Italian Program


The Italian division of the department offers a complete language program which includes culturally rich elementary, intermediate and advanced language courses, as well as courses in conversation, advanced composition, and phonetics designed to help students reach a level of operational proficiency in all linguistic skills.

In addition, every year it offers two or three introductory courses given entirely in English aimed at surveying the breadth of Italian culture and its legacy, or exploring specific aspects and modes of Italian cultural production and their influence in today's globalized world.  Four or five upper-level courses in literature, theatre, cinema, and cultural history are also offered each year, two of which are taught in Italian and the remaining in English. Qualified undergraduates are often invited to take Masters-level coursework, when their language abilities and preparation allow.

Beyond the classroom, the Italian program offers students exciting opportunities in internships; directed and independent research experiences; an active Italian Club, and an Italian Honor Society, Gamma Kappa Alpha

Focus of the Italian Program

The Italian major's two tracks (the Italian Language and Literature Major and the Italian Studies Major option) and the Italian minor allow students to explore the 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 and the postwar period), examine specific literary, theatrical, or cinematic genres, and/or explore specific issues (for example representations of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; the interrelations of literature and other arts; media; and politics).

Double majors in Italian and a second field (such as anthropology, political science, communication, business, art history, linguistics, 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 semester-long 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 Herbert & Maria Constant Scholarship, and four other Italian Program scholarships support summer study abroad, and students may apply to a number of other sources for financial support.