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Graduate Studies

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures boasts an internationally recognized faculty with whom students can prepare themselves professionally in the fields of French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese studies.  In addition, our program is uniquely structured to support interdisciplinary research. Students choose their own sequence of coursework, under the guidance of faculty mentors, not only from the courses offered by RLL but also from across the entire University of Michigan. Program milestones (fourth-term review, preliminary exams, prospectus meeting) are designed to guide students’ progress toward the development of a research project. RLL graduate students can also pursue Graduate Certificates in a number of interdisciplinary areas: LGBT Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Latina/o Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Museum Studies, Screen Arts, and Women’s Studies.

All entering students are guaranteed six years of full funding that includes both fellowships and teaching, with additional opportunities for fellowships that can extend funding into the seventh year. All students in good standing are guaranteed teaching in the department. We provide strong pedagogical training and the opportunity to teach both elementary and upper-level language courses as well as culture and literature courses in our undergraduate program.  Students may complete a Graduate Teaching Certificate and those interested in teaching opportunities outside RLL may pursue positions in units such as Women’s Studies, AfroAmerican and African Studies, Comparative Literature, and the Great Books program. With their superior training, our graduates have had an excellent placement record.

Romance Languages and Literatures is a diverse community. We welcome applications from underrepresented students and non-traditional students, including those with extra-academic experiences such as political, artistic, or entrepreneurial work, and those whose degrees are not in language and literature. We draw students and faculty from Italy, Spain and Latin America, France and Francophone countries, as well as the United States and other countries around the world, and we welcome students who wish to do research in more than one Romance language.