Portuguese and Brazilian Studies


Portuguese and Brazilian Studies examines the Portuguese-speaking world, a large and diverse geographical and cultural area spread over five continents. Inhabited by two hundred fifty million people, this area includes Brazil, Continental and Insular Portugal, Lusophone Africa and Luso-America. Although concentrators are encouraged to examine the global nature of the Portuguese-speaking world, typically they focus on one of the specific geographical entities mentioned above.  Concentrators will strengthen their Portuguese language skills (Portuguese 400 or the equivalent is a pre-requisite) and explore relevant Lusophone literature, education, history and social science. The concentration offers one program in language and literature and another that is interdisciplinary. Most concentrators study abroad in either Brazil or Portugal.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the history, politics, and expressive cultures of the Lusophone diaspora
  • Acquire intermediate proficiency in Portuguese
  • Develop theoretical acumen in humanistic and social scientific research methods
  • Design a unique concentration based around a critical question relating to Lusophone education, history, or literature
  • Produce a significant piece of independent research


Click here for a list of the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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All concentrators take the required concentration seminar in the junior or senior year and write a final paper in Portuguese.

Candidacy for Honors assumes a better than average record, particularly in the concentration. The Honors project can be a thesis or a creative project, such as poetry or fiction writing in Portuguese, translation from Portuguese into English, or vice-versa. Students interested in pursuing Honors should make their intention known to the Concentration Advisor as early as possible. Please visit the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies website for complete information on the eligibility requirements for Honors.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

Alumni Pathways

Portuguese and Brazilian Studies alumni have become attorneys, management consultants, preservation specialists, and journalists.

Where have concentrators worked/studied in their first year after graduation?

What are concentrators doing 5 and 10 years after graduation?

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.