Italian Program


The Italian division of the department offers a complete language program which includes elementary, intermediate and advanced language, conversation, advanced composition, phonetics, as well as courses designed to provide graduate students from other departments with reading knowledge of Italian.

In addition, every year it offers a sequence of two courses given entirely in English and devoted to the Italian cultural heritage. Four to six upper-level courses in literature, film, and culture are also offered each year, two of which are taught in Italian and the remaining courses in English. Qualified undergraduates are often invited to take Masters-level coursework, when their language abilities and preparation allow.

Focus of the Italian Program

The Italian majors (the Italian Language and Literature Major and the Italian Studies Major option) and two different minor tracks allow students to encounter the literature, film, history, and culture of Italy through a broad selection of coursework. Courses, offered both in Italian and in translation, may focus on a particular author and/or work (for example Dante and The Divine Comedy), survey a period (such as the Renaissance or World War II), examine a literary genre (novel, epic or lyric poetry, theater, film) or explore specific issues (for example, the contribution of scientific writers to Italian literature and culture, the Italian-American experience, Women's issues).

Double majors in Italian and a second field (such as political science, business, art history or another foreign language) allow students to explore interdisciplinary interests that help to focus and personalize their program of study.

Study Abroad

All majors are also highly encouraged to spend a year or a semester in Italy. Every summer, since 1992, the department has sponsored a program in Italy (we currently have three: two summer programs based in Rome and Genoa and a spring semester program in Florence) which has afforded dozens of students the opportunity to earn credits toward the major and improve their language skills while experiencing firsthand the life and culture of Italy.

Financial Support for Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, the Nationality Rooms Scholarships, the Eleni Contis Scholarship, and other Italian Program scholarships support summer study abroad, and students may apply to a number of other sources for financial support.