Spanish and Portuguese

University of California, Berkeley


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is big enough to offer a wide variety of approaches to teaching and research, yet small enough to afford students at both the graduate and undergraduate level personal attention and mentoring. We offer an abundance of opportunities to learn and achieve mastery of the languages and cultures we study, which include Catalan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Romance Studies, and Spanish. Our programs are specially designed for highly-motivated, imaginative students with a passion for other languages, literatures, and cultures and the ability to carefully cross traditionally defined geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary borders.

The sequence of undergraduate and graduate programs for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is designed for students to gain competence in written and spoken Spanish or Portuguese through the structure and history of one or both of these languages, and also gain a critical understanding of the development and achievements of their literatures in the Old World and in the New through advanced study and independent research. The department's policy is to maintain a balanced strength between language and literature, and between Iberian and Latin American facets of a unified field.

Several of our faculty are formally involved with or are active in other departments or academic units on campus — for example, Comparative LiteratureDigital HumanitiesFilm and MediaGender & Women’s StudiesLinguisticsNear Eastern StudiesRhetoric, the Portuguese Studies Program, the Spanish Studies Program, the Catalan and Occitan Studies Program, the Center for Latin American Studies and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. UC Berkeley's renowned Bancroft Library contains a rich collection of materials related to the fields of study.

The variety of research interests and expertise held by our faculty is echoed in the diversity of backgrounds and academic interests among our students. While most come from California, a significant number come from other states and foreign countries. At the graduate level, about a third of our 50-some students are from Spain and Latin America. A few regularly practice, as well as study, one or more of the literary, musical, or visual arts. The graduate students publish a journal, Lucero, and organize an international conference each year, which brings leading scholars to Berkeley to engage with us over several days. The department holds professor- and student-sponsored colloquia on a regular basis.

Providing opportunities to experience the living languages and cultures studied in our department is essential to our academic mission. Besides regular co-sponsorship of cultural events and performances on campus and elsewhere in the Bay Area, we currently administer travel study programs in Spain through UC Berkeley Summer Sessions. Undergraduates are also able to study abroad for an entire year in a variety of locations in Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere through our participation in the University of California’s Education Abroad Program.

Undergraduate Programs

Spanish and Portuguese: BA
Hispanic Languages, Linguistics, and Bilingualism: Minor
The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures of the Portuguese-Speaking World: Minor
The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures of the Spanish-Speaking World: Minor

Graduate Programs

Hispanic Languages and Literatures: PhD
Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish): PhD (offered by the Graduate Group in Romance Languages and Literatures)

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Contact Information

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

5319 Dwinelle Hall

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Department Chair

Estelle Tarica, PhD

5214 Dwinelle Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Maxwell Moloney

5317 Dwinelle Hall

Graduate Advisor

Sebastiao Macedo, MA

5309 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-8037

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