Eligibility for Certificate

Class of 2025 is the last class eligible to apply for the Certificate. 

All subsequent classes should view information on the minor in Spanish or Portuguese

Admission

The program is open to all undergraduates in all departments. Ordinarily, students majoring in language and literature departments, including comparative literature, will be eligible for the certificate in language and culture provided that: (a) the linguistic base for the language and culture certificate is different from the linguistic base of the major; and (b) the work required for the language and culture certificate does not duplicate the requirements of the major.

Students pursuing area studies certificates may earn the certificate in language and culture provided that (a) the courses they elect to satisfy the requirements of the area studies program are different from those they elect to satisfy the requirements of the language and culture certificate program (in agreement with the Program in Latin American Studies, one course can be used towards both a certificate in Spanish or Portuguese and a certificate in Latin American Studies; and (b) they submit a piece of independent work in addition to the independent work that satisfies the requirements of each area studies program.

Students wishing to complete a certificate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures must fill out the Certificate Application Form. Applications may be submitted as early as second semester of the sophomore year, after a major has been declared, and no later than February 15 of the senior year. A separate application needs to be completed for each language in which a certificate will be pursued. Please email the Undergraduate Administrator with general questions or to let us know your interest in the certificate, and contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies regarding pre-approval for study abroad courses other than those offered by Princeton.

The Independent Work deadline for Academic Year 23-24 seniors is April 30, 2024. Please plan your senior year work accordingly. There are no extensions other than for medical reasons which must include a letter from a doctor. 

Prerequisites

Normally, students complete two 200-level courses in Spanish or one 200-level course in Portuguese.

Plan of Study

The certificate in language and culture is available in Spanish and Portuguese and involves satisfactory completion of the following course requirements:

Spanish 

  1. Four department-based or cross-listed SPA courses above SPA 209, at least three of which must be 300-level (or higher) in Spanish language, literature, or culture. Courses must be taken for a letter grade, no Pass/D/Fail or Audit. **Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spring '20 and academic year '20-'21 courses taken PDF will be accepted.** At the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students who study abroad during the academic year may count one pre-approved course per semester abroad towards the certificate. One Princeton summer abroad course offered through the department would also count. Two pre-approved courses in a summer program abroad other than Princeton's can count as one course towards the certificate. In no case, however, can more than two courses taken abroad count toward the certificate. A maximum of one course taught in English may be counted towards the certificate, provided that all written work is submitted in Spanish.
  2. Independent work. During their senior year, students are required to submit a paper on a designated topic. (See deadline information above.) The paper must be written in Spanish; be at least 6,000 words in length (sample title page); and be an extension of a paper written for one of the courses taken towards the certificate. Advisers are not assigned. One additional 300-level (or higher) SPA course may be substituted for the independent work. 
  3. Students interested in earning a certificate in another department's Program and in Spanish may earn both certificates provided that: a) different courses are used to fulfill the requirements for each certificate* and; b) the student produces two different pieces of independent work. *In agreement with the Program in Latin American Studies, one course can be used towards both a certificate in SPA and PLAS.

Portuguese 

  1. Three department-based POR courses above the 100-level on the literature and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. At least one of these three courses must be at the 200-level. No course taught in English can count towards the certificate. Courses must be taken for a letter grade, no Pass/D/Fail or Audit. **Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spring '20 and academic year '20-'21 courses taken PDF will be accepted.**  At the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students who study abroad during the academic year may count one pre-approved course per semester abroad towards the certificate. One Princeton summer abroad course offered through the department would also count, provided that it is taught in Portuguese. Two pre-approved courses in a summer program abroad other than Princeton's can count as one course towards the certificate, provided that they are taught in Portuguese. In no case, however, can more than one course taken abroad count towards the certificate.
  2. Independent work. During their senior year, students are required to submit a paper on a designated topic . (See deadline information above.) The paper must be written in Portuguese; be at least 6,000 words in length (sample title page); and be an extension of a paper written for one of the courses taken towards the certificate. Advisers are not assigned. One additional upper-division POR course (above the 100-level)  may be substituted for the independent work.
  3. Students interested in earning a certificate in another department's Program and in Portuguese may earn both certificates provided that: a) different courses are used to fulfill the requirements for each certificate* and; b) the student produces two different pieces of independent work. *In agreement with the Program in Latin American Studies, one course can be used towards both a certificate in POR and PLAS.

Students who are pursuing a certificate in Spanish and/or Portuguese must also become familiar with the certificate rules established by the Program in Language and Culture.

Upon graduation, students who have met all of the program requirements will have the certificate noted on their record and receive a Certificate of Proficiency along with their diploma.

Contacts

Rafael Cesar
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Janeth "Jane" Marquez
Graduate and Undergraduate Program Administrator
Alberto Bruzos Moro
Director of Spanish Language Program
Nicola Cooney
Director of Portuguese Language Program