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Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Portuguese is the language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and several other countries in Africa. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers an undergraduate Portuguese major designed to provide students a strong foundation in the language, introduce them to the study of literary works in Portuguese, and help them develop an informed awareness of the cultures of Portuguese-speaking nations.

The Portuguese program at Ohio State has grown consistently in the last four years and now boasts enrollment numbers that are among the largest of undergraduate Portuguese programs in the United States. 

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in Portuguese within the College of Arts and Sciences. Interested students should contact an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and in Arts and Sciences Advising.

Because the department offers basic language instruction, students do not need to have studied Portuguese in high school. However, students who have had prior instruction in the language may begin their major program earlier and progress toward advanced levels more rapidly.

Prerequisite requirements include either Portuguese 1101.01 (Portuguese I) through 1103.01 (Portuguese III) or 1101.51 through 1103.51 (Individualized Instruction). Students proficient in Spanish may begin with Portuguese 5501 and 5502 (Portuguese for Spanish Speakers), and move more quickly into major-level course work.

The Portuguese major requires at least 30 credit hours:

  • A minimum of nine credit hours in advanced language and linguistics, including Portuguese 3401: Advanced Portuguese Grammar
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours in literature and culture, including Portuguese 3450: Introduction to the Study of Literatures and Cultures
  • A minimum of six credit hours in the electives list or from the advanced language/linguistics or literature and culture lists 

One of the principal goals of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is to help students attain the highest possible level of language proficiency and cultural competency. The department encourages students to take advantage of one of the study abroad programs sponsored by the department in Portugal and Brazil. These programs provide opportunities to gain greater exposure to the languages, literatures and cultures of Portuguese-speaking nations.

The Spanish and Portuguese Club emphasizes service, community and mastery of speaking skills through weekly language practice opportunities.

Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, is the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies, providing qualifying students with additional opportunities for research and travel grants and the chance to graduate from its programs with national honors.

The knowledge of a second language is helpful in acquiring strong writing skills and in developing cultural competencies necessary for engaging in diverse marketplaces. Employment in almost any field is open to a language major, especially in companies that do business with overseas clients. This can range from banking to public relations to computer programming and beyond. Knowledge of a second language is also helpful in health care, social work, and federal, state and local governments.

Ohio State graduates with Portuguese degrees have worked as customer service representatives, loan originators, trade specialists, diplomats and more.