General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 27
  • Students: 31
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 90%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: December 27
Application Info


Gustavo Furtado
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Romance Studies
Duke University
Box 90257
Durham, NC 27708-0257
Phone: (919) 660-3114



Program Description

The Romance Studies graduate program features the benefits of individual attention in small seminars and a close connection to the broader community of literature, arts, cultural studies, and cultural history. The department offers degrees in French, Italian, Spanish, and Romance Studies as well as advanced study in Brazilian and Lusophone Studies.

  • Areas of specialization in French include all historical fields in Europe as well as Africa and the Caribbean.
  • Areas of specialization in Italian include the medieval, Renaissance, modern, and contemporary periods, including transhistorical and transnational work.
  • Areas of specialization in Spanish include all peninsular and Latin American/Caribbean historical fields as well as Amerindian, and Latino/Chicano thought.
  • The area of Brazilian and Lusophone studies also includes Portuguese-speaking Africa and indigenous studies in Brazil.

Critical methodologies include the relation of literature to society, history, philosophy, semiotics, feminism, Marxism, visual and cultural studies, psychoanalysis, post- and de-colonial theories, linguistics, and science and the humanities. Students are encouraged to look at cultures from interdisciplinary and global perspectives, and to collaborate with programs such as African and African American Studies, Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, History, and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies.  Opportunities are also provided to work with visiting writers and translators.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: December 27

Applications submitted by December 27 are guaranteed review.
Applications submitted after December 27 but before the closing date of March 07 will be reviewed based on availability of space and funding.

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required
  • Writing Sample: Required (see departmental guidance below)

Writing Sample

The Department of Romance Studies requires a 10-15 page writing sample, either in English or in the primary language of study, that best represents the kind of research and scholarship you wish to pursue at Duke. Students interested in the Romance Studies track may wish to submit more than one paper, but the total number of pages submitted for this requirement should not exceed 15-pages. The writing sample(s) should be uploaded to the Departmental Requirements section of the application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance