credits) in a year-long program.

RLL minors may earn credit for up to two courses (six credits) toward their minor in a single semester of study abroad, and credit for up to three courses (nine credits) in a year-long program.

Applying for Study Abroad

To obtain information on programs, and to apply, please contact the Office of International Programs located at Hovey House (617-552-3827).

Residency Requirement

All RLL majors are required to enroll in an advanced course each semester of their senior year, regardless of whether they have completed the ten-course requirement for the major.

All RLL minors must enroll in one advanced course during their senior year, regardless of whether they have completed the six-course requirement for the minor.

Resources and Opportunities for Undergraduates

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Latin American Studies

Students may earn a minor in Latin American Studies by completing six courses selected from among courses approved and listed for the program. The courses selected must come from at least three different academic departments. Students normally lay the foundation for the minor by taking either HS174, "Modern Latin America" or PO428, "Politics in Latin America." Both courses are highly recommended. RL682, "Latin American Perspectives on Civilization and Culture," is an attractive capstone course.

RLL Peer Advisors

Each year the Department of RLL nominates three RLL majors to serve as volunteer peer advisors, and provide assistance to other majors and minors. The RLL peer advisors have offered to be available to answer your questions about academic matters in the department such as courses, placement, advice about work and study abroad, and careers. What you are in the process of doing, they have probably done, so please take advantage of their generous offer to help out.

The Romance Language House at Boston College

The second floor of Vouté Hall offers a unique combination of private apartments and large common areas. Residents live in four-person apartments with others committed to speaking the same target language. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and bath. Various events are held in the common space on the floor: concerts, skits and lectures in the lounge; Spanish and French meals in the dining room and common kitchen; movies, videos and cable news programs in the TV viewing room.

The Language House program enables 30 students interested in language and culture to live together, and provides residents with the close personal guidance of graduate students, one in Spanish and one in French, who are experienced teachers.

Residents
Undergraduate residents commit to speaking the target language on the floor and take an active part in the planning and execution of activities, which they choose themselves. They take an active role in house events throughout the year.

The graduate student residents, or GSR’s, are native-level speakers of the target languages. GSR’s live in one of the apartments on the floor and, in coordination with the undergraduate Resident Assistants (RA’s), facilitate the planning and execution of activities designed to improve the students’ language skills, enrich their knowledge of other cultures, and generally contribute to their intellectual and personal development. They are available during regularly scheduled office hours as well as informally, and are responsible for the linguistic and intellectual functions of the program.

Activities
The Casa hispánica and Maison française each schedule a monthly calendar of activities, most of which are designed by and for the house residents. Non-residents are invited to attend selected events. Among the activities are regularly occurring events, such as daily language tables, weekly conversation hours, and monthly dinners, as well as one-time happenings, such as film series, guest speakers, poetry readings, singing and concerts. Outings to restaurants, museums and galleries are also organized. Short trips to Spanish- and French-speaking destinations are planned during holiday periods and on weekends.

Application Procedures
Students are invited to apply for residence at Vouté Hall. Applicants should have at least moderate proficiency in the target language. Native speakers may apply. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to participate in house activities open to the public during the semester before they apply. Applications are available on the Residential Life Website. Final selection will be made before the start of the housing lottery of the college. For further information please consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The Departmental Honors Program

offers its majors a unique opportunity to conduct research and write a thesis on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty member in the department. Students admitted into the Program will work throughout the senior year with their Thesis Director.

To be eligible, candidates must be declared majors in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures with a grade point average of 3.4 or higher. No more than nine credits must remain for completion of the major in their senior year. Candidates must also have exhibited the maturity and self-discipline that long-term independent work requires.

Faculty members will nominate students for the Honors Program in April of their junior year. Nominated students will be invited to meet with the Program Coordinator during the semester preceding their enrollment in the program. The final decision about acceptance into the Program will be made during the first week of registration.

For complete details, please read the RLL Honors Program Guidelines. After consulting the guidelines, interested students should contact their current RLL instructor to inquire about nomination to the Program.

Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society

The Lambda Psi chapter of Pi Delta Phi was established at Boston College in 1997. The activities of the Lambda Psi chapter have as their goal to promote a greater awareness of French and Francophone culture at Boston College. Over the past decade, the Lambda Psi chapter has grown to include many of the University's most promising undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, librarians, administrators and alumni who have distinguished themselves through their scholarship and their love of French culture have also been accorded honorary membership.

Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honor Society

Gamma Kappa Alpha seeks to recognize outstanding scholastic performance in the fields of Italian language, culture and literature, to encourage students to acquire a greater interest in and understanding of the Italian language, culture, and society, and to help others appreciate and enjoy the culture of Italy and the Italian language. The Boston College chapter was established in Fall 2009. Majors and Minors in Italian Studies in good academic standing can apply for active membership in the society.

Sigma Delta Pi, the National Hispanic Honor Society

A BC Chapter is currently in the process of being created.

Departmental Awards and Prizes

Book Prizes in French, Italian and Hispanic Studies—prizes given in each language to students at various levels of study.

Wendy Berson Language Award—given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in the area of romance languages in general, but more specifically, to one with the ability to speak one or more of them with great expertise.

Andrés Bello Award—offered by Consul of Chile to a senior who has excelled in Spanish.

Princess Grace of Monaco Award—offered by the Consul of Monaco, in conjunction with the Consul of Chile, to a senior who has excelled in French.

Normand Cartier Award—given annually to the member of the Lambda Psi chapter of the Pi Delta Phi National French Honor Society who has demonstrated leadership in promoting French and Francophone literature and culture in the Boston College community.

Figurito Family Award for Achievement in Italian—presented to a senior for scholarly achievement in Italian.

The Tutto Italiano Award for Excellence in Italian—offered by Emilio and Marilena Locilento, in honor of their parents Angelo and Maria for their love of education and free enterprise, given to an Italian major or minor.

Student Clubs

A number of students clubs offer students many extracurricular opportunities to pursue their interest in Romance languages and cultures. These clubs include: The Circolo Italiano, the French Club, and several Hispanic clubs.

 

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