Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies contributes to the academic and professional development of our students by developing their skills in critical thinking and writing as well as honing their linguistic expertise.  According to recent research, learning a second language as an adult sharpens cognitive skills correlated with academic success. Language study also improves employment prospects in a global economy; a study by Georgetown University found that foreign language majors had the lowest rate of unemployment of any field in the humanities.   

 We offer majors and minors in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as a new minor in Latin American StudiesIn conjunction with the Department of Urban Education, we help students become certified to teach world languages as they complete their majors in Spanish or Portuguese. We  also offer several internships which allow students to gain academic credit and professional experience by teaching at the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School, serving as interpreters/translators at the Rutgers Law School Clinics or other organizations in the community through the Lives in Translation Project, or working at the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts

Our department also serves as an important link between Rutgers-Newark and the sizeable Latino and Lusophone populations in northern New Jersey and in the city of Newark.  We foster cultural and intellectual ties to these communities through our teaching, research, and outreach activities, and many of our students come from these communities. Every semester, our department offers scholarly and cultural events which are attended by faculty, students, and members of the wider community.

Explore our website to learn more about what the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies has to offer you. In addition to Spanish and Portuguese, we offer classes in several other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, and Japanese. To learn more about the faculty members teaching these languages, visit the Faculty and Staff section.








News & Announcements

  • Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) students and scholars have lost a scholar and mentor with the death of Elpidio Laguna Diaz, Emeritus Professor of Spanish and former chair of the Department of Classical & Modern Languages in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences.  He passed away Jan. 25 at his home in South Carolina. He would have been 71 in February. Please click here to read more

  •  1. A Discussion with Oscar Lopez Rivera (a Puerto Rican independence activist), and his civil rights attorney, Janis Susler.     Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 2:30pm at The Center for Law and Justice, 123 Washington Street, Baker Courtroom.     Event is sponsored by The American Studies Program, Association of Latin American Law Students, Latin@ Studies Working Group, National Lawyers Guild, and the Community and Transational Lawyer Clinics.

    2. The Narratives of Immigration Symposium (in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month).    Saturday, September 23, 2017, from 9:30am - 7:00pm at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rooms 255-257.  Please be sure to RSVP at     For more information, please contact Dr. Jason Cortés, jasoncor @ 

    These lectures are free and open to the public.  For parking information, visit