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The Italian studies program at Saint Louis University provides so much more than proficiency in a foreign language.


With Italian being one of Europe's major languages, Italy's crucial role in the development of Western civilization, and the country's ties to non-Western cultures, the program gives students access to a rich curriculum drawing from centuries-long contributions in literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, music, philosophy and science.

As a student in the Italian studies program, you have the flexibility to take courses in  fine and performing arts, philosophy, theology and history. The program offers courses cross-listed with English, women's and gender studies, film studies, international studies, and the Honors Program so you can tailor the curriculum to suit your needs and interests.

The Italian studies program offers opportunities beyond the classroom. 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 Night is a regular event offered by the program in which students watch the original versions of Italian movies, learning about daily life in Italy and cultural and historic topics. The student-directed Italian Club also hosts cooking classes, Bocce games and movie nights, among other events. Italian studies students have received prestigious awards including UN, Fulbright, National Italian American Foundation and Teach in Italy fellowships. These awards have assisted them in starting careers in international relations, law, business, arts management, and other fields.

Director: Simone Bregni, Ph.D.


From Italian representation in the pop culture to basic language skills, Italian courses cover a variety of topics. 

  • ITAL 1010: Communicating in Italian
    Introduction to Italian language and culture. Emphasis on acquiring communicative skills.
  • ITAL 1020: Communication in Italian II
    Prerequisites: ITAL 1010 or instructor's consent
    Expansion of oral and written communication skills in areas of daily life and personal interest.
  • ITAL 2010: Intermediate Italian Language and Culture
    Prerequisites: ITAL 1020 or instructor's consent.
    Continued practice in all skills. Readings and discussion of Italian Culture.
  • ITAL 2980: Independent Study
    Prerequisites: Prior approval required of sponsoring professor and department chairperson.
  • ITAL 3010: Written Communication in Italian
    Prerequisites: ITAL 2010 or instructor's consent.
    Reading and analysis of authentic language materials to develop written expression. Refining of communicative strategies for accurate expression of ideas.
  • ITAL 3020: Oral Communication in Italian
    Prerequisites: ITAL 2010 or instructor's consent
    Development of fluent oral expression through communicative activities stressing listening comprehension, structural accuracy and systematic approach to vocabulary expansion.
  • ITAL 3020: Italian Cinema
    A survey of Italian Cinema from neorealism to the present. The course will cover both formal and thematic trends in the films of directors such as Rossellini, Visconti, Fellini, Antonioni, Wertmueller, Benigni. Film screenings will be in Italian with English subtitles. Lectures and course work will be in English.
  • ITAL 3300: Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy
    An introduction to the work of Italian women writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and artists through the lens of gender and feminist theory. Emphasis on the study of women's changing roles and experiences in Italian history, and of class, ethnic, and racial differences among Italian women. Taught in English.
  • ITAL 3400: Dante's Divine Comedy
    Analysis of one of the most celebrated and controversial works of Western literature. Particular emphasis on the formal aspects of Dante's poem, on the historical, philosophical and theological background, and how it still relates to our own world. Taught in English.
  • ITAL 3450: Mafia and Anti-mafia in Italian Culture: Perceptions, Representations, Experiences
    A critical exploration of perceptions and representations of organized crime in Italy and the US through the study of literary texts, films, and testimonials. Emphasis on: history of the mafia, the antimafia movement, and the impact of gender on the experiences of mafia victims and perpetrators. Taught in English.
  • ITAL 3930: Special Topics
    Language and Culture
  • ITAL 4010: Written Communication in Italian 
    Prerequisite ITAL A3010 or equivalent
    Description and exposition of topics of particular interest and special fields of competence. correct form and clarity of message will be emphasized.
  • ITAL 4020: Oral Communication in Italian II
    Prerequisite ITAL A3020 or equivalent. Accuracy and fluency in oral expression in topics of particular interest and special fields of competence.
  • ITAL 4210: Language and Linguistics
    Crosslisted with GR 4210, RUSS 4210, and SPAN 4210. An introduction to the basic concepts and application of linguistic studies. Presentation and discussion of three main aspects of language: linguistic structures, language as a social dimension, and language as a mirror of cognitive processes.
  • ITAL 4960: Italian Studies Capstone
    Prerequisite 21 hours in Italian Studies
    In order to synthesize the Italian Studies Certificate Program, students do a research paper. Subject and length to be specified by the department.
  • ITAL 4930: Special Topics
    Language and Culture II.
  • ITAL 4980: Advanced Independent Study
    Prerequisites: Prior approval required of sponsoring professor and department chairperson.