The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures offers comprehensive training in Spanish, Spanish American,  Brazilian literatures and cultures.

The department collaborates in special programs with other cultural institutions in the city, including the Spanish Institute, the Americas Society, and the Instituto Cervantes, and with the national consulates of Spain and Latin America. Activities have included roundtables, symposia, and film festivals. The first New York Latin American Book Fair was held at NYU under the sponsorship of the department.

The NYU Madrid Master of Arts program offers a unique one-year MA in Spanish and Latin American Linguistic, Literature and Cultural Studies.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing in Spanish is unique in that it offers instruction only in Spanish. It consists of three required courses on general writing issues, three optional modules in the form of practical writing workshops, and two electives chosen in consultation with an advisor. Workshops will be offered in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and translation.

The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree. It signifies that the recipient is able to conduct independent research and has both a broad basic knowledge of Spanish, Latin American, and/or Luso-Brazilian language and literature and a comprehensive knowledge of one in particular.