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Italian Studies, B.A.

Studying Italian at Saint Louis University provides much more than proficiency in a foreign language. The small, vibrant Italian studies program gives students access to a rich curriculum drawing from centuries-long contributions in literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, music, philosophy and science. Experience one of Europe's major languages and explore Italy's role in the development of Western Civilization and its ties to non-Western cultures.

Additional program highlights include:

  • The SLU Italian studies program is the only inter/multi-disciplinary Italian program in the greater St. Louis area.
  • The SLU Italian studies program offers more study abroad options in Italy than any language program in the Greater St. Louis area, including Rome, the beautiful Amalfi coast in Sorrento and the medieval university city, Bologna.
  • The SLU Italian studies program is unique with its strong emphasis on social justice, intercultural competence and global citizenship.

Curriculum Overview

SLU's Italian studies program is inter/multidisciplinary in nature. The focus of the Italian studies major is the development of linguistic and cultural proficiency within this inter/multidisciplinary context.

In collaboration with other departments and programs, students may take courses in other areas such as fine and performing arts, philosophy, theology, history, English, women's and gender studies, film, international studies and the Honors Program to tailor their curriculum to suit their needs and interests.

Students are also strongly encouraged to select a second major; virtually any other discipline can be considered, including history, political science, psychology, theology or the sciences, for instance. By becoming a double major, students will significantly improve opportunities when entering the workforce, particularly in the areas of government service or when applying for graduate study, especially in language and area studies programs.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Beyond the classroom, the Italian program offers several opportunities to enrich classroom learning. La Tavola Italiana (The Italian Table) meets weekly at SLU's Center for Global Citizenship to provide casual conversation opportunities to all students at SLU. Italian movie nights give students a chance to learn about daily life in Italy as well as cultural and historical topics. The student-directed Italian Club also hosts a variety of activities including cooking classes, Bocce games and outings.

A wide variety of study abroad programs in Italy are available for students of Italian, including study at the Spring Hill College Italy Center in Bologna, the Sant'Anna Institute in Sorrento, the Babilonia Center in Taormina, the Loyola University Rome Campus and the Villa Nazareth in Rome.

Careers

An undergraduate degree in Italian studies prepares students for a number of rewarding careers. Opportunities are rich in fields such as literature, performing arts, cinema, design, politics, sports, fashion and industry. Hundreds of American companies operate in Italy. Students might pursue a career as a(n):

  • International business representative
  • International public relations professional
  • Special agent
  • Foreign Service officer
  • Linguist
  • Teacher
  • Interpreter/translator

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to interact in Italian.
  2. Graduates will be able to interpret authentic materials in Italian.
  3. Graduates will be able to present information formally in Italian.
  4. Graduates will be able to use Italian in order to expand their knowledge of other disciplines.
  5. Graduates will be able compare their own culture(s) with the Italian culture.

Italian Studies students must complete a minimum total of 30 credits for the major. 

Those who begin their study of Italian at SLU above the 3010 level must complete an additional course or courses at the 4000 level to fulfill the remaining credits required for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
ITAL 2010Intermediate Italian: Language & Culture3
ITAL 3010Written Communication in Italian I3
ITAL 3020Oral Communication in Italian I3
ITAL 4010Written Communication in Italian II3
ITAL 4020Oral Communication in Italian II3
Italian Elective Courses
Select six credits of coursework with the Italian Elective attribute. These courses could include, but are not limited to:6
ITAL 3301
Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy - Major/Minor
ITAL 3401
Dante’s Divine Comedy - Major/Minor
ITAL 3451
Mafia and Antimafia in Italian Culture: Perceptions, Representations, Experiences - Major/Minor
ITAL 3551
Women, Knights, Weapons & Love: Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature- Major/Minor
ITAL 3601
Eros, Power and Play: Pre-Modern Italian Theatre - Major/Minor
ITAL 3651
Italy Beyond Borders: Social Justice in Modern Italian Culture - Major/Minor
ITAL 3930
Special Topics
ITAL 4930
Special Topics
Related Studies
Upper-division coursework with the Italian -- Related Studies attribute, such as:9
ARTH 3020
Christian Art: Advanced
ARTH 3500
Early Renaissance Art in Italy: Advanced
ARTH 3510
High Renaissance Art Italy: Advanced
HIST 3050
From Cathedrals to Printing Presses: Europe in the Late Middle Ages
HIST 3090
The Age of Renaissance
LLC 3250
Migrants and Borders on Screen: The Cinema of Migration in Mediterranean Europe
MUSC 3300
History of Music I
MUSC 3310
History of Music II
PHIL 4500
Medieval Philosophy
SPAN 4110
Language and Linguistics
SPAN 4130
Second Language Acquisition
THEO 3370
Teachers in Medieval Christianity
WGST 3300
Intercultural Communication
General Electives23-32
Total Credits119

Continuation Standards

All Italian studies major courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher in order to count for the major and for the student to continue in the major.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ITAL 1010 Communicating in Italian I 1 3
HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500 2 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
 Credits16
Spring
ITAL 1020
or ITAL 1200
Communicating in Italian II 1,3
or Intensive Italian for Gamers
3
HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present) 2 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ITAL 2010 Intermediate Italian: Language & Culture 1 3
HIST 2800 Historian's Craft: Methods Proseminar 4 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
ITAL 3020 Oral Communication in Italian I 5 0,3
A European History course 4 3
A US History course 4 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits12-15
Year Three
Fall
ITAL 3010 Written Communication in Italian I 6 0,3
Select one of the following: 3
ITAL 3401
or ITAL 3551
or ITAL 3601
Dante’s Divine Comedy - Major/Minor
or Women, Knights, Weapons & Love: Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature- Major/Minor
or Eros, Power and Play: Pre-Modern Italian Theatre - Major/Minor
 
A US history course 4 3
A World history course (Non-European & non US history) 4 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits12-15
Spring
ITAL 4020 Oral Communication in Italian II 5,8 3
ITAL 3301/3451/3651 Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy - Major/Minor (Modern & Contemporary) 5,9 3
History major elective 4 3
History major elective 4 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits18
Year Four
Fall
ITAL 4010 Written Communication in Italian II 6,8 3
Related Studies elective outside of department 10 3
History major elective 4 3
Select one of the following capstone courses: 4 3
HIST 4900
or HIST 4910
or HIST 4991
Seminar in European History
or Internship/History in Practice
or History Senior Thesis
 
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
Related Studies elective outside of department 10 3
History major elective 4 3
A&S Core 3
Related studies elective outside of department 10 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits118-124
1

AS Core (Foreign Language); see program notes.

2

AS Core (History).

3

ITAL 1200 Intensive Italian for Gamers (0,3 cr) is equivalent to ITAL 1010 Communicating in Italian I (0,3 cr) + ITAL 1020 Communicating in Italian II (0,3 cr).

4

Second major course, see program notes.

5

Offered only in spring.

6

Offered only in fall.

7

Italian elective; ITAL 3551 Women, Knights, Weapons & Love: Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature- Major/Minor (0,3 cr) and ITAL 3601 Eros, Power and Play: Pre-Modern Italian Theatre - Major/Minor (0,3 cr) satisfy AS the literature core requirement.

8

Can be taken after ITAL 3010 Written Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr) or ITAL 3020 Oral Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr).

9

Italian elective; ITAL 3301 Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy - Major/Minor (0,3 cr), ITAL 3451 Mafia and Antimafia in Italian Culture: Perceptions, Representations, Experiences - Major/Minor (0,3 cr), and ITAL 3651 Italy Beyond Borders: Social Justice in Modern Italian Culture - Major/Minor (0,3 cr) satisfy the A&S Literature and Global Citizenship core requirements.

10

See list of approved electives in program notes below.

Program Notes

If a student places below ITAL 2010 Intermediate Italian: Language & Culture (0,3 cr) (third semester) on the placement test, the student would first take ITAL 1010 Communicating in Italian I (0,3 cr) and/or ITAL 1020 Communicating in Italian II (0,3 cr) (or ITAL 1200 Intensive Italian for Gamers (0,3 cr) in substitution for both ITAL 1010 Communicating in Italian I (0,3 cr) and ITAL 1020 Communicating in Italian II (0,3 cr)), pending placement exam placement.

If a student places above ITAL 2010 Intermediate Italian: Language & Culture (0,3 cr) on the placement test, e.g into ITAL 3010 Written Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr) (fourth semester) or even ITAL 3020 Oral Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr) (fifth semester), the student would begin their coursework for the Italian major at either ITAL 3010 Written Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr) or ITAL 3020 Oral Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr) and would take an additional two ITAL 4xxx courses (if placed into ITAL 3010 Written Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr)) or an additional ITAL 4xxx course (if placed into ITAL 3020 Oral Communication in Italian I (0,3 cr)) to complete the 30 credits in the major.

It is very common for students majoring in a foreign language, Italian in this case, to have a second major. History was chosen for this roadmap as the second major since many students elect it as a major alongside the Italian major. Requirements for the history major are shown in bold and italics to highlight when a student who chose another major would take courses in that major.

Courses offered in Italian studies with an Italian elective attribute: Italian Elective Coursework (6 credits). These courses could include, but are not limited to:

ITAL 3301Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy - Major/Minor3
ITAL 3451Mafia and Antimafia in Italian Culture: Perceptions, Representations, Experiences - Major/Minor3
ITAL 3551Women, Knights, Weapons & Love: Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature- Major/Minor3
ITAL 3601Eros, Power and Play: Pre-Modern Italian Theatre - Major/Minor3
ITAL 3651Italy Beyond Borders: Social Justice in Modern Italian Culture - Major/Minor3
ITAL 3930Special Topics3

Approved courses offered in other departments with a Related Studies attribute for Italian majors. Italian Related Studies Attribute Coursework (9 credits). These courses could include, but are not limited to:

ARTH 3020Christian Art: Advanced3
ARTH 3500Early Renaissance Art in Italy: Advanced3
ARTH 3510High Renaissance Art Italy: Advanced3
HIST 3050From Cathedrals to Printing Presses: Europe in the Late Middle Ages3
HIST 3090The Age of Renaissance3
LLC 3250Migrants and Borders on Screen: The Cinema of Migration in Mediterranean Europe3
MUSC 3300History of Music I3
MUSC 3310History of Music II3
PHIL 4500Medieval Philosophy3
SPAN 4110Language and Linguistics3
SPAN 4130Second Language Acquisition3
THEO 3370Teachers in Medieval Christianity3
WGST 3300Intercultural Communication3