The major curriculum is designed to help students attain a high linguistic proficiency in at least one Romance language and broad insight into the literature and culture of other nations. Graduates with RLL majors are currently employed in many different fields including law, interpreting, publishing, and international business. For students interested in graduate studies, the major offers solid preparation and guidance.
Students who plan to major or minor in Romance Languages and Literatures should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the department in order to be assigned an advisor, review their qualifications and placement within the program, and organize a course of study suited to their individual needs and objectives.
Information for First Year Students
Students planning to major in Romance Languages and Literatures, to study abroad during their junior year, and to apply for graduate work or Graduate Fulbright Scholarships are encouraged to place themselves in advanced-level language courses in French, Italian, and Spanish as first-year students. Students should place themselves initially in the most challenging course they can handle, and adjustments in scheduling can be made if necessary. The department carefully organizes a program to suit each student's individual needs and objectives.
Students who have not already fulfilled the language proficiency requirement for A&S or CSOM through an achievement or advanced placement test should sign up for an appropriate language course. Placement tests in French and Spanish can be taken on-line. For the placement exam in Italian, please contact Professor Brian O'Connor.
The Department offers courses, some taught in the target languages and some in English, which count for University Core requirements and for elective credit in the major. Students interested in advancing their major credits at the early stages of their careers are encouraged to consider these Core courses.
The Department expects its majors to have acquired the following sets of skills and knowledge by the time they graduate from Boston College:
- Demonstrate proficiency in a Romance Language in all of the major skills (speaking, listening, writing, reading).
- Analyze and interpret literary and cultural texts.
- Make cogent, persuasive arguments using sufficient, verifiable data and rational, critical thinking.
- Identify major literary figures and their principal works.
- Demonstrate familiarity with literary genres and critical terminology.
- Demonstrate awareness of cultural difference, implicit and explicit, in the acquisition of a second language.
Learning Outcomes for individual RLL Courses that satisfy the College's Core Curriculum "Literature" Requirement:
- Students will demonstrate the ability to read and evaluate texts critically.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the differences between literary genres.
- Students will recognize the major canonical texts of the target culture pertaining to the specific time period covered by the course.
- Students will manifest an appreciation for the workings of the literary imagination.
Learning Outcomes for individual RLL Courses that satisfy the College's Core Curriculum "Cultural Diversity" Requirement:
Students enrolled in RLL Cultural Diversity courses will be expected, at the end of the course, to demonstrate:
- that they can see human experience from the point of view of others who encounter and interpret the world in significantly different ways.
- that they have had a serious encounter with some culture that is significantly different from the mainstream of European and North American cultures.
- an appreciation of the concept of culture from a theoretical and comparative perspective.
- an awareness of and sensitivity to the ways that perennial questions have been addressed in cultures other than their own.