The core mission of the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese is to educate citizens of the state of Illinois, the nation and the world to become the next generation of teachers-scholars. As part of a premier research institution, our goal is to create and advance cutting-edge new knowledge in the study of the languages, literatures and cultures of the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese-speaking worlds, Hispanic linguistics and second language acquisition thereby producing the next generation of leaders in these academic fields and other related areas of knowledge. The department realizes its mission through engaging educational language programs at the basic language level, an exciting and relevant curriculum for majors and minors at the undergraduate level, rigorous training for graduate students in our MA and PhD programs, and innovative research initiatives and publications by faculty and graduate students.
The department strives to engage and educate a diverse national and international student population, providing the linguistic, cultural and analytical skills needed for the 21st century. In that context, we provide high quality, forward-looking instruction in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, both as a foreign language requirement and as a major program of study. At all levels our goal is to graduate the highest caliber students with robust core disciplinary knowledge, which includes advanced proficiency in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and transcultural competence. With this knowledge, our students will understand the complex linguistic, social, and cultural experiences that will allow them to engage productively with multiple dimensions of the human condition and a variety of worldviews. Our aim is to prepare them to use these abilities in careers related to research and education or to combine them with any other profession where international communication, professional-level linguistic proficiency, and deep understanding of other languages and cultures are critical. As part of our mission to educate world citizens, our department is also engaged in activities that foster civic engagement, social responsibility, and social justice in our students. Our curricula and initiatives provide opportunities for experiential learning in the community and through study abroad. We also foster interdisciplinary connections with other departments and programs on campus and international partnerships with foreign institutions.
Our faculty specializes in Spanish Linguistics, Italian Applied Linguistics, and in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies. We offer undergraduate, M.A, and PhD. programs in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese (with a number of specializations). We also offer instruction in Catalan, Basque and Romance Linguistics.