Language Requirement Policy



Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Graduate Language Requirement
Adopted by vote of RLL faculty on November 18, 2014
For Students Entering the Program in Fall 2015 or Later*


1. Language requirement for all Ph.D. candidates in RLL

a. Knowledge of more than one Romance literature and culture is an invaluable tool for research and teaching in the Romance languages and literatures.
b. Ph.D. students are expected to take two half-courses entailing advanced literary study of one or more Romance languages (other than the language of specialization), or Latin.
c. If these courses are taught in English, primary readings should be done in the language under study.
d. Language courses or equivalent study are prerequisite to the required half-courses, but do not receive credit toward the graduate language requirement.
e. Students must complete this requirement before taking the Ph.D. General Examination.

2. Specific requirements by specialty or section

N.B.: These guidelines affect the choice of the two half-courses stipulated in Section 1.b.
They do not increase the number of required courses for any section or specialty.
a. Students specializing in medieval and/or early modern studies take one half-course in Latin literature at a level beyond the year-long introductory language course.
b. Students specializing in modern and contemporary studies may take the two half-courses in one or two languages.
c. Students specializing in Portuguese take one half-course in the Hispanic literatures.
f. Students specializing in Spanish take one half-course in Portuguese, Brazilian or Lusophone literature.

3. Substitutions and credit for previous work

a. Students may request substitutions of other European or world languages dictated by their field of research.
b. Students may request graduate language requirement credit for course work done at another university or equivalent study done prior to arrival at Harvard.
c. Romance Studies courses taught by members of a section other than that of the student’s specialization, and in which primary readings are done in the language or languages presented for the graduate language requirement, may be proposed for credit toward the language requirement. In Romance Studies courses co-taught by a faculty member of the student’s home section, but in which half of the primary materials are read in languages outside the field of specialization, the course may count as half of a half-course; two such courses count as one half-course.
d. All substitutions and credit for previous work are subject to approval by the DGS on recommendation of the student’s academic advisor.

*Students who entered the program prior to fall 2015 may follow the regulations in place at the time of their first enrollment or the new regulations.