Secondary Fields

in Romance Languages and Literatures (French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish)


In order to complete a secondary Ph.D. field in Romance Languages and Literatures, a graduate student from another Harvard department will take a minimum of four courses, at least three of which will be graduate courses (200 level: “Primarily for Graduates” in Spanish and French; students interested in a secondary field in Italian or Portuguese should contact the DGS) and no more than two of which can be intermediate courses (100 level: “For Undergraduates and Graduates”). Neither pass/fail nor audited courses will count towards a secondary Ph.D. field in this department.

All courses expected to count towards the secondary Ph.D. field will be taken in the department, in the section of the student’s choice; in compelling cases, one “related course” may be counted towards the secondary field, with permission of the DGS. On average, our larger sections (French and Spanish) offer every academic year about nine 100-level courses and five 200-level courses each. Of the smaller sections, Italian offers up to six 100-level courses and two 200-level courses; Portuguese, two 100-level courses and two 200-level courses. Any and all of the courses offered by a given section at the 100 and 200 levels are open to secondary Ph.D. field students in that section.


in Latinx Studies



The Secondary Field in Latinx Studies has three purposes:

  1. to help qualify students for employment relating to the studies of literatures, cultures, and theories of Latinx Studies.
  2. to help graduate students form productive and lasting scholarly communities at Harvard and beyond.
  3. to recognize the intellectual labor and contribution of Harvard graduate students who are currently working in the field of Latinx Studies.


To apply for the secondary field, graduate students should complete a Plan of Study Form and meet with one of the Latinx Studies Secondary Field Advisors (to make an appointment, contact Kathy Hanley, RLL's graduate coordinator). At this meeting, the Advisor will review the student's Plan of Study and discuss options for completing the secondary field requirements.

Students are encouraged to declare their interest in the secondary field early in their doctoral program to ensure that they can fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.


1. three graduate-level courses in Latinx Studies with a grade of B+ or above:

a. Global Latinidad (SPAN 228, offered every other year) or Latinx Theory: Being and Knowing (Span 242, offered every other year).

b. Courses selected from among graduate courses (or upper-level seminars) across the university (see list of approved courses and list of faculty who teach Latinx Studies). These courses may be used to satisfy departmental requirements. For courses numbered below 200 (primarily for undergraduates), graduate students must complete the designated graduate-level requirements.

2. an article-length paper suitable for publication (or dissertation chapter)

3. a research statement that highlights the scholarly engagement with Latinx Studies

4. a sample syllabus for a proposed course in Latinx Studies within their particular fields or evidence of teaching in Latinx Studies (as a TF or TA for an undergraduate course in the approved list)


After they have fulfilled the requirements, students may submit a completed and signed Ph.D. Secondary Field Application to the Office of the Registrar by the same date they file the application for their degree. There are no exceptions to this deadline (please consult the Registrar's calendar). Students are also encouraged to apply as soon as they have fulfilled the requirements.

The Application form needs to be signed by a Latinx Studies Advisor and by the DGS of the student's home department. In order to get the Latinx Studies Advisor's signature, students will make an appointment and bring the completed application form, along with an updated copy of their CV, a copy of the paper or dissertation chapter they are using to fulfill the requirement for an article-length paper suitable for publication, a copy of their completed plan of study and a copy of the approved syllabus (if applicable).

For more information visit the GSAS website's Secondary Field Instructions and Application page or contact Kathy Hanley.

Approved Courses

“Global Latinidad: Racial Translations and National Belonging in the Age of Immigration” [Spanish 228]

“Latinx Theory: Being and Knowing” [Spanish 242]

“The Border: Race, Politics, and Health in Modern Mexico” [History of Science 140]

“Performing Latinidad” [Spanish 126]

“Diaspora Artchives: Transnational Stories of Immigration and Citizenship in Historical Perspective” [Romance Studies 130]

“Literature, Diaspora, and Global Trauma” [Comparative Lit 277]

“Coloniality, Race and Catastrophe” [Religion 2519]

“Coloniality, Race and Religion” [Religion 2478]

“Topics in Music from 1800 to the Present: Proseminar in Latino Musics in the United States” [Music 193r]

“Urban Diversity and Segregation in the Americas” [EMR]

“Ethnic Studies and Education” [EDU T004]

“Migration and Immigrant Incorporation Workshop” [Sociology 309]

“Immigration and the Globalization of Borders” [Spanish 142]

“Contemporary Immigration Policy and Educational Practice” [EDU H517]

“Human Migration and US-Mexico Borderlands: Moral Dilemmas and Sacred Bundles” [Anthro 1401]

“Migration and Human Rights” [HLS 2784]

“Mass Incarceration in Historical Perspective” [AAAS 123x]

“Tropical Fantasies: The Hispanic Caribbean and Haiti in Contemporary Literature” [Spanish 146]

“Caribbean Poetics” [EMR 122]