Romance Languages And Literatures

Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

College of Arts and Sciences
910 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4620

Phone: 716.645.2191
Fax: 716.645.5981

Maureen Jameson

About the Program

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) offers undergraduate majors and minors in French, Italian, and Spanish. It also offers a minor in Latina/Latino Studies and courses in humanities.

Fluency in foreign languages is a vital skill for todayís university students, whether for professional, intellectual, or social reasons. Whatever their chosen career, the need for intercultural and linguistic competencies is widely recognized. The cognitive benefits of language learning are well known, and the cultural opportunities open to linguistically competent students will enrich their lives immeasurably. Accordingly, the programs in RLL develop in students a high level of linguistic proficiency in the Romance languages and deepen their knowledge of and interest in Romance literatures and cultures.

Degree Options

Students majoring in French, Italian, and Spanish are encouraged to add a second major or a minor in another Romance language. The director of undergraduate studies assists students in the planning of joint and double majors. Some popular double majors combine language study with English, geography, international trade, linguistics, mathematics, media study, and psychology.

Students seeking teacher certification need to plan their curriculum with particular care. Information about teacher certification may be obtained from the Teacher Education Institute, Graduate School of Education, 375 Baldy Hall.

Acceptance Information

Acceptance into majors or minors is based on completing a designated number of 200-level courses with a minimum GPA in those courses. Students who do not meet the criteria for acceptance into a given program may be admitted on a provisional basis while they work to fulfill requirements. Application to the majors and minors in French, Italian, and Spanish is made when the student brings a copy of her/his current UB DARS report directly to the department, or when she/he applies online at the department Web site. Consultation with the department and completion of a formal application for acceptance into the program are required.


Upon admission to RLL majors and minors, students are assigned to faculty advisors. Students are encouraged to plan their programs in consultation with their faculty advisors and to meet with them at least once each semester.

Interested students are encouraged to obtain a list of current offerings in languages and literatures from the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures website prior to registration each semester. Most introductory language courses are offered each semester. Upper division courses are offered on a rotating basis.

Transfer Policy

Transfer students are welcome in the majors and minors in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. To facilitate the evaluation of courses completed elsewhere, transfer students should submit course materials (catalog descriptions, syllabi, reading lists, papers, or exams) to the appropriate director of undergraduate studies. The number of transfer credits applied toward a major or minor is determined on an individual basis.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

One of the most effective and rewarding ways to master a foreign language and to learn about another culture is to live abroad. In an increasingly global economy, todayís students recognize the crucial importance of international and cross-cultural experience, whether their field is in the humanities, business, science, or engineering. Traditionally, students have participated in study abroad programs to improve foreign language skills, gain experience applicable to a variety of internationally oriented careers, and expand their personal horizons. Today, new programs also allow UB students to tailor the study abroad experience of another culture to their degree curricula and career plans. Students have the opportunity to study for the full academic year, one semester, or a summer in a variety of countries where Romance languages are spoken. Those who are eligible for financial aid keep that eligibility during the period in which they study overseas. The Department offers a small number of study abroad scholarships. For more information about study abroad opportunities through UB and through other institutions, contact the Study Abroad Programs office, 210 Talbert Hall, (716) 645-3912.

Career Opportunities/Further Study

The Department of Education reports that U.S. corporations are beginning to place greater value on second-language proficiency and awareness of other cultures in potential employees. Language fluency, as well as the research and analytical skills developed through foreign language study, are also assets for individuals who enter a variety of career fields, including arts management, banking, diplomacy, education, law, library science, medicine, science, social work, and travel and tourism. Foreign language study is essential for many government posts.

Many students who complete the departmentís undergraduate programs continue their studies in graduate and professional schools with financial support in the form of Fulbright awards, fellowships, and teaching assistantships.

Updated: Apr 12, 2006 11:04:54 AM