Rio de Janeiro




The Portuguese program offers instruction in the Portuguese language and in Portuguese and Brazilian literature and culture. By extending career opportunities to Brazil, Portugal and African countries where Portuguese is an official language, study in the Portuguese program can be an important adjunct to academic preparation in Latin American studies, social sciences, natural sciences, business and other fields.


Portuguese Courses Taught

Check our Schedule of classes.

Portuguese Events 

Portuguese Language Club
Portuguese Movie Night
Portuguese Game Night
Brazilian Music by Tarcísio Ramos
Soccer in Brazil
Brazilian Dance
A Year in Brazil: An Unconventional Study Abroad Experience
What’s Wrong With José?
Portuguese Language Table: Português com Café
Era Uma Vez (Once Upon a Time, a community project for children).

Why Study Portuguese? 

  • 230 million people speak Portuguese (Brazil alone has a population of 190 million). It is the sixth most-spoken language in the world. It is spoken in Latin American, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, The Republic of Guinea-Bissau, São Tome, East Timor, and Macau.

    Portuguese language map

  • Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world and an industrial and economic power in Latin America, is abundant in natural resources and it is considered the country with the most biological diversity in the world. Learning Portuguese is relevant and timely in the global economy. 
  • There is a large Portuguese and Brazilian community in the US with an estimated 1.3 million Portuguese and between 800,000 to 1.2 million Brazilians residents. There is growing demand for programs to engage Portuguese heritage speakers by offering K-12 courses.
  • In post-secondary education, the 2009 Modern Languages Association (MLA) report stated that Portuguese is among the most commonly studied languages in the US.  Portuguese increased 22.4% between 2002 and 2006, and increased a further 10.8% between 2006-2009.
  • Learning Portuguese opens doors to unique cultural experiences, such as Carnaval, Capoeira, Festa Junina, Festival Folclórico de Parintins, Entrudo de Lazarim, fado, samba, and futebol (soccer), not to mention the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Degree Requirements for the Minor in Portuguese

A minor in Portuguese is available to students who complete 18 credits of course work with an A Por prefix.The Portuguese program offers instruction in the Portuguese language and in Portuguese and Brazilian literature and culture.

Career Opportunities

  • Portuguese can be combined with other areas, preparing studnets for successful careers after graduation, including: International Business, Latin American Studies, and Spanish.
  • Portuguese is the working and/or official language of important international organizations (e.g., the African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the European Union, MERCOSUL, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, and the Union of South American Nations).  Brazil also belongs to the BRICS group, along with Russia, India, China and South Africa (the five major emerging national economies).
  • Portuguese is considered a preferred language by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and is currently taught At US Army and US Air Force military academies.  
  • Brazil has attracted foreign workers (e.g., CNN Money, The Rio Times). Bloomberg stated that foreign workers have flooded Brazil as salaries rise; and CNN Money declared Brazil the place “where the jobs are”. CBS Money Watch selected Brazil as one of the 10 best countries to live and work abroad.

Improving Your Portuguese
  • Take our classes to develop your language skills (speaking, writing, reading) as well as your appreciation and awareness of Portuguese-speaking cultures.

  • Participate in the Portuguese Language Club and the Portuguese Language Table. 
  • photo by Paul Miller:Capoeira demo

    Capoeira Demonstration
    (Brazilian martial arts)

Luso-Brazilian Study Group

The goals of the Luso-Brazilian Study Group include:

  • the development of activities related to Luso-Brazilian cultures on campus, such as exhibits, specialized lectures, recitals, panel discussions, as well as films and cultural presentations
  • strengthening academic collaboration between the University at Albany (SUNY) and universities and colleges in Brazil in order to deepen and expand research projects in the humanities and other fields
  • engaging with the Brazilian community on campus and beyond

Current members are professors and graduate students including:

  • Dr. Alejandra Aguilar (Assistant Professor, LLC, UAlbany)
  • Dr. Carlos Balsas (Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, UAlbany)
  • Fernanda Burgath (Professor of Portuguese at The College of Saint Rose)
  • Jacqueline Quevedo-Ledermann (Academic Coordinator, International Education, UAlbany)
  • Denise Osborne (Lecturer, Portuguese, LLC, UAlbany)

Are you interested in taking part in our projects and events (either as a presenter or as a member of the audience), or are you interested in being part of our network? Please contact us!

Subscribe to the Portuguese LISTSERV and receive updates on the Portuguese-language related events on campus.

For more information: Denise Osborne