Undergraduate students at the University of Michigan may pursue a Minor in Portuguese or an RLL Major by combining Portuguese with Spanish, as well as with French, and/or Italian. Graduate students may pursue a Graduate Certificate Program in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies.
The objectives of the Portuguese Program are to facilitate student's proficiency in the Portuguese language and foster knowledge acquisition on the cultures of the Lusophone (or Portuguese-speaking) world.
With approximately 260 million speakers, Portuguese is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. It is the language of Brazil and Portugal, as well as the official language of Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor.
Fluency in Portuguese will open multiple professional opportunities in various countries with expanding economies and a promising future in connection to business, education, tourism, international relations, NGOs, biotechnologies, culture and the arts, the environment, energy, and development.
Speakers of Spanish have a significant advantage in being able to learn Portuguese in less than a year, given the close proximity of both languages based on their similar grammatical structures and vocabulary. Fluency in both Spanish and Portuguese will open up opportunities in all of Spanish-speaking Latin America as well as Brazil.
Portuguese is the gateway to the rich cultures of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, most particularly, in the realms of music, literature, the visual arts (including moving image), and architecture.
Why Study Portuguese?
Brazil, with a population of approximately 206 million, is the largest country in Latin America as well as the sixth largest economy in the world. It is one of the emerging global geopolitical powers of the 21st century and a major player in the areas of agriculture, the environment, energy and biofuels, media, popular music, aerospace, banking, and sustainable development. 60% of the Amazon rainforest —critical to the planet’s survival— is located within Brazilian territory. Brazil is a multiracial nation with the largest Afro-descended population outside of the African continent. In 2014 Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup in soccer and Rio de Janeiro hosted the summer Olympics in 2016.
Lisbon, Portugal —one of the most charming and cosmopolitan capitals of Europe— is a major cultural center of the Portuguese-speaking world at large with a significant population from the former Portuguese empire (Brazil as well as parts of Africa and Asia).
Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer and has been fueling one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Angola also is the ancestral land of many Afro-descended peoples in the diaspora, including in the United States.
Both Africa and Brazil are strategic priorities for the University of Michigan, so there is a range of exciting opportunities for collaboration with Brazilian and African institutions with visitors across many academic fields as well as the arts. This is a very exciting time to study Portuguese at Michigan!
Prerequisites to the Academic Minor: PORTUG 232, 280, or 415; or the equivalent.
Academic Minor Program: A minimum of 18 credits beyond PORTUG 232 (neither PORTUG 280 nor PORTUG 415 may not be counted toward the 18 credits), including the following course:
- Required Course: PORTUG 287 Advanced Portuguese Conversation and Composition (this can be taken concurrently or before 400-level courses).
- Electives: For the remaining part of the coursework, students must choose courses beyond Portuguese 287.
Cognate Courses: Students pursuing the academic minor in Portuguese may petition to have up to 3 cognate courses (no more than 9 credits) from other units (for example, History, Afro-American and African Studies, as well as Latin American and Caribbean Studies), taught in English, which have a Brazilian, Lusophone African, and/or Portuguese focus to count for the academic minor. Cognate courses must be approved in advance by a Portuguese advisor in the department of Romance Languages & Literatures. Please consult the Portuguese Cognate List. Courses which do not appear on this list must be approved in advance by a Portuguese advisor in the department of Romance Languages & Literatures
Residency Requirement: At least 9 of the 18 credits for the academic minor must be taken in residence or in a study abroad program affiliated with the University of Michigan.
Portuguese Cognate Courses
A Portuguese cognate course is a course in which a majority of the content focuses on Portuguese studies, but which does not give instruction primarily in Portuguese.
Non-UM Study Abroad and Domestic Transfer Credit
Review and follow this checklist which outlines the approval process for non-UM study abroad and domestic transfer credit.
Please note: students are required to have coursework pre-evaluated by an RLL faculty advisor prior to enrolling or going abroad; syllabi and specific course descriptions are needed. A final evaluation of coursework is required upon completion of the course or upon return from abroad. Specific courses and credits must appear on the transcript; syllabi and completed coursework are needed.
For information regarding earning credit for UM/CGIS study abroad programs, please reference the RLL Study Abroad page page.
Portuguese Language Resources
Universo Online (dicionários em várias línguas e sobre várias temáticas): http://educacao.uol.com.br/dicionarios/
Priberam Informática (dicionário de língua portuguesa online): http://www.priberam.pt/dlpo/dlpo.aspx
Infopédia (dicionários e enciplopédia em língua portuguesa):
Ciberdúvidas da Língua Portuguesa
Conjugador de verbos
História do Brasil (verbetes sobre história brasileira)
Projeto Releituras (textos de grandes escritores do Brasil e Portugal)
Domínio Público (Ministério da Educação)
História da Educação no Brasil http://www.histedbr.fae.unicamp.br/navegando/index.html
Revista de Estudos Avançados USP
Tempo Social (Revista de Sociologia da USP) http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_serial&lng=pt&pid=0103-2070&nrm=iso
Biblioteca Nacional (Lisboa)
Biblioteca Digital Camões
Biblioteca Digital da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Fundação Luso-Americana (FLAD)
Fundação Mário Soares
Fundação José Saramago
Centro de Estudos Africanos (ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto
Centro de Estudos Sociais/Universidade de Coimbra
Lusophone World Online
Embassy of the Republic of Angola*
Jornal de Angola (government-sponsored daily)
Rede Angola (alternative media outlet)
Maka Angola (opposition and anti-corruption news service)
TPA — Televisão Pública de Angola
(click on “Multimedia” to see videos)
Universo Online (UOL) (news and entertainment)
TV Cultura (live free 24 hours)
Rádio Cultura Brasil (live 24 hours)
TV Brasil Internacional (live free 24 hours)
O Globo Online (daily)
Folha Online (Folha de São Paulo)* (daily)
O Estado de São Paulo (daily)
Revista Veja (weekly)
Carta Capital (Alternative weekly)
Globo News (24 hours)
Globo.com (Videos, entertainment, news, sports)
MPBFM (Rio-based Brazilian music station)
Nova Brasil FM (São Paulo-based Brazilian music station)
Sapo.cv (most complete news and media website on Cape Verde)
A Semana Online (major Cape Verdean daily)*
Cape Verdean Radio Stations Online
RTC – Rádio e Televisão de Cabo Verde (radio/TV online)
Expresso das Ilhas
Guiné-Bissau (notícias, atualidades e opiniões)
TV Guiné-Bissau (extensive current video archive)
Rádio Sol Mansi (live stream)
Rádio Jovem (live stream)
Ditadura de Consenso (editorial opinion current affairs)
Sapo.mz (news and media website on Mozambique)
Notícias (major Mozambican daily)
Verdade (alternative media)
O País Online
RDP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (the most important radio/TV network [Antena 1, 2, 3, RDP África, RDP Açores, RDP Madeira]. It includes live TV and programming on demand for free).
Diário de Notícias
Expresso (major weekly newspaper)
TSF (radio news 24 horas)
Afrolis (Audioblog focusing on African Lisbon)
São Tomé e Príncipe:
Agência STPress (general info in Portuguese)
São Tomé e Príncipe (general info in English)*
World broadcasters in Portuguese to Lusophone Africa, Brazil, and/or Europe:
RTP – África (live TV 24 hours for free)
Radio France Internationale in Portuguese to Africa and Brazil*
El País Brasil
Deutsche Welle em português*
(A Voz da Alemanha para o Brasil, África e a Europa)
Voz da América em português para África*
*Information available in English as well