Major

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 https://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

The Italian Studies Major

Preparation for the Italian Studies Major

Students must have finished ITAL 202 or the equivalent (e.g. placement in upper-division through the Department's Placement exam), thereby demonstrating proficiency in oral and written expression. Lower-division courses provide the necessary training in the four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) as well as basic cultural competency. Upper-division courses further develop these skills and bring students to a level of proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced High on the ACTFL scale. The experience of living and studying in Italy is highly recommended.

Major Requirements

24-27 units of upper-division work—8 courses plus the optional capstone project (1-3 units) if appropriate—of which a minimum of 18 units (6 courses) must be in Italian (ITAL). The remaining 6 units may be either in Italian (ITAL) or approved interdisciplinary courses taught in English in other Departments.

A minimum of 18 upper-division units must be taken on the USD campus.

Italian Courses (ITAL) Required
ITAL 301Writing and Composition in Italian3
or ITAL 303 Advanced Writing for the Professions
ITAL 302Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society3
Select one of the following courses on the early modern period : 13
ITAL 320Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture I: From the Middle Ages to the 17th Century
ITAL 410Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
ITAL 420Dante and His Times
Select one of the following courses on the modern or contemporary period: 13
ITAL 321Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to Today
ITAL 403Studies in Italian Film
ITAL 411Studies in Modern and Contemporary Italy
ITAL 413Italian Literature of Migration
4 elective upper-division courses. Up to 2 of these courses can be Interdisciplinary courses taught in English in other departments (see section on Interdisciplinary courses below) 12
ITAL 495Senior Capstone Project (optional) 20-3
or ITAL 497 Senior Capstone Project with Advanced Integration
Total Units24-27

Interdisciplinary Courses

Students can complete all coursework in Italian. However, a maximum of 6 upper-division units (2 courses) may be taken in English from among the courses listed below, their equivalents, or other appropriate courses offered on campus or by our approved study-abroad programs in Italy. In order for an interdisciplinary course to count for the major in Italian Studies, one of the following conditions must be met:

  1. the course inherently includes significant content on Italy or Italian topics; or
  2. during the course the student completes a project (e.g. research paper, presentation, portfolio, etc.) with a substantial focus on Italy or Italian topics

In either case, all interdisciplinary courses require prior written approval of the Director of Italian. You should meet with the Director before registering for the class.

Examples of Interdisciplinary Courses: ARCH 321, ARCH 322/ARTH 322, ARTH 334, COMM 475, ECON 333, ENGL 330, FINA 405, HIST 312, HIST 321, HIST 322, HIST 331, HIST 332, HIST 341, MKTG 305. Other courses may satisfy this requirement; please consult the Director of Italian.

Double Counting

The Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures will grant credit towards the Italian Studies major for interdisciplinary courses taken for another major, except for interdisciplinary majors that prohibit double counting (e.g., Ethnic Studies, Environmental and Ocean Sciences, Interdisciplinary Humanities, International Relations and Liberal Studies).

Recommended Program of Study for the Italian Studies Major

This program of study is designed for incoming freshmen with little or no previous knowledge of the Italian language. Students with sufficient prior language preparation, as determined through the department’s placement policy, may initiate upper-division course work as early as their freshman year. Additionally, students can also take one or both of the interdisciplinary courses in English as early as their freshman or sophomore years. 

First Year
Semester IUnits
ITAL 101First Semester Italian3
Semester IIHours
ITAL 102Second Semester Italian3
Second Year
Semester IHours
ITAL 201Third Semester Italian3
Students may also take ITAL 347 or an interdisciplinary course taught in English 
Semester IIHours
ITAL 202Fourth Semester Italian3
Students may also take ITAL 347 or an interdisciplinary course taught in English 
Junior Year
Semester IHours
ITAL 301, 302,
or 303
Writing and Composition in Italian
Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society
Advanced Writing for the Professions
3
ITAL 340, 341, 342,
or 347
Topics in Italian Literature, Film and Culture
Topics in Italian Literature, Film and Culture-Domestic Focus
Topics in Italian Literature, Film and Culture-Global Focus
Topics in Italian Literature, Film and Culture in Translation
3
Or another 300-level or Interdisciplinary course 
Semester IIHours
ITAL 301, 302,
or 303
Writing and Composition in Italian
Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society
Advanced Writing for the Professions
3
Or another 300-level course 
ITAL 320
or 321
Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture I: From the Middle Ages to the 17th Century
Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to Today
3
Senior Year
Semester IHours
Upper-Division Course3
Upper-Division Course3
Semester IIHours
Upper-Division Course3
Upper-Division Course or Interdisciplinary Course3
ITAL 495
or 497
Senior Capstone Project (optional)
Senior Capstone Project with Advanced Integration
1-3