The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers courses in French, Italian, and Spanish languages, as well as their corresponding literatures and cultures, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The undergraduate majors and minors in RLL are designed to help students attain a broad interdisciplinary insight into the literature and culture of other nations, while achieving a high linguistic proficiency in one or more Romance languages. Students can major or minor in French, Hispanic Studies, or Italian and courses range from elementary language to advanced seminars in languages, literatures, and cultures. The major offers solid preparation and guidance for students interested in teaching or in graduate studies, as well as in fields such as law, medicine, interpreting, and international business (see our Language Careers page). The minors serve as a useful adjunct to a wide range of academic specializations.
Exploration of cultural diversity and of diverse knowledge traditions is central to the mission of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Our program is global: Spanish, French, and Italian are spoken in Europe, throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, and in many parts of Africa and Asia. Questions of migration, colonialism, post-colonialism, racism, and social justice are inextricable from the study of the Romance languages and literatures. Our curriculum offers the opportunity for rigorous engagement with perspectives expressed in Romance languages around the globe and throughout history. Faculty and students in our department come together to understand what joins and what divides us.
Information for students to determine their course of language study.
Kathryn Goetti ’11
Business Operations Strategist
Google, Mountain View, CA, and Chicago
Undergraduate major: Romance languages (French)
As an undergraduate, Kathryn Goetti didn’t consider pursuing a business career after college. But today the Romance languages major is working on the business side at Google and loving the opportunities that come with the job—including a recent three-month assignment in Dublin. Goetti says her undergraduate study of other cultures prepared her to work at a large firm with an international reach. “A great theme in today’s business world is that it’s one global community,” says Goetti. “Studying a second language certainly helped me develop a multicultural world view.”
Stacy Brown ’08
Resident in OB/GYN
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Undergraduate major: Hispanic studies
The days when aspiring doctors took a narrow course of premed studies are past, according to Stacy Brown, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology. “The trend is toward humanities majors in medicine,” she says. Take her experience: The Hispanic studies major says her undergraduate research with a favorite Spanish professor helped develop skills—organization, focus, communication, attention to detail—that are crucial to her work as a doctor. A summer stint doing preventive health in her native New Mexico, supported by a grant from BC, convinced her she was heading in the right direction. “It showed me how well being a Hispanic studies major goes with medicine,” she says. “It really flowed together.”