The Department of French and Italian

Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics

RomanceLingThe Doctoral Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics offers graduate students who combine an interest in linguistics and Romance languages the opportunity to develop the analytic skills necessary to conduct research of comparative and typological nature. While completing a Doctoral degree in their chosen field, students will have the opportunity to widen their expertise by being exposed to a variety of linguistic sub-fields and to allied disciplines that support the development and refinement of theoretical apparatus. Expanding research perspectives and strengthening academic training will support higher and broader standards of professional development that will enable them to respond more competitively to job markets.

The Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics is restricted to doctoral students, but it is open to students from departments with no faculty representatives in the program. Students can join the Portfolio Program at any point in their graduate career.

Students who participate in the Doctoral Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics will complete the course of study for their doctoral degree and the portfolio in the same amount of time required for completion of the doctoral degree alone.

Certification for completion of the Doctoral Portfolio Program is independent of the requirements of the doctoral program in the student’s home department. However, courses in the major or supporting areas of work may be counted toward completion of the program upon approval of the Graduate Advisor.

Although not required, students will be encouraged to ask a professor from the student’s portfolio area of concentration to serve on her or his doctoral dissertation committee.

For additional information about the Graduate Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics please contact:

Dr. Cinzia Russi, Program Director
HRH 3.110B, Mail Code B7600

Recently Completed Portfolios

Amengual, Mark (Spanish & Portuguese) - Romance Phonetics and Phonology Early Spanish-Catalan Bilinguals' Ability to Acquire L2 Vowel Contrasts 

Fleck, Jonathan (Comparative Literature) – Contact and Variation in Romance, Brazilian Literary Corpus (BLC) 

Regan, Brendan (Spanish & Portuguese) – Romance Phonetics and Phonology Stylistic variation of non-standard merger in Andalucía: A Speaker Design Approach

Trovato, Adriano (Spanish & Portuguese) - Presence of the Voiced Labiodental Fricative Segment [v] in Texas Spanish - Romance Sociophonology and Phonetics

Current Participants

High, Karina (French & Italian) - Historical Romance Morphosyntax
Law, James (French & Italian) - Historical Semantics

Application Process

Students, including students from departments with no faculty representatives in the program, can enter the Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics at any point in their graduate career. However, they are required to take a prerequisite course: Introduction to Romance Linguistics. A waiver may be granted by the program executive committee to students who have taken comparable courses in other institutions or demonstrate adequate proficiency in these subjects.

Students interested in participating into the program must complete an application form and submit a statement of purpose, which will include:
1. The student’s interests in the program;
2. A rationale for pursuing a specialization in Romance Linguistics;
3. A clear statement explaining the importance of this type of program and specialization for the student’s graduate program and career goals;
4. A list of six possible courses that form the proposed specialization;
5. The signature of the student’s faculty adviser and departmental Graduate Advisor.

Applications will be reviewed by the program supervisor and the executive committee.

Students are recommended to discuss their plans with the program Director as they prepare their application statement.

Application Form

Completed application materials may be e-mailed to Dr. Cinzia Russi, Program Director

Degree Requirements

The Doctoral Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics is administered by Dr. Cinzia Russi (French and Italian) in conjunction with the Portfolio Executive Committee. The Portfolio Executive Committee must approve each student’s specialization and certify the completion of the portfolio.

In order to complete the Doctoral Portfolio Program in Romance Linguistics, students are required to:
1. Complete four thematically related courses, for a total of twelve credit hours in approved graduate-level courses. These twelve credit hours can include three hours from one independent study (Conference Course) or directed reading with an affiliated faculty member. Under recommendation of the program supervisor and upon approval of the executive committee, three of the twelve credit hours can be at the undergraduate upper-division level.  Two courses must be taken outside the students' home department.
2. Complete a capstone research project in their area of specialization, which will be presented at a departmental colloquium or an appropriate symposium or conference. The research paper will then be submitted to and approved by the Portfolio Executive Committee.
3. Provide updates on their progress to the Department of French and Italian every semester.
4. Seek approval for their completed portfolio from the Portfolio Executive Committee.

List of Approved Courses

View Sample Specializations

Participating Faculty and Departments


Cinzia Russi, PhD, Program Director
HRH 3.110B, Mail Code B7600

Jessica Luhn, Graduate Coordinator
HRH 2.110A, Mail Code B7600

  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800