About Us

As a student of Spanish and Portuguese in USC Dornsife, you can learn these languages in the broader cultural context from which they emerge.  You can study and conduct research in Hispanic linguistics and the literatures and cultures of Latin America and Spain.  You can do this in Los Angeles, an exciting Spanish-speaking metropolis and an ideal site for examining transcultural issues, or you can travel and study in places like Madrid or Santiago de Chile or Salvador da Bahia.

We believe the connections between language, linguistics, literature and other aspects of culture are fundamental.  As a result, from the first day a student begins to study Spanish or Portuguese, he or she is “studying culture,” and all majors continue building language skills even in the most advanced senior seminars.

Our linguistics courses provide students with oral and writing competence in Spanish and an enduring intellectual understanding of language as an integral part of the human experience.  Students acquire knowledge of the historical development and structure of the language and enhance their critical thinking competencies through the rigorous analysis of phonetic, morphological, and syntactic structures.

Through our literature and culture courses, students learn to explore the established narratives about Spanish and Latin American cultures, including major authors, works and schools, as well as the latest developments in cultural and literary theory.  As they study fiction, or film, or food, they learn to think, discuss, and write critically about culture in relation to such issues as class, gender, ethnicity, and nationhood.  In doing so, students learn the critical importance of considering other cultures in their own linguistic and theoretical contexts.

Learning Objectives

See what Spanish and Portuguese students learn.



Studying in Brazil: Daniel Paly

Studying in Brazil: Daniel Paly

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  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 156
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0358