Portuguese Language Program



  • Portuguese is the official language of several independent countries and regions: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, & São Tomé and Príncipe? It represents one of the few languages spoken in such widely-distributed parts of the world.
  • Approximately 250,000,000 people worldwide, including 1,500,000 Americans and Canadians, are speakers of Portuguese, and it is the most widely spoken language in South America?
  • The Portuguese language curriculum is covered in three semesters, rather than four, as in other foreign languages?


  • Students who are already intermediate or proficient in Spanish and who are interested in studies related to Latin America, Africa, and Europe.
  • Students planning to study abroad in Brazil or Portugal.
  • Students who want to enjoy an advantage in a vibrant economic market where there are few people fluent in Portuguese in the areas of business, technology, administration, etc.
  • Students who are interested in small classes with much more individualized attention.

Portuguese language courses

Portuguese 50 (Intensive Portuguese)
Terms offered: Fall and Spring Semesters
4 units

This course is designed with the needs and strengths of proficient speakers of any Romance language in mind, and Spanish speakers in particular, so that the similarities between the languages can be used to promote specific learning paths. This is an intensive Portuguese language course that combines two semesters in one. This accelerated introduction to Portuguese allows students who successfully complete it to enroll in intermediate Portuguese 102, or advanced Portuguese 103, thereby gaining faster access to upper division courses. The general objectives are to provide students with the basic tools for oral and written communication in Portuguese, but also to offer them the opportunity to learn about the cultures where Portuguese is spoken, to reflect on intercultural differences and similarities.

Portuguese 102 (Readings in Portuguese - Intermediate)
Terms offered: Fall and Spring Semesters
4 units

Third semester course for students who have completed Portuguese 50 and for students with a previous knowledge of Portuguese, with special regard to undergrad students with an interest in improving their proficiency, and to graduate students who need Portuguese as a tool for their research. In this course, students will review and expand the grammar structures learned in Portuguese 50. They will also be exposed to more examples of Brazilian culture through authentic materials such as short stories, newspaper articles, videos, and music. Students will continue to develop their language skills, striving for a higher level of sophistication and fluency in writing, reading, listening and speaking. 

Portuguese 103 (Advanced Grammar and Composition)
Terms offered: Fall and Spring Semesters
4 units

In this course students will hone their language skills by reviewing and deepening their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar structures learned in previous semesters. They will examine and produce a variety of writings, including descriptive, narrative, expository and argumentative essays, as well as journalistic and administrative texts. Students will perform in-class writing exercises that allow them to incorporate new vocabulary, focus on certain grammatical structures, and differentiate between colloquial and formal registers.

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