Italian Studies


The Italian program boasts an exceptionally dynamic and caring faculty expert in a range of established and cutting-edge subjects, including migration studies, medical humanities, Medieval and Renaissance literture, film studies, queer studies, museum studies, and the Slow Food movement.  Our small class sizes, interactive and proficiency-based language courses and popular culture courses draw students from the School of Engineering, Olin Business School, the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and all major disciplines in Arts & Sciences, from biology to history and from literature to economics.  Not only do our students achieve a high level of proficiency in Italian language with practical appplication for living and working in Italy, but we also offer extensive preparation in Italian literature, film, and culture, as well as opportunities for travel and study abroad.  We offer semester-and year-long study abroad at our affiliate program in Padua, where students immerse themselves in Italian culture and perfect their Italian by living with an Italian family and attending varying levels of small-group language, literature and culture classes with American students at the Centro as well as by taking courses directly at the University of Padua.  The Italian program extends beyond the courses we teach.  We also offer ongoing series of lectures, films, and artistic performances in addition to student-organized social activities. all of which contribute to the intellectually dynamic and personally rewarding social environment of our section.

As one of the top 4 European economies, Italy is a leader in design, fashion, travel and tourism, the automotive industry, information technology, media and communications, engineering, pharmaceutical production, food and wine, and textiles. The study of Italian in our program will prepare students for work in these sectors, as well as careers in international business; diplomacy and international government and law; academia; the fine arts; and education.  Benvenuti a tutti!




Vatican Museums, Roma

Studying Italian

Roma, caput mundi

All roads lead to Rome!! Through language learning, the study of Italian literature, cultural contact both in the classroom and (should you choose) Italy, as well as locally with members of the Italian-American community, you’ll discover how much of Western culture can trace its origins to Italy. In our language, culture, and literature courses you’ll learn to speak and write Italian, and in our advanced courses in literature, history of Italian, and cultural analysis you’ll refine these skills. Through their focus on Italy past and present, our courses will enable you to design your future.

Firenze, la culla del Rinascimento

Few moments are as important in the history of Western art as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Florence. Names like Brunelleschi, Leonardo, Michelangelo are household words, and the artists behind the names all emerged from the astonishingly fertile Florentine artistic culture of the early and high Renaissance. You can combine your study of Italian with the study of art history as well as with many other fields, including European history; history of science; music history; women, gender, and sexuality studies; religion; applied linguistics; second language acquisition; translation studies; Mediterranean studies. Many of your cross-disciplinary adventures will take you to important Italian cities, such as Florence (art history), Bologna (music history), and Rome (religion).

La bella Napoli

Where would we be without pizza? Invented in Naples, this ubiquitous Italian pie not only fills millions of hungry stomachs every day, it also serves as the cornerstone for more than one American business. Business is but one of many careers that the study of Italian will open up for you, both here in the United States and abroad.

Careers & Outcomes

Italian majors to go on to find success across a wide spectrum of industries. Explore our career resources and outcomes.


Our Faculty

Our faculty take an active interest in our students, providing support and encouragement throughout their studies as they become dynamic, conscientious, and informed members of today's global community.

Meet our Faculty

Contact Us

More questions? Connect with our Director of Undergraduate Studies for Italian.

Rebecca Messbarger Details