The doctoral program of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo educates graduate students in the scholarship of the discipline and trains them to develop new knowledge about the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Romance Languages, as well as the cultures and diasporic communities with which they have remained in sustained contact. Graduate students in Romance Languages and Literatures are prepared to participate in critical discussions in the discipline, are able to articulate major shifts and trends in the evolution of those discussions and can articulate their own position within them. RLL graduates acquire competence in theoretical approaches and methodologies that inform their own research, and obtain familiarity with a diversity of critical approaches that allow them to engage meaningfully with the scholarship of colleagues in neighboring disciplines.
The Department offers the MA and the MA/PhD in Spanish and French, with the option of specializing in Literature and Cultural Studies or in Linguistics.
The faculty of RLL are committed to a pan-Romance perspective that underscores the connections between the sections of the department and their respective degree programs. Faculty pursue their research, and graduate students prepare their MA projects and PhD dissertations, in an environment where there is an enthusiastic dedication to the importance of all of the Romance Languages, to the geographical areas where they are spoken, and to all of the Hispanic and Francophone cultures. At UB, interdisciplinarity begins within RLL itself, and the transdisciplinary connections with History, English, Classics, Poetics, Philosophy, Digital Humanities, Comparative Literature, Anthropology, Theater and Dance, Media Study, Architecture, Linguistics, the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture, the Baldy Center for Law and Public Policy, and Trans-national Studies (which includes Global Gender Studies and Canadian Studies), all create a climate where a vast array of theoretical and disciplinary interests are at home.
RLL faculty and graduate students can be seen everywhere on campus—organizing colloquia and conferences, hosting theatrical performances and film series, chatting with students at language exchange tables, participating in research groups, including the Early Modern Reading Group, the Ecocritical Studies Research Workshop, the Feminist Research Alliance, and more. Despite the Department’s modest size, RLL faculty and graduate students are among the most outward-looking, dynamic and engaged scholars on campus. Graduate students organize an annual conference and publish its proceedings.
The University at Buffalo takes its responsibility to graduate students seriously and offers the intellectual guidance and the access to faculty that distinguishes it from other programs. Graduate faculty members cooperate to nurture the scholarly interests of students, providing both a strong breadth of knowledge in the discipline and the critical tools to explore the chosen subfield in creative and meaningful ways. We engage, challenge, and mentor our students to become independent scholars who have the critical thinking skills and knowledge to be well prepared for careers beyond their degree.
The Master’s Degree enhances the student’s expertise in the language, literature and culture of the chosen specialization. It begins with thirty hours of coursework and culminates in the writing of a Master’s Project under the direction of a faculty member. The degree is useful in business, law, journalism, library and information science and many other careers, in addition to being an important teaching credential.