Field of Study: Portuguese Language and Literature
Programs in Portuguese language and literature teach people the spoken and written traditions of Portugal and Brazil. Students learn how Portuguese words began and the language developed. They study dialects, stories, myths, and writings. They also learn to apply the knowledge to business and technology.
Today's Portugal is a democratic republic in the European Union. It first became a nation state in 1139. Neighboring Spain later invaded and ruled Portugal until 1640. At that time, a revolution established Portugal's first republic.
Around a hundred years later, Lisbon, a wealthy coastal city, was hit hard on a Sunday morning by a tremendous earthquake. A tidal wave and catastrophic fire followed. Lisbon rebuilt under the leadership of Portugal's prime minister. Even today, a style of architecture named for the prime minister (Pombaline) stands in Lisbon's business district.
In Portuguese language and literature programs, you study just what the name implies – language and literature. You also learn about Portuguese culture and history, from medieval times to modern society. Because Portuguese is spoken outside of Portugal in diverse geographic locations, often you study other Portuguese-speaking countries. In most programs, this is usually Brazil. Colonized by Portugal in 1500, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, in both area and population. Other Portuguese-speaking countries include Mozambique, Angola, and East Timor. Therefore, when you study original Portuguese literature, folklore, and films, you may read books by Portuguese poets and authors as well as writers and filmmakers from Brazil and Guinea Bissau, to name a few!
A few dozen colleges and universities offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Portuguese language and literature. A few two-year colleges offer the first two years of study. Students can often transfer these credits to a four-year school. Master's degrees typically take five or six years of full-time study after high school. Doctoral degree programs typically take three to five years after the master's degree. Most people with graduate degrees become professors.