Portuguese is a global language spoken not only in Portugal and Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, but also in several African nations, most prominently Angola and Mozambique — and it is even an official tongue in Macau, Portugal’s former colony, now again part of China. Learning Portuguese will give you first-hand access to the rich cultural history of the vast and ethnically diverse Lusophone world.

You will be able to understand the poetry of Fernando Pessoa, the narrative fiction of Clarice Lispector or the songs of Cesária Évora in the original language, and be uniquely equipped to conduct research in countries that have contributed much to the realms of music, cinema, architecture and sports. If you already happen to know another Romance language, much of your knowledge will transfer, making for an expedited and smooth learning experience. In fact, the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures offers two semesters of Accelerated Portuguese.

Our Maymester course in Brazil, which takes place in several cities, is a great introduction to the country’s heterogenous cultural make-up, while our Spring Recess course in Portugal allows you to experience the vibrant culture of one of Europe’s oldest nations.


For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes. Course availability is subject to change, and non-language courses offered by the Department of French and Italian Studies are not included.

  • PORT 120: Portuguese I (4.0 units)

    For students with no proficiency in Portuguese. Practice in listening comprehension, oral communication, elementary reading and writing.

    PORT 150: Portuguese II (4.0 units)

    For students with some language proficiency in Portuguese; increased emphasis on listening, comprehension, oral communication, reading, and writing. Students will be required to take a Portuguese placement exam in the Spanish and Portuguese Department.

    Prerequisite: PORT 120

    PORT 220: Portuguese III (4.0 units)

    Intensive work in listening comprehension, oral communication, reading and writing, with emphasis on free expression; readings related to Portuguese culture and civilization.

    Prerequisite: PORT 150

    PORT 240: Portuguese IV (4.0 units)

    Four-skills course with review of grammar. Writing and reading intensive. Authentic materials related to Lusobrazilian culture and civilization.

    Prerequisite: PORT 220

  • Port 175: Accelerated Portuguese I (4.0 units)

    Encourages rapid acquisition through intensive exposure to Portuguese while following a proficiency-oriented approach. Recommended for students with a background in Spanish or another Romance language.

    PORT 225: Accelerated Portuguese II (4.0 units)

    Continuation of rapid acquisition of Portuguese language. Course follows a proficiency-oriented approach. Recommended for students with a background in Spanish or another Romance language.

  • PORT 302: Introduction to Brazilian Literature (4.0 units)

    An introduction to Brazilian literature and culture exploring how Brazil has been understood and represented through spatial categories that have become, as it were, common places in Brazilian literary studies: the rural Brazil of the backlands, the tropical Brazil of the Amazon, the urban and cosmopolitan Brazil of the large cities, and how they relate to questions of identity and difference in the context of Brazilian society.

    Prerequisite:  PORT 240

Study Abroad

São Paulo-Brazil

CET study center and the Pontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) campus. PUC-SP is ranked among the top universities in Brazil and has 19,000 undergraduates. The PUC-SP campus is located in a residential area not far from São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista with good access to public transportation. The neighborhood around PUC has gyms, bookstores, and cafés. 

Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

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Contact Information

Department Office

Director of the Basic Language Program

Goretti Preito Botana

Undergraduate Advisor

Jessica Kanoski