The Department of Italian offers an A.B. in Italiana minor in Italian, and a Master’s of Arts in Italian Studies.

Major in Italian

The Italian major takes an integrative approach to prepare students to explore connections and understand the continuum from past to present. From the Gateway course to the Senior Seminar, all courses are designed to introduce students to Italian culture in all its manifestations. Students develop their critical and analytical skills through intellectual dialogue in small class settings while the program’s integrated overseas experience gives students new perspectives and approaches to world issues.

Italian majors at Georgetown are required to complete 10 to 12 courses depending on the results of the student’s placement exam (12 if they begin in Intensive Basic, 11 if they begin in Intensive Intermediate, and 10 if they begin in Intensive Advanced). One course toward the major may be taught in English. Italian Majors are also required to spend a semester or an academic year in Italy studying at an Italian university.

Requirements for the A.B. in Italian

  • 10 Courses in the Italian Department  (unless initial placement requires additional language study), one of which may be taught in English. Students are advised to take the ITAL-042 Gateway course as their English elective. This course satisfies the Humanities: Art, Literature, & Culture (HALC) requirement of the College.
  • Students who are already fluent in Spanish or another Romance Language may take ITAL 009 Italian for Speakers of Spanish or Other Romance Languages  instead of ITAL-011 Intensive Italian Language and Culture: Beginner. Students interested in ITAL 009 should contact the professor teaching it before they register.
  • Upon successful completion of ITAL 009, students may enroll in ITAL 010 or ITAL 111 depending on the recommendation of the professor.
  • Upon successful completion of ITAL 010, students may enroll in a 200 level class depending on the recommendation of the professor.  Students who wish to enroll in a 200 level class are required to take the placement test before enrolling.
  • Students may also take three 1 credit courses instead of one of the 200 level courses to fulfill their course requirements
  1. Foundational Courses:
    • ITAL-011 Intensive Italian Language and Culture: Beginner
    • ITAL-032 Intensive Italian Language and Culture: Intermediate
    • ITAL-111 Intensive Advanced Italian I: Italian through Contemporary Culture and Society
    • ITAL-112 Intensive Advanced Italian II: Italian through Contemporary Culture and Society
    • ITAL-231 Contemporary Italy (before overseas study) or another 200-level course ( e.g.: ITAL-237 Business Italian, ITAL 239- Sono Solo Canzonette, Love and Politics in Italian Song)
    • ITAL-233 Writing: Literature/Culture
  2. 3 Core Courses—1 from each of the following periods:
    • From the Origins to the Renaissance.
      • ITAL-311 Italian Art, Literature and History 1200–1500
      • ITAL-319 Italian Translation
      • ITAL-335 Sacred and Secular  Poetry in Medieval Europe
      • ITAL-338 The Medici, Patrons of the Renaissance
      • ITAL-368 Politics, Society & Culture in Renaissance Italy
      • ITAL-372 Dante and the Medieval Mind
      • ITAL-374 Theater, Politics and Art in the Italian Renaissance
      • ITAL-379 Poetry of Courtly Love in Italy
      • ITAL-383 Dante in Popular Culture
      • ITAL-387 Love and Friendship in Medieval Italian Literature
      • ITAL-391 History of the Italian Language
      • 393 – Machiavelli, the Dark Prince and the Drama of Power
      • ITAL-412 Boccaccio, the invention of Storytelling
    • From Baroque to the Age of Realism
      • ITAL-358 Literature of United Italy
      • ITAL-370 Modern Italian Theater
      • ITAL-382 The Fantastic in Nineteenth & Twentieth-Century Italian Literature
      • ITAL-384 Theater and Opera
      • ITAL-385 Madness in Italian Literature and Theater
      • ITAL-392 The Theater of Power: Dynasties, Politics, and Theater, 1500–1800
      • ITAL-452 Theater of the Sacred: Between Faith and Politics
      • ITAL-467 Italian Theater
      • ITAL-473 Farewell to Realism: Decadence, Avant-Garde, Modernism
    • From Modernism to the Present 
      • ITAL-319 Italian Translation
      • ITAL-321 Poetics of Lightness: Italo Calvino and Post-War Italian Culture
      • ITAL-333 Italian Cinema: Adventurous Journey
      • ITAL-359 Bella Ciao! Women’s Identity in Twentieth Century Italy
      • ITAL-360 Giallo! Italian Detective Fiction
      • ITAL-361 Novecento
      • ITAL-380 Identity and Resistance in Fascist Italy
      • ITAL-381 Italian Contemporary Poetry
      • ITAL 386 Made in Italy: Fashion and Food
      • ITAL-388 A history of Italian Song from Cantautori to RAP
      • ITAL-390 Mafia: Reality and Fiction
      • ITAL-393 Modern Italian: dialects and other varieties
      • ITAL-394 Italian-Americans: Language, Literature, and Cinema
      • ITAL-397 Elena Ferrante and the Neapolitan Quartet
      • ITAL-404 The Twentieth-Century Italian Novel
      • ITAL-411 From Novel to Film
      • ITAL-425 From Mazzini to the Euro: The European Consciousness in Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature
      • ITAL-426 Encounters with the Other: The Ethnographic Imagination in Italian Literature
      • ITAL-445 The Betrayals of Translation
      • ITAL-471 The Writing Factory: Science, Machines, and the Technology of the Word in Twentieth-Century Italian Literature
      • ITAL. 531 Italian Language Today: Socio and Applied Linguistics.
  3. One elective
  4. ITAL-489 Senior Seminar
  5. ITAL-460 Dante—The Divine Comedy

Integrated Writing Requirement

Writing is central to the teaching of Italian at Georgetown. This emphasis comes from a Curriculum Renewal Project initiated by the Italian Department in 2005, which identified writing skills as a crucial area for unifying the curriculum from the language foundations to the upper courses and for the development of critical abilities that become necessary at higher levels of study. The Curriculum Renewal Project involved the design of specific writing tasks reflective of expected learner development at distinct levels of the language curriculum, the implementation of process writing throughout the curriculum, and the elaboration of specific writing goals. To learn more about writing goals at each level of instruction, please see

Overseas Studies

Georgetown has approved academic programs at the University of Florence (Middlebury), University of Bologna (Brown), and at universities in Milan through IES.  For further information, consult the Office of Global Education website:

Italian Major with FLL Business Coursework

See the Business Coursework section of this Bulletin.

Minor in Italian

Minors are required to complete 6 courses taught in Italian or 5 courses in Italian plus ITAL-394 Italian American Language, Literature and Film, which is taught in English.  Students placing above 011, 032, 111, and/or 112 will substitute upper-level electives taught in Italian.

Requirements for the Minor

  • ITAL-011 Intensive Basic Italian
  • ITAL-032 Intensive Intermediate Italian
  • ITAL-111 Intensive Advanced Italian I
  • ITAL-112 Intensive Advanced Italian II
  • ITAL-233 Writing and Culture/Literature
  • ITAL-231 Contemporary Italy or one course at the 200 or 300-level  (including ITAL-394)

(For course listings for Italian see Schedule of Classes)