Italian Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 27 (24 for second majors); of these units, 3 may be taken outside of Italian (L36) with the approval of the major advisor.

For more information about the program and language study in general, Washington University Arts & Sciences has produced a video called "Falling in Love With Another Language and Culture."

Required Courses

  • Students may count one of the following:*
Ital 247First-Year Seminar: Italy's Invention of the Modern Museum3
Ital 248First-Year Seminar: Italian Literary Culture: Identity, Subjectivity, Audience3
Ital 249Refracted Light: How Others View Italy3
Ital 280Sex in Italian Culture and Media3
Ital 290The Culture of Food in Italy (The Culture of Food in Italy)3

Students may count  Ital 201D Intermediate Italian in the Everyday World, Level III toward the major as an elective as well.

  • Students are required to complete one of the following courses (3 units):
Ital 307DAdvanced Italian in the Everyday World3
Ital 309Transmedia Italian Culture: Stories, Interpretation, Performance3
  • Students are required to complete one of the following courses (3 units):*
Ital 323CItalian Literature 1: Genre and Gender in Italy, 1200-16003
Ital 324CItalian Literature II: The Making of Modern Italy, Texts and Contexts3
Ital 327History of the Italian Language3

Students may count Ital 201D Intermediate Italian in the Everyday World, Level III, which is a prerequisite for Ital 323C and Ital 324C, toward the major as an elective as well.

  •  Students must complete two of the following 400-level seminars (6 units):
Ital 408Disease, Madness, and Death Italian Style3
Ital 428The New Sicilian School3
Ital 432Divergent Voices: Italian Women Writers3
Ital 437Caffe, Cadavers, Comedy, and Castrati: Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour3
Ital 442Literature and Fascism3
Ital 456Romance Philosophy3
Ital 462Prose Writers of the Sixteenth Century3
Ital 473Machiavelli and Guicciardini3
Ital 481Dante3
Ital 483Boccaccio: Decameron3
Ital 485Ariosto: Orlando Furioso3
Ital 491Postmodernism3
Ital 492The Italian Detective Novel3

Additional Information

Students must maintain an average of a B- or better, and they must maintain a B or better in Italian. Courses taken credit/no credit do not count toward the Italian major.

Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program. We offer a semester abroad program at our affiliate program with Boston University's Centro in Padua. This program is considered in residence.

Senior Honors

Students are encouraged to work toward Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude). To qualify for Latin honors in the major by thesis, a student must complete special literary research and prepare and orally defend an honors thesis, which is judged by an honors faculty committee. To qualify for Latin honors by course work, a student must enroll in Ital 4951 (Honors, fall of the senior year) and Ital 495 (Senior Honors, spring of the senior year). Recommendations for honors are based on performance and the quality of the thesis in addition to the student's cumulative grade point average. (Please refer to the departmental guidelines for more information about Latin honors.)

Transfer Credits

A minimum of 18 of the 27 units required for the major must be taken in residence. Courses not taken at Washington University may count toward the major only with departmental permission.

Contact Info