Independent Major Requirements

The Italian Studies Major is designed for students who wish to achieve proficiency in oral and written Italian, as well as an excellent and well-grounded knowledge of Italian culture in an interdisciplinary context.   

Since the Italian Studies Major is an independent, individualized major, it must be discussed with the professors for eligibility and specifications.  For this purpose, please contact Professor Maria Grazia de Angelis ( and Professor Costanza Dopfel (

To be admitted to the major, students must complete level 4 of the language, plus at least one upper division and one lower division conversation class by the end of sophomore year. They should continue taking one upper division conversation class throughout their junior and senior year for a total of three upper division and one lower division conversations plus a capstone course.  (capstone description)

To complete the major, students must take nine upper division courses, three from each of the following categories:

  1. History and civilization
  2. Literature and theory
  3. Art and culture

Upper division courses can be taken in English.  Their goal is to enrich the students’ cultural background and to teach them techniques of analysis and criticism, rather than focus on the language.  Students can take courses outside the department of World Languages and Cultures upon approval from their advisor and the Department Chair.  Courses listed as Modern Languages in Translation as well as Art History 145 (Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art) are designed for Italian Studies Majors and Minors.  Students studying in Italy should discuss their upper division courses with their advisor.

Please note that all courses are not offered every semester, and the list of courses offered through the John Cabot University in Rome program are subject to change.  Special Topics courses may be taken with SMC faculty as Independent Studies courses only if they have not been offered during the previous or current year.