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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


Benvenuti to the Italian Studies program at Santa Clara University!  The Italian faculty invites you to explore the rich and diverse aspects of Italian language and culture as part of your intellectual journey towards your future. We are committed to preparing you to become competent professionals and compassionate global citizens. Our program emphasizes a holistic approach to the study of Italian culture. You can thus expect to receive a rigorous training in language skills and cultural analysis that will enhance your personal growth and your ability to navigate an ever-changing global market.

Why Study Italian?

Studying Italian will open a gateway onto one of the world’s most beautiful languages and one of its richest cultures.  Learning Italian will place you in a position to explore Italy’s past and present from a vantage point.

Knowing Italian will be beneficial in several career fields. Italy is a world leader in the food industry, interior and graphic design, fashion, engineering and manufacturing. 

Italy is one of the top eight economies in the world. An estimated 7,500 US companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 have offices there.

If you are Italian American, learning Italian will allow you to reconnect with your heritage.

Having already studied another Romance language will facilitate your learning Italian.

Italy is home to the most UNESCO world heritage sites. Having language skills in Italian and knowing the culture will enhance your travel experiences.

What Can I do With a Degree in Italian Studies?

The Italian Studies major and minor open the doors to a variety of professional paths such as international relations, business, international law, journalism, education, and the arts. The Italian Studies Program offer students the opportunities to broaden the scope of their studies by making it possible for students to double major and obtain a double degree (BA/BS) with most majors offered on campus. Many of our students combine the study of Italian with majors in other areas of studies such as Art History, Political Science, History, Communication, Economics, Business, Biology and Public Health.

What Italian classes can I take at SCU?

Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies Courses in Italian

Elementary Italian 1, 2 and 3

Elementary Italian 2A and 3A (Italian for Spanish Speakers)

Intermediate Italian 21 and 22

Advanced Italian 100

Advanced Italian 101 (emphasis on Food Studies)

Advanced Italian 102  (emphasis on “Made in Italy”)

ITAL 106 (Advanced Conversation)

ITAL 154 Nature and the Italian Literary Imagination

ITAL187I  Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and Literature

ITAL188 Contemporary Italian Culture


Core Courses (taught in English)

ITAL11A and ITAL12A: Italy, Gateway of CIvilization (C&I 1 and 2)

ITAL185: The Italian American Experience (Diversity)

ITAL187: Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and Literature (Civic Engagement and Cinema Pathway)

Undergraduate Bulletin

Where Can I Study Abroad?

Given its historical, artistic, culinary heritage and “made in Italy” sector, it is no wonder that Italy is one of the top destinations for study abroad students.  Students interested in studying abroad in Italy can choose programs based in Bologna, Florence, Milan, Perugia, Rome and Siena where they will experience and engage with Italian language and culture. Even though these programs offer opportunities for students interested in all disciplines, they are of particular interest to students minoring or majoring  in business, humanities and language. Because Italy is so popular, the application process is extremely competitive. Students with no prior knowledge of Italian should consider taking Italian 1 and 2 before applying to study abroad.

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Major/Minor Requirements

Major in Italian Studies

  • ITAL 100 and 101, or department-approved substitutions
  • Remaining electives in Italian language, literature, and culture to total 40 quarter upper-division units, chosen with the approval of the Italian advisor. At least 20 of these units must be taken at SCU or taught by SCU faculty.

Minor in Italian Studies

  • ITAL 100 and 101, or department-approved substitutions
  • Remaining electives to total at least 19 quarter units of upper-division work in Italian. At least 10 of these units must be taken at SCU or taught by SCU faculty.

Italian Academic Advising

Italian Advising at ALL levels (2nd language CORE, Majors, and Minors):
Evelyn Ferraro

Irene Bubula-Phillips

Marie Bertola

Student Resources

Daily Newspapers

Corriere della Sera

La Repubblica

La Stampa

Il Messaggero

Il Sole 2 Ore
Milano/Roma - business and finance

News Magazines



Bilingual English-Italian online magazine on Italy and Italian America


Italian public television broadcast

Rai News


Radio Italia
All about Italian music

Ascoltare Radio
Links to public and private Italian radio stations


Cinema Italiano

Search Engines



Alta Vista

Multi-Media Courses

L'Italiano in Famiglia
Online Italian course developed around a sitcom

Articles on Italian culture and exercises

Vocabulary Practice


Una Parola al Giorno


Grammar Exercises

Cultura Italiana

University of Toronto

Centro Studi Italiani

I Learn Italian




Terminologia etc.
In Italian, blog on linguistics

Punto Chat

Rai Cultura
This site offers content, especially in the areas of art, cinema, literature, and music

Italian Cuisine

Giallo Zafferano
Recipes are also in video format



Museo Italia

Polo Museale


Italian Tourism
Videos from the regions of Italy


Musica Italiana

Teatro alla Scala



Universita per Stranieri di Perugia
The official site of the Università per Stranieri di Perugia


La Gazzetta dello Sport


Governo Italiano

SCU Italian-American Club

IIC San Francisco
The Istituto Italiano di Cultura di San Francisco regularly organizes cultural events (lectures, symposia, viewing of Italian films).  2013 has been declared the Year of  Italian Culture

BAIA is a business network of  Italian professionals in the Bay Area

Little Italy Kids
The Italian preschool in San Jose has job opportunities (part-time and summer) for Italian-speaking students

Claire McBride

Gaining new perspectives abroad, this one through the looking glass at the beautiful city of Milan, Italy.