Italian Studies Major

Goals for the Italian Studies Major

Students who major or minor in Italian Studies:

Students who study only the language will speak and understand Italian at the intermediate level, as detailed in the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

Students will acquire analytical and critical skills in speaking and writing as a result of being exposed to Italian films, literature, history, social and legal issues. They will complete the language requirement with a solid knowledge of grammar and critical understanding of Italian culture.

Requirements for the Italian Studies Major

The major in Italian Studies offers students the opportunity to acquire fluency in the language and knowledge of the culture of Italy in a  historical perspective. Students are strongly urged to begin Italian in their first year. ITAS 101, ITAS 102, ITAS 103 count toward the degree, but not the major. Students majoring in Italian are required to take nine units above the 100 level. One of these courses must be ITAS 209ITAS 270ITAS 271ITAS 272ITAS 273, or ITAS 274. Two of the nine courses must be at the 300 level and be taken in the department. The requirement to take two courses at the 300 level may not be met by taking ITAS 350 (Research or Individual Study), ITAS 360 (Senior Thesis Research), or ITAS 370 (Senior Thesis). One course may be taken outside of the department, on a related topic to be decided by the student and her major advisor. Students are encouraged to consult with the chair about the sequence of courses they will take. Courses given in translation count toward the major. Qualified students are encouraged to spend their junior year in Italy on the Eastern College Consortium program in Bologna (of which the Department of Italian Studies is a participant), or on another approved program.

Honors in Italian Studies

For the achievement of honors in Italian Studies, students must write and defend a senior thesis. Honors candidates must complete at least one 300-level course, or its equivalent, before the fall of their senior year. In addition, a 300-level course is to be taken concurrently with ITAS 360-ITAS 370.


  1. Grade point average of 3.5 in the major, above the 100-level.
  2. Recommendation of Department's Honors Committee when project is submitted.
  3. A 300-level course, or its equivalent, before the fall semester of senior year.

ITAS 360 and ITAS 370 do not count towards the minimum requirement of two 300-level courses for the major.