Portuguese, Minor

Program Code: PORT_UMNR

Program Description

The minor in Portuguese is designed to cultivate our students' understanding, respect, and appreciation of the rich literary and cultural traditions of Portuguese-speaking peoples; to provide a sound foundation for further study related to the Portuguese worlds; and to develop our students' ability to analyze literary and cultural works in Portuguese.

Through their coursework in the Minor, students will be introduced to the disciplines of Portuguese letters, and also explore connections between Portuguese and other disciplines in the humanities or in the social sciences. For the Portuguese Minor, students will need a minimum of 19 credits of Portuguese (at least 6 of which must be at the 400 level), with grades of C or better. Students will be able to select from a comprehensive list of courses that can count toward the Minor. Students are held to the requirements that are in effect when they officially declare the Minor. They can take more than the minimum 19 credits if they so desire; there is no penalty for students who change their minds and ultimately do not complete all the Minor requirements (i.e., they are not disqualified from graduating if they do not complete declared minor requirements; they simply do not receive the minor).

What is Portuguese?

Portuguese and Luso-Afro-Brazilian studies is the academic discipline concerned with studying the languages, cultural expressions, and peoples of the Lusophone, or Portuguese-speaking, world. Scholars in this discipline analyze literary and artistic works from Brazil, Portugal, and/or Lusophone Africa, often within a comparative context. This field contextualizes artistic and cultural expressions in terms of history, politics, social practices, and economics. Studies in this field may examine the experiences and expressions within the Lusophone context through the lens of Latin American studies, hemispheric American studies, or Transatlantic studies. Questions of race, gender, and class, the legacies of slavery and colonialism, and the repercussions of dictatorships and civil wars often animate research in this field.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You want to learn or improve your Portuguese and discover more about countries where Portuguese is spoken.
  • You are interested in how music, film, literature, and culture intersect with politics, social movements, and historical events.
  • You want to pursue a career in international business, government, non profits, translation, education, or the arts.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 19

The prerequisite for the Minor's prescribed PORT 3 course is PORT 2.

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PORT 3Intermediate Portuguese4
PORT 405Advanced Composition and Conversation3
Supporting Courses
Supporting Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of PORT courses beyond the 003 level9
Select 3 credits of 400-level PORT courses3

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Career Paths

 A minor in Portuguese is an excellent complement to degrees in journalism, business, global and international studies, international relations, communications, anthropology, film and media studies, or journalism. It prepares you to use spoken and written Portuguese effectively in a professional setting, to analyze complex problems, to write clearly, and to engage in cross-cultural communication. These are key skills for fields like public relations, management, journalism, government, education, translation/interpretation, law, and nonprofits. Students can also pursue graduate study in Luso-Brazilian studies, Latin American studies, comparative literature, history, or education.


Penn State students with a minor in Portuguese received fellowships as Fulbright teaching assistants in Brazil and have pursued a range of internships and career opportunities in fields such as technology, management, journalism, education, government, and law. Given students’ ability to communicate in Portuguese, they are prepared to work with Portuguese-speaking populations and clients in important markets like Brazil, Portugal, and Angola.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Penn State students with a minor in Portuguese are prepared to pursue graduate study of master’s or doctorate work in Portuguese/Luso-Brazilian studies, Latin American studies, or comparative literature. They could also further their study of Portuguese language in a linguistics or applied linguistics program, or pursue master’s degrees in translation, interpretation, education, journalism, public policy, or international relations. Given their strong communication skills and training to think analytically, students with a Portuguese minor are also excellent candidates for attending law school.


University Park

442 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802