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The Italian program at UW–Madison offers students opportunities for growth in the language and for increased cultural fluency through dynamic, in-class learning experiences and multiple extracurricular components such as Piazza Italia (an Italian immersion floor in the Lakeshore residence halls), Caffè Culturale (an Italian conversation group), Italian Club, and Cineteca Italiana (an Italian film club).  

  • The Italian major includes 24 credits taken beyond ITALIAN 204.
  • The Italian certificate includes 2 core courses followed by 3 additional courses beyond ITALIAN 204 for a total of 15 credits.

The majority of UW–Madison Italian majors and certificate students complete their requirements through a combination of courses taken on campus and abroad with a UW–Madison Study Abroad program.

Students have the option to take a class for Honors at almost all levels. For more information, please see the department website and/or consult a department advisor.

Introductory and Intermediate  Italian Language Sequence

ITALIAN 101 First Semester Italian4
ITALIAN 102 Second Semester Italian4
ITALIAN 201 Italian for Speakers of Other Romance Languages4
ITALIAN 203 Third Semester Italian4
ITALIAN 204 Fourth Semester Italian4

After Italian 204, courses focus on language, literature, and culture

Advanced Language 

ITALIAN 311 Advanced Italian Language3
ITALIAN 312 Writing Workshop3
ITALIAN 340 Structures of Italian3
ITALIAN 423 Corso Di Stilistica Applicata3

Advanced Literature

ITALIAN 321 Introduction to Italian Literature3
ITALIAN 322 Introduction to Italian Literature3
ITALIAN 450 Special Topics in Italian Literature3

Intermediate/Advanced Culture 

ITALIAN 230 Modern Italian Culture3
ITALIAN 452 Special Topics in Italian Studies: Culture, Film, Language3
ITALIAN 453 Special Topics in Italian Studies: Culture, Film, Language1
ITALIAN/​COM ARTS  460 Italian Film3

600-level courses

The following courses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students: 

ITALIAN 601 L'Ottocento3
ITALIAN 621
ITALIAN 622
Il Settecento
and Il Settecento
6
ITALIAN 623 Il Teatro Italiano3
ITALIAN 631
ITALIAN 632
Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
and Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
6
ITALIAN 635
ITALIAN 636
Il Romanzo Italiano
and Il Romanzo Italiano
6
ITALIAN 637 La Poesia del Novecento3
ITALIAN 641 Il Seicento: Ribelli, Libertini e Ortodossi3
ITALIAN 651 Il Rinascimento3
ITALIAN/​MEDIEVAL  659
ITALIAN/​MEDIEVAL  660
Dante's Divina Commedia
and Dante's Divina Commedia
6
ITALIAN/​MEDIEVAL  671
ITALIAN/​MEDIEVAL  672
Il Duecento
and Il Duecento
6
ITALIAN 681
ITALIAN 682
Senior Honors Thesis
and Senior Honors Thesis
6
ITALIAN 698 Directed Study1-6
ITALIAN 699 Directed Study1-6

Courses Taught in English

The following are intermediate/advanced culture courses taught in English and count for credit toward the Major or the Certificate in Italian:

ITALIAN/​CLASSICS  350 Rome: The Changing Shape of the Eternal City3-4
ITALIAN/​FRENCH/​PORTUG/​SPANISH  429 Introduction to the Romance Languages3
ITALIAN/​COM ARTS  460 Italian Film3

For information on teacher training in Italian, see the School of Education section in this Guide.

For courses in Italian literature in translation, see Literature in Translation course listing. 

Students can declare the Italian major or certificate at any time.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with an Italian advisor as early as possible to discuss various paths available to complete the requirements. Please note that study abroad can make gaining a major or a certificate very manageable.

Roughly 75 percent of all Italian majors also major in at least one other area on campus, from the humanities to the sciences.

For more information, contact an Italian advisor.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.
Foreign Language
  • Complete the fourth unit of a foreign language; OR
  • Complete the third unit of a foreign language and the second unit of an additional foreign language

Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
L&S Breadth
  • Humanities, 12 credits: 6 of the 12 credits must be in literature
  • Social Sciences, 12 credits
  • Natural Sciences, 12 credits: must include one 3+ credit course in the biological sciences; must include one 3+ credit course in the physical sciences
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework 108 credits
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work 60 intermediate or advanced credits
Major Declare and complete at least one (1) major
Total Credits 120 credits
UW-Madison Experience 30 credits in residence, overall
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison

Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major

Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Italian majors must complete 24 credits beyond Italian 204. Please note that Literature in Translation courses cannot be counted toward the major. 

The 24 credits required for the Italian major will be distributed as follows:

Required Core Courses15
Modern Italian Culture
Advanced Italian Language
Writing Workshop
Introduction to Italian Literature
Introduction to Italian Literature
Additional credits to reach 24-credit minimum9
Structures of Italian
Rome: The Changing Shape of the Eternal City
Corso Di Stilistica Applicata
Introduction to the Romance Languages
Special Topics in Italian Literature
Special Topics in Italian Studies: Culture, Film, Language
Special Topics in Italian Studies: Culture, Film, Language
Italian Film
L'Ottocento
Il Settecento
and Il Settecento
Il Teatro Italiano
Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
and Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
Il Romanzo Italiano
and Il Romanzo Italiano
La Poesia del Novecento
Il Seicento: Ribelli, Libertini e Ortodossi
Il Rinascimento
Dante's Divina Commedia
and Dante's Divina Commedia
Il Duecento
and Il Duecento
Directed Study
Directed Study
Total Credits24

Residency and quality of work

​1. 2.000 GPA in all ITALIAN and major courses

2. 2.000 GPA on at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major, in residence: ITALIAN 300 through ITALIAN 699

3. 15 credits in ITALIAN taken on campus at UW–Madison

Honors in the Major

Students may declare Honors in the Italian Major in consultation with the Italian undergraduate advisor. 

HONORS IN THE ITALIAN MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

To earn a B.A. or B.S. with Honors in the Major in Italian, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.500 GPA for all ITALIAN courses and courses counting toward the major
  • Complete at least 15 credits, taken for Honors, beyond ITALIAN 204, earning individual grades of B or better in each course. 6 of those credits must come from completing a two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in ITALIAN 681 Senior Honors Thesis and ITALIAN 682 Senior Honors Thesis.1
1

 Students may be allowed to substitute two semesters of literature course work at the 600 level for the Senior Honors Thesis. See the undergraduate advisor in Italian.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

Students completing an undergraduate major in Italian will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate that they understand and can analyze literary and non-literary texts in Italian representing a broad spectrum of topics, time periods, and geographical regions (interpretive communication).
  2. Express themselves effectively in spoken and written Italian to inform, persuade, and narrate for different audiences of listeners, viewers, or readers (presentational communication).
  3. Express themselves effectively in spoken and written Italian to share information, reactions, and opinions related to a broad spectrum of topics and texts (interpersonal communication).
  4. Recognize and explain cultural artifacts, practices, and perspectives of the Italian-speaking world including how these cultural elements relate to literary and non-literary texts in Italian (cultural knowledge).
  5. Demonstrate a good degree of understanding of lexical, grammatical, syntactic, and stylistic features of the Italian language (linguistic knowledge).
  6. Demonstrate awareness of difference and diversity by comparing and contrasting culturally situated beliefs, behaviors, and norms of the Italian-speaking world with those found in their own culture (cross-cultural awareness).
  7. Engage in a sustained fashion with the Italian language, its users, and cultural artifacts in and beyond the classroom, e.g., in their own community, virtual communities, and study abroad (engagement with the Italian language and culture).

The Department of French and Italian encourages our majors to begin working on their career exploration and preparation soon after arriving on campus. We partner with the L&S Career Services office to help you leverage the academic skills learned in your major and liberal arts degree, explore and try out different career paths, participate in internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers).

Letters & Science graduates are in high demand by employers and graduate programs. It is important to us that our students are career ready at the time of graduation, and we are committed to your success.

CAREER RESOURCES

ADVISING RESOURCES

  • For advising on language proficiency, language placement, and retrocredits, please see the French and Italian department website or the Language Institute website.
  • For language and international directions advising, please contact Michael Kruse, International Directions Advisor in the Language Institute.
  • For advising on the Italian Major or Certificate, please contact an Italian advisor

ITALIAN

Professors Buccini, Livorni, Rumble

Associate Professors Menechella, Phillips-Court, Todorovic.

French House

La Maison Française, a francophone (French-speaking) residence hall and cultural center, is managed by the Department of French and Italian. Residence is open to UW–Madison students with the equivalent of a fourth-semester level of French. At least two native French graduate students reside in the house, aiding in conversation and facilitating the use of French. Most residents are Americans: prospective teachers of French, French majors, and students in other disciplines who want to speak French on a daily basis. Applications should be made well in advance. More information is available at uwfrenchhouse.org. 

The French House is open for lunch, Monday - Friday, for all UW-Madison students. Students wishing to receive a credit for FRENCH 301 or FRENCH 302 must attend 4 times per week on average. 

The French House is open to the public for Wednesday dinner and Friday lunch during the academic year.

Piazza Italia

The department sponsors Piazza Italia, the Italian floor in the Lakeshore residence halls. An Italian graduate student serves as the resident house fellow, facilitating conversation in Italian and assisting a faculty member in a special 1-credit course on Italian culture. Students studying Italian will find a collegial atmosphere at Piazza Italia, which features special Italian-oriented programming including films, lectures, games, current events material, and regular meals "all'italiana" with guests from the Italian program. Piazza Italia is part of the International Learning Community (ILC), which is dedicated to enriching cross-cultural understanding through a variety of social and educational programs.

Clubs and Other Activities

French

French conversation groups and The French Ambassadors, a student organization, give students the opportunity to converse in French and participate in cultural events. Undergraduates are also welcome at scholarly talks and department events on an array of subjects (see department website and the French House website for event details).

Italian

Caffè Culturale, an Italian conversation group, gives students the opportunity to converse in Italian, while the Italian Club allows students to participate in cultural events on campus and in the community. Cineteca Italiana organizes weekly screenings of Italian films. Undergraduates are also welcome at scholarly talks and department events on an array of subjects (see department website for event details).