Portuguese Major



Students displaying the o-h-i-o arm signal

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University offers exciting academic opportunities at the undergraduate level for students interested in Luso-Brazilian culture and Portuguese language and linguistics. The strengths of OSU's Portuguese program lie in our versatile language program, and in our B.A. in Portuguese that emphasizes the cultural, economic, political complexities, and the transatlantic dimension, of the Lusophone world. Our Department offers a distinguished program in Portuguese linguistics, especially in the areas of phonetics, morphology, and pragmatics.

Portuguese Major Program

Why Study Portuguese at OSU?

OSUs innovative Portuguese language program and challenging, interdisciplinary minor and major in Portuguese can enhance any academic program. Your expertise in this vital language will set you apart. Consider these reasons for learning Portuguese at OSU:

  • Portuguese is spoken in countries on four continents: Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau.
  • It is the 9th most spoken language in the world, with approximately 234 million speakers. 
  • More than a third of Latin America's population lives in Brazil and speaks Portuguese.
  • Portuguese is the language of 25 percent of the population of the Southern Hemisphere, making it the most spoken language in the whole Southern Hemisphere (Yes, it surpasses Spanish... easily). 
  • There are an estimated 1,100,000 Brazilians currently living in the United States.
  • World Bank data shows Brazil having the 9th largest GDP worldwide, and the largest in Latin America.
  • Ohio is the sister state of Paraná, Brazil, and facilitates international cultural and business contacts.

Knowledge of Portuguese can complement courses of study in a number of disciplines, such as Spanish, Political Science, International Studies, International Business, Latin American Studies, and Comparative Studies.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons