The PhD program in Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) is offered jointly by the Departments of French, Italian Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese, and administered by a director and executive committee who are faculty members in those departments. The program affords students the opportunity to undertake more detailed comparative studies among the Romance languages and their literary cultures than is normally the case in any single department’s program. It is founded upon the belief that a truly comprehensive understanding of any of the major romance languages and its literature must be nourished by a substantial degree of familiarity with all of them.
Students opt for a program track in either Literature or Linguistics. They choose one language/literature from among those taught in the three participating departments as their main emphasis (the primary language/literature), but must also complete substantial coursework in the other departments, and their eventual dissertation must deal with more than one Romance language/literature. The RLL program's admissions process, funding, requirements, and administration are separate from those of the three participating departments, but RLL students are normally affiliated with the department of their primary language/literature (the host department) for social and employment purposes, and receive program-related advising from a designated faculty member (the head graduate adviser for RLL students) in that department.
Source: Berkeley Academic Guide