Understanding other cultures is critical for anyone who wants to be an active participant in our increasingly global society. As an Italian studies major at The Catholic University of America, you will gain an appreciation for Italian culture that will help you to better understand the world around you.

In your major classes, you will become proficient in Italian while gaining extensive knowledge of the rich Italian culture, including courses in Italian literature, cinema, and history. Other core classes will help you to gain a truly global view of the world as you explore other disciplines like the natural sciences and humanities.

When you complete your program, the strong liberal arts education that you receive will serve you well in whatever career you choose.


Major In Italian Studies

This program is designed for students who have a strong interest in Italian culture. The courses in the major give students a wide knowledge of Italian literary and cultural phenomena. The program ranges from introductory surveys through period and genre offerings to seminars treating individual major authors. Italian Studies majors are required to take at least two courses in areas such as fine arts, politics, and history that may help prepare them for successful careers in politics, law, international business, medicine, education, or the arts. Students are required to complete two advanced language and culture courses (203, 204), the two senior seminars (488. 489) and 8 electives. Two of these elective courses must be offered by a program other than Italian Studies. At least four (2 plus 488 and 489) of the elective courses must be taught in Italian. Students should consult with the Italian adviser before selecting courses in order to determine their individual program of study.

Students enrolled in the Major in Italian Studies are strongly recommended to study abroad, either in The Catholic University of America's Rome program or in another education abroad program in Italy.

Education Abroad

  • Italian Studies Majors are required to spend a semester studying abroad in Italy. Students choosing to study in The Catholic University of America's Rome program are strongly advised to add a second semester in a Catholic University of America-affiliated program in Italy.
  • All credits earned abroad are eligible for transfer if the student is enrolled in affiliated programs. ITAL 489 must be taken at The Catholic University of America.
  • Under special circumstances may students petition that the study abroad requirement be waived. In these cases the department will consider summer abroad programs, approved cultural immersion experiences, or internships instead.

Free Electives and Distribution Courses

  • Italian Studies Majors are strongly advised to complete the course work for the Certificate in European Studies.
  • Students are also strongly encouraged to add minors or a second major in related disciplines, such as Art, Drama, History, International Business, Media Studies, Philosophy, or Politics.