Italian Studies Overview

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at

The study of Italian is essential to gain a fuller understanding of the cultural, economic and political forces that continue to shape the Mediterranean, Europe and the world. The mission of the Italian Program is to develop students’ proficiency in a second language while providing them with a critical understanding of Italian culture in a transnational context and beyond traditional disciplinary confines. We explore the shifting borders and boundaries of Italy by examining the cultures produced by Italian and Italophone authors of diverse backgrounds as well as the multilayered identities created through the encounter of different cultural heritages. Likewise, we also focus on the hybrid cultures produced by the Italian diaspora in different parts of the world. Our courses analyze different types of cultural products - written, visual and audiovisual - while  exploring their links to history and society also in light of contemporary global challenges.

Italian Studies majors may integrate Italian with other fields of study by taking a limited number of upper-division courses taught in English in other departments. In addition, they can combine the major in Italian Studies with a second major, or a minor in another field. Majors and minors can take advantage of our faculty-led summer program (201-third semester Italian in Italy) and a number of approved semester-long study-abroad programs in Italy.

A degree in Italian Studies or a double major in Italian and another field can help students pursue careers in many different fields, including politics & international relations, art & design, film, journalism & communications, business, finance, marketing, tourism and hospitality, enology and  culinary arts, teaching and education, fashion, translation and interpreting, and many others.