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 the Italian Club, Circolo della bella lingua (a regular language meet-up geared toward allowing students of all levels to practice their Italian speaking in an informal setting) and Cineteca Italiana, which organizes weekly screenings of Italian films.

Students intending to major in Italian or complete the certificate enter the program at the appropriate level depending on their language proficiency. If you have previous experience in the Italian language, please contact the undergraduate advisor for more information about the Informal Italian placement test.  

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 the undergraduate advisor.

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

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

Students can declare an Italian major at any time. For more information, please see the department website and/or consult the undergraduate advisor.

Students declared in the Certificate in Italian may not be declared in the Italian major at the same time. Students who do wish to declare this major must first cancel their declaration in the certificate.

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
The 19th Century
The 18th Century
and The 18th Century
Italian Theatre
Features in Italian Literature
and Features in Italian Literature
The Italian Novel
The Renaissance
Dante's Divina Commedia
The 13th Century
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

 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.
  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

Information about academic advising for the major can be found at undergraduate advising for French & Italian.

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

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


  • For information on language proficiency, language placement, retrocredits and/or declaring the Italian Major, please see the French and Italian department website.
  • For advising on the Italian major or certificate, please contact the undergraduate advisor.
  • For language and international directions advising, please contact the International Directions Advisor in the Language Institute.


Professors Buccini, Livorni, Rumble

Associate Professors Menechella, Phillips-Court, Todorovic

Faculty Associate Eadie




The Italian Club is a registered student organization run by students involved in the Italian program and open to any and all UW community members who have an interest in Italian culture. Club members are encouraged to organize and participate in cultural events on campus and in the community, including our annual Cena italiana in the Spring. Members of the Italian Club and Italian Ambassadors also organize the Circolo della bella lingua, a regular language meet-up geared toward allowing students of all levels to practice their Italian speaking in an informal setting. Finally, the 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).