The University of Pennsylvania's graduate programs in Romance Languages are part of a long and honored tradition. A list of students since 1896, the year the department awarded its first doctorate, contains many names of luminaries in the fields of French, Spanish and Italian Literature. The graduate program is considered to be among the very best nationally, as well as internationally.
The University of Pennsylvania's Romance Languages faculty is made up of internationally recognized scholars in Spanish, French, and Italian language and literature, each with a clearly defined individual methodology or theory of literary study. The professional voices in which faculty members write and teach range from the very traditional to the most experimental, allowing graduate students to become conversant with the whole spectrum of critical discourse. Eventually, students adopt or combine approaches with which they feel comfortable as they find their own professional voice. This tolerant and mutually enriching pluralism is the envy of colleagues in many other universities.
Penn's Department of Romance Languages is a middle-sized one, large enough to offer variety, small enough to permit individual attention. Programs can, therefore, be organized according to skill areas in which students need to become adept in their own professional teaching, research, and writing.
The Penn faculty members that I studied with between 1993 and 1997 included Marina S. Brownlee, Toni Espósito, Paul M. Lloyd, Ignacio Javier López, José M. Regueiro and Russell P. Sebold, my dissertation director.