The Department of Italian Studies offers an A.B. in Italian and a minor in Italian.

Major in Italian

The Italian major takes an integrative approach to prepare students to explore connections and understand the continuum from past to present while introducing Italian culture in all its manifestations. Students develop their critical and analytical skills through intellectual dialogue in small class settings and develop new perspectives and approaches to world issues through study abroad in Italy.

Italian majors at Georgetown are required to complete 10 courses in Italian. Note that many students will need to take a total of 12 courses in Italian, depending on their beginning level and results of the placement exam (i.e., 12 if they begin in Intensive Beginner, 11 if they begin in Intensive Intermediate, and 10 if they begin in Intensive Advanced I or above). Italian Majors are also required to spend a semester or an academic year in Italy studying at an Italian university.

Note for students with a background in Spanish or another Romance language: Students who are already fluent in Spanish or another Romance Language may take ITAL 1009 Italian for Spanish or Romance Language Speakers instead of ITAL 1011 Intensive Italian Language and Culture: Beginner. Students interested in ITAL 1009 should contact the professor teaching it before they register. Upon successful completion of ITAL 1009, students may enroll in ITAL 2010 or ITAL 2011 depending on the recommendation of the professor. Students who complete ITAL 2010 may enroll in a 2000-level class upon successful completion of the placement test.

Requirements for the A.B. in Italian

  • 10 Courses in the Italian Department, one of which may be taught in English. as follows:

  • ITAL-2011 Intensive Advanced Italian I: Italian through Contemporary Culture and Society
  • ITAL-2012 Intensive Advanced Italian II: Italian through Contemporary Culture and Society
  • ITAL-2033 Writing and Culture
  • One additional course at 2000+, or three one-credit courses
    • Note: Students with a background in another Romance language may substitute 2010 for 2011
    • Note: Students who begin the major at a level higher than 2011 will substitute additional courses at 2000+ for 2011 and/or 2012
    • One-Credit Courses
      • ITAL-1020 Italian Society and Pop Culture (E)
      • ITAL-1032 Italian Through Art: Sexuality, Gender, and Art in Early Italian Renaissance (1350-1550) (E)
      • ITAL-4408/4409 Italian Conversation Practicum

Note: all courses with an asterisk (*) can be used to fulfill either group requirement based on the student’s final paper. Courses followed by “(E)” are taught in English.

A. Foundations

  • ITA-4335 Sacred and Secular Poetry
  • ITAL-4338 Medici, Patriarch of the Renaissance: A Dynasty
  • ITAL-4347 Theater, Politics, and Art in the Italian Renaissance
  • ITAL-4350 Italian Renaissance Women: Writing and Art
  • ITAL-4355 Bella Ciao! Women in Italian Culture*
  • ITAL-4361 Monster and Monstrosity in Medieval Italy
  • ITAL-4368 Politics, Society, and Culture in Renaissance Italy
  • ITAL-4372 Dante and Medieval Mind
  • ITAL-4373 Italian Actors and Actresses (E)
  • ITAL-4374 Theater, Politics, and Art: Italian Renaissance
  • ITAL-4375 Boccaccio: The Intervention of Storytelling
  • ITAL-4383 Dante’s Afterlife in Popular Culture (E)
  • ITAL-4385 Madness in Italian Literature and Theater*
  • ITAL-4387 Love and Friendship in Medieval Italy
  • ITAL-4392 The Theater in Power: Dynasties, Politics, and Theater (AD 1500-1800)
  • ITAL-4395 The Dark Prince (E)
  • ITAL-4460 Dante—The Divine Comedy

B. Becoming Italy

  • ITAL-4321 Poetics of Lightness: Italo Calvino and Post-War Italian Culture
  • ITAL-4337 Italian Cinema
  • ITAL-4358 Literature of United Italy
  • ITAL-4359 Women’s Identity in Twentieth-Century Italy
  • ITAL-4360 Giallo! Italian Detective Fiction
  • ITAL-4366 Primo Levi and the Holocaust (E)
  • ITAL-4386 Made in Italy: Fashion and Food (E)
  • ITAL-4388 Italian Songs: Cantautori to Rap
  • ITAL-4389 Italian Mysteries from Dante to Terrorism
  • ITAL-4380 Identity and Renaissance in Fascist Italy
  • ITAL-4390 Mafia: Reality and Fiction
  • ITAL-4393 Contemporary Italy and its Regional Varieties
  • ITAL-4394 Italian-American Language/Literature/Film (E)
  • ITAL-4398 Fictions of Europe (E)
  • ITAL-4404 20th Century Italian Novels
  • ITAL-4420 Language and Migration (E)
  • ITAL-4425 From Mazzini to the Euro
  • ITAL-4426 Encounters with the Other: The Ethnographic Imagination in Italian Literature
  • ITAL-4444 Discourse and Identity Narrative (E)
  • ITAL-4445 Betrayals of Translation
  • ITAL-4473 Fairwell to Realism: Decadence, Avant-Garde, Modernism

ITAL-4989 Senior Seminar

ITAL-4460 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:

Minor in Italian

Minors are required to complete 6 courses taught in Italian or 5 courses in Italian plus ITAL-4394 Italian American Language, Literature and Film, which is taught in English.  Students placing above 1011, 1511, 2011, and/or 2012 will substitute upper-level electives taught in Italian. Students cannot substitute three one-credit courses for a three-credit course in the minor.

Requirements for the Minor

  • ITAL-1011 Intensive Beginner Italian
  • ITAL-1511 Intensive Intermediate Italian
  • ITAL-2011 Intensive Advanced Italian I
  • ITAL-2012 Intensive Advanced Italian II
  • ITAL-2033 Writing and Culture/Literature
  • ITAL-2031 Contemporary Italy or one course at the 3000 or 4000-level  (including ITAL-4394)

(For course listings for Italian see Schedule of Classes)