Director of undergraduate studies: Kenneth David Jacksonspan-port.yale.edu

Portuguese is taught at Yale as part of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

The major in Portuguese is a liberal arts major intended to develop competence in the Portuguese language and to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the literatures and cultures of Portugal, Brazil, and African and Asian lands of Portuguese language or influence.


Students begin the study of Portuguese with PORT 110, 125, or S112. After two years of Portuguese language study, or equivalent, students have sufficient proficiency to take advanced courses in Luso-Brazilian literature and culture.

The prerequisite for the major is PORT 130 or the equivalent. 

Placement Procedures

All students who have not yet taken Portuguese at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement test, with the exception of students who have no previous knowledge of Portuguese whatsoever. The departmental placement test covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. See the department website for placement test times and details.

Requirements of the Major

The requirements of the Portuguese major consist of ten term courses beyond the prerequisites. Students must take at least five term courses in the literatures or cultures of the Portuguese world. In completing their programs, students may elect up to four courses in other languages and literatures, anthropology, history, or history of art, or from study abroad, that are related to their field of study and approved by the director of undergraduate studies (DUS). 

Senior Requirement 

All majors must present a senior essay. The essay is written in PORT 491 and/or 492. A maximum of two credits counts toward the major.


Juniors and seniors majoring in Portuguese may, with the permission of the instructor and the director of graduate studies, enroll in graduate courses in Portuguese.


Prerequisite PORT 130 or equivalent

Number of courses 10 term courses beyond prereq (incl senior essay course)

Distribution of courses At least five term courses in literatures or cultures of the Portuguese world

Substitution permitted With DUS permission, up to 4 relevant courses from other depts or from study abroad

Senior requirement Senior essay (PORT 491 and/or 492)

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese provides instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian worlds. Courses are devoted to the language and literatures of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, and to the Portuguese language and its literatures and cultures from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, and other Portuguese-speaking areas. For information about the major and language placement, please visit the department website.

The major in Portuguese develops proficiency in the Portuguese language and provides comprehensive knowledge of Portuguese, Brazilian, and related literatures and cultures. Today Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, with 200 million speakers in Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country. It is an official language of the African Union and East Timor, and it is spoken in parts of Asia, the United States, and Canada. The CPLP (Community of Countries of Portuguese Language) includes Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tome e Príncipe, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, and East Timor.

Majors in Portuguese may count up to four courses from complementary fields, including history, history of art, anthropology, area studies, and other languages and literatures, toward the major. Students may also select Portuguese as one of two majors and should consult with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) about a specialized course of study.


Information about the departmental placement exam in Portuguese and how to preregister for courses can be found on the department website. All students who have not yet taken Portuguese at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement exam, with the exception of students who have no previous knowledge of Portuguese whatsoever.

Certificate of Advanced Language Study

Certificate DirectorKenneth David Jackson

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers a Certificate of Advanced Language Study in Portuguese. A certificate adviser, typically the director of undergraduate studies (DUS), advises students on the certification process and certifies to the University Registrar's Office that students have completed the stated requirements before the end of eight terms of study. The Certificate of Advanced Language Study, once certified, is listed on the student transcript. 


Students seeking to earn the certificate are required to take four courses, all beyond the L4 level in Portuguese, at least two of which must be Yale courses designated as L5. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and students must achieve a grade of B or above. With the approval of the certificate adviser, one advanced non-L5 course, conducted in Portuguese, such as an independent study course, a graduate seminar, or an advanced seminar may count toward certification requirements.

The adviser may approve the substitution of one credit earned as part of a Yale or Yale-designated study abroad program and taught in Portuguese to count toward the certificate requirements. If the adviser approves courses taken outside of Yale for inclusion in the certificate requirements, students must take the necessary steps to ensure those courses appear on their transcripts.

Credit/D/Fail No courses taken Credit/D/Fail may be counted toward the requirements of the certificate.

Students are encouraged to complete and submit the Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate Form found on the University Registrar's website. Once completed, the form sends notification emails to the certificate adviser(s) and to the Yale University Registrar’s Office so that the student's Degree Audit can be updated with the Certificate of Advanced Language Study. 


Professors Santiago Acosta, Aníbal González, K. David Jackson, Nicholas R. Jones, Noël Valis, Jesús R. Velasco, Lisa Voigt

Senior Lectors II Sybil Alexandrov, Jorge Méndez-Seijas, Margherita Tortora

Senior Lectors I María Pilar Asensio-Manrique, Carolina Baffi, María José Gutiérrez Barajas, Mercedes Carreras, Sebastián Díaz, María de la Paz García, María Jordán, Rosamaría León, Luna Nájera, Juliana Ramos-Ruano, Lissette Reymundi, Lourdes Sabé-Colom, Terry Seymour, Giseli Tordin, María M. Vázquez

Lectors Sarah Glenski, Mayte López, Ian Russell, Noelia Sánchez-Walker, Torin Spangler