The Portuguese Program at the 5Cs is a collaboration between Pitzer and CMC. The program focuses on Brazil, the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world. Our courses develop students’ proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in cultural context. Students across the 5Cs have traveled to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Roraima and Fortaleza to enhance their language skills and to participate in study abroad programs and study trips, carry out research projects, and engage in volunteer work and internships.

Study Abroad

Students have the opportunity to study in Brazil through Pitzer’s exchange with the Federal University of Roraima, located in the Amazon region, and Pitzer’s summer study abroad program in Salvador, Bahia, which is run in collaboration with the Steve Biko Institute, a nationally renowned organization that has achieved extraordinary success in helping black Brazilians enter and succeed at university. At these sites students have first hand interactions with Brazilian culture through family stays, local excursions, and opportunities to work with local non-profit organizations and tutor in English at local public schools.

Programming on Campus

There are plenty of opportunities to practice the language and meet advanced and native Portuguese speakers on campus: Portuguese Lunch Tables at CMC, Pitzer, and Oldenborg; films; guest-speakers; sessions dedicated to Brazilian music; and workshops on cultural expressions like capoeira or samba.

Major In Spanish & Portuguese

This major is designed for students who arrive at Pitzer with a mid to high level of proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese and who are interested in learning either Spanish or Portuguese as a way to further enhance their studies of Latin American communities and cultures and their diasporas. In addition to coursework in both languages, an immersion experience in each one of the languages is required.


  1. Language proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese at the intermediate-high level upon entry to the major (end of the sophomore year).
  2. Immersion experiences in both Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities abroad or as determined with the adviser.
  3. One course as a theoretical foundation for understanding culture.
  4. One foundations course that provides a historical and sociocultural background for the study of Latin America.
  5. Four courses taught in Spanish and four in Portuguese, except that with the adviser’s consent, up to one relevant course taught in English may count towards the major.
  6. For students who arrive with proficiency in Spanish, all course work in Spanish must be above SPAN33. For students who arrive with proficiency in Portuguese, all course work in Portuguese must be above PORT33.
  7. SPAN/PORT 199 PZ, a capstone senior research project

Minor In Portuguese 

The minor in Portuguese offers students the opportunity to become proficient in the Portuguese language, study the history and culture of the Lusophone world, and participate in an immersion experience. The minor is an ideal complement for students pursuing majors in Latin American studies or romance languages, and a way to open up access to Lusophone communities for students majoring in a variety of fields.


  1. 6 credits
  2. Two semesters of PORT35
  3. Immersion experience abroad or as determined with adviser.
  4. 1 course focused on the history and cultures of Brazil and/or the Lusophone speaking world.

Courses – see Course Catalog


Juanita AristizabalAssociate Professor of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Pitzer College

Norman Valencia, Assistant Professor of Portuguese, CMC

Fernanda Cunha, Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant of Portugese, Pitzer College

For information about the program contact Prof. Juanita Aristizabal ([email protected])