Info for Prospective Undergrad Students

Major(s) offered

French, BA

Italian, BA

Italian Studies, BA

Enrichment opportunities


Undergraduate applicants are encouraged to apply online through the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

For more information about undergraduate admissions, visit the School of Arts and Sciences Web site.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens applying to the undergraduate program must inquire and apply through the Office of International Service.


Careers in business, governmental service and teaching, and prepares students for graduate study in law and international affairs, advanced work in the humanities.  Learn more about program graduates and their paths post-graduation.


Each incoming student is assigned an academic advisor within the Dietrich School’s Academic Advising Center. Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once per term before they can enroll in classes for the next term. Students are encouraged to schedule additional appointments as necessary. Students will remain with their assigned advisor until they declare a major; once a major is declared, the student will transition to a new advisor within their major department.

Faculty members in the Department of French and Italian work closely with our undergraduate majors and minors not only on their coursework and other academic pursuits, but on helping them to identify how a major or minor might fit into their overall program of study at the University. We advise students on Study Abroad opportunities, post-graduation academic plans, and future career goals. We regularly consult with prospective and incoming students interested in our fields, and provide whatever information we can to assist them in their decisions and transitions.

French Program Highlights

  • Diverse and varied study aboard opportunities, including a Freshman Learning Community in francophone Canada (with a spring break trip to Montréal), two current summer programs (Nantes and Paris), and (soon) an academic year program in Lyon.
  • Internships/service learning experiences (translation companies, local high schools, etc.)
  • Regular Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships with faculty 
  • Individual focus through advising by full-time faculty and close mentoring across the board
  • An annual paper prize for a paper written in French, with faculty mentoring to help students revise their papers for submission
  • Chance to participate in departmental research networks as undergraduates
  • Cutting-edge curriculum on important topics of our day (environmentalism, migration, globalization, the nation, gender/sexuality)
  • Undergraduate lectures by external scholars who come to campus (recent topics: Simone de Beauvoir today, Quebec and language politics, Indian Ocean francophonie)
  • Creative courses (theatre performance and creative writing) 
  • Close relationship between faculty and French Club, where tendency is to integrate activities and events into FR curriculum:
  • professionalization (resume/cover letter workshop in Written French course); 
  • French and francophone cultures in today's world (a welcome event in the fall with French food; our annual day of francophonie event in the spring featuring a filmmaker, to coincide with our bi-annual Undergraduate conference)
  • a model UN-type event in which students will organize a mock Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • French Theatre Workshop: students put on a French play that they practice and study over the semester
  • Advanced course "The Idea of France" which includes work in the French Nationality Room archives

Meet Award-Winning Faculty Member Lorraine Denman

“I studied in Rome with Professor Lorraine Denman. She took our lessons outside of the classroom and into the streets. We not only studies facts and engaged in meaningful discussion, but we were able to travel to landmarks to incite our curiosity. We presented in class what we saw in the city, and gained the confidence to share conversations with Italian citizens because of Professor Denman’s dedication to her students. Her generosity as an instructor is so important in making her students intrigued, engaged, alert and eager. She inspired me. I went into the class wanting to minor in Italian Language, but her patience and knowledge motivated me to pursue a major in Italian Language and Literature on top of my French major.”

–Emily Bonavoglia (French and Italian Languages and Literature majors)

Italian Program Highlights

  • Individualized advising that goes beyond undergraduate experience to support and guidance in graduate applications, professionalization, alumni contacts, etc.
  • Small classes, individualized faculty relationships and mentoring
  • A broad range of study abroad opportunities ranging from two summer programs (Rome and Genoa) and a very successful spring-term Florence semester program.
  • Close relationship between ITAL faculty and Italian Club; coordinated activities such as conversation hours; poetry readings; etc.
  • Internships we offer and supervise
  • Directed and Independent research opportunities
  • A broad range of activities and events that link students to contemporary Italy (the Italian Film Festival USA; workshops such as with visitor Luca Vullo) 
  • Regular cultural activities such as student attendance at the Pittsburgh Opera; close working relationships with cultural and historical institutions such as the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Wash., DC, where Lina Insana’s Introduction to Holocaust Literature course takes a one-day visit every time the course is offered.

For more information about our department, or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact the Dietrich School's recruitment team: .