Romance Languages and Literatures

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All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. So why study Romance Languages? In our increasingly global economy, the breadth of a Romance Language Concentration makes it an ideal liberal arts major. We offer courses in the histories, politics, cultures, customs, and literatures of countries that speak Romance languages. Whether you are interested in mastering a language, becoming familiar with important literary figures, or studying contemporary international issues, as a Romance Languages concentrator, you will be developing a diverse set of skills, which will provide a foundation for work in government, business, education and human services, and the arts.

Related fields include Linguistics, History, Philosophy, History of Art, Film, Music, Comparative Literature, Classical Studies, Women’s Studies, American Culture, Latino and Caribbean Studies, Afro-American and African Studies, Public Health, Business, and International Studies.


Research / Project Development Skills

Gathering information
Summarizing ideas
Using original sources
Compiling / recording data
Working with research subjects
Establishing hypotheses
Evaluating research results

Analytical Skills

Weighing values
Reading critically
Thinking critically
Comparing interpretations
Interpreting data
Assessing evidence
Analyzing problems
Synthesizing information

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Understanding other cultures
Adapting to other cultures /situations
Working as part of a team
Acknowledging value systems
Active listening
Interviewing non-judgmentally

Communication Skills

Reading and writing in another language
Reading for content and structure
Understanding historical language change
Writing clearly and carefully
Explaining complex concepts
Presenting to groups


Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Most concentrations sponsor specific student groups like an undergraduate organization or an honor society. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Study abroad experiences are particularly helpful to foreign language concentrators to improve proficiency and gain intercultural skills. Other options include off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.


Romance Languages concentrators develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, the ability to compile and analyze complex data may be equally useful whether working as a doctor, an attorney specializing in international law, or a freelance journalist.

Many of our concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Romance Languages and Literatures graduates.

Research / Project Development Skills

Market researcher
Export / import specialist
Orchestra music administrator
Sociolinguist open book icon
Catalog librarian open book icon

Analytical Skills

Physician open book icon
Epidemiologist open book icon
International law / Trade lawyer open book icon
Immigration lawyer open book icon
Grants and contracts manager
National security agency analyst
Foreign policy analyst open book icon
Legislative staff member
CIA / FBI agent

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Foreign correspondent
Arts / antiques auctioneer
Corporate travel planner
Human resources director
Special events coordinator
City cultural events planner
Customs / immigration officer
Embassy support staff
Court interpreter
Disaster relief worker
International student advisor
Bilingual program teacher
Manager, language school
Social worker open book icon

Communication Skills

College Professor open book icon
Film critic
Technical writer (all media)
Manager, translation services
Advertising copywriter
Professional association editor
Public relations representative

open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at


The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) offers three concentrations that enable students to gain proficiency in Spanish, French, or Italian through understanding the structure and use of languages. The Department also offers a concentration in Romance Languages and Literatures, which allows students to include more than one romance language in their concentration, along with minors in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

An intermediate level of language study is prerequisite to all concentrations. The focus is on spoken and written language mastery and an understanding and interpretation of Romance languages and cultures.

For more specific information, visit the Academics and Requirements website or the department website.

Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
4108 Modern Languages Building

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall


To begin exploring opportunities for overseas study and work, go to: or

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake:

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2013 Regents of the University of Michigan