Students can declare the Italian major 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. Studying abroad is not an impediment to completing the Italian major within four years.

Italian is a manageable and popular major for students who are also pursuing other majors ranging across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  In the past ten years, more than 85% of Italian majors are awarded at least one other major at graduation.

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 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.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Complete the University General Education Requirements for Quantitative Reasoning A (QR-A) and Quantitative Reasoning B (QR-B) coursework.
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.
L&S Breadth
  • 12 credits of Humanities, which must include 6 credits of literature; and
  • 12 credits of Social Science; and
  • 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include one 3+ credit Biological Science course and one 3+ credit Physical Science course.
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework Complete at least 108 credits.
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work Complete at least 60 credits at the intermediate or advanced level.
Major Declare and complete at least one major.
Total Credits Complete at least 120 credits.
UW-Madison Experience
  • 30 credits in residence, overall; and
  • 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
Quality of Work
  • 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
  • 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level 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. They do not need to complete the L&S Degree Requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

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

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

Required Core Courses (complete all):
ITALIAN 230 Modern Italian Culture3
ITALIAN 311 Advanced Italian Language3
ITALIAN 312 Writing Workshop3
ITALIAN 321 Studies in Italian Literature and Culture I3
ITALIAN 322 Studies in Italian Literature and Culture II3
Major electives:9
Structures of Italian
Rome: Lust for Glory
Machiavelli and His World
Topics in Italian: Study Abroad
Introduction to the Romance Languages
Special Topics in Italian Literature
Special Topics in Italian Studies: Culture, Film, Language
Italian Film
Il Settecento
and Il Settecento
Il Teatro Italiano
Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
and Lineamenti Di Letteratura Italiana
Il Romanzo Italiano
Il Rinascimento
Dante's Divina Commedia
Il Duecento
Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis
Directed Study
Directed Study
Total Credits24


  • ​2.000 GPA in all ITALIAN and major courses
  • 2.000 GPA on at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major, in residence: (ITALIAN 300 and higher are considered upper-level in the major)
  • 15 credits in ITALIAN taken on campus at UW–Madison

Honors in the Major

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


To earn Honors in the Major, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 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. Of these 15 credits, 6 must come from completing a two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in ITALIAN 681 and ITALIAN 682.1

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.
  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).

Sample Four-Year Plan

This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.

Communication A3Ethnic Studies3
Quantitative Reasoning A3Biological Science Breadth3
Social Science Breadth4Social Science Breadth3
 14 16
Quantitative Reasoning B4Communication B4
Social Science Breadth3Social Science Breadth3
INTER-LS 2101Physical Science Breadth3
 16 14
Science Breadth3Science Breadth3
 15 15
 15 15
Total Credits 120

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 SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science. L&S 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.

L&S career resources

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, 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). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.


  • 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


Professors Buccini, Livorni, Rumble

Associate Professors Menechella, Phillips-Court, Todorovic.

Associate Faculty Eadie

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

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 four 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 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).


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).