Italian Studies

The study of Italian culture and its role in the evolution of the Western world since Antiquity is essential for a fuller understanding of the political, economic and cultural forces that continue to shape the Mediterranean, Europe and the world. The Italian Program develops students’ linguistic proficiency while providing them with a strong interdisciplinary knowledge of Italian culture. The lower-division language classes help students develop basic communicative competency in Italian as well as cultural and intercultural awareness. The interdisciplinary major in Italian Studies and the Italian minor explore the breadth of Italian culture, literature, cinema and history, while at the same time building and reinforcing language proficiency.

Students who major in Italian Studies may integrate their knowledge of Italian culture with other disciplines by taking upper-division courses in other departments. They can also combine the major in Italian Studies with a second major or a minor in another discipline. In addition, students can take advantage of our study-abroad programs in Italy. Information is available at the International Center, Serra Hall, Room 201, or at www.sandiego.edu/international/study-abroad/.  

Italian Studies majors can pursue careers in many different fields, including art, business, finance, marketing, tourism and hospitality, enology and culinary arts, design, teaching and education, fashion, film, international relations, writing, journalism and communications, translation and interpreting and many others.

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.

Requirements for the Italian Studies Major

25 units of upper-division work—8 courses plus the 1-unit capstone project—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
ITAL 302Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society3
Select one of the following courses on the early modern period :3
Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture I: From the Middle Ages to the 17th Century
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Topics in Language, Literature, or Culture
and Topics in Literature, Language, or Culture (when applicable)
Dante and His Times
Select one of the following courses on the modern or contemporary period:3
Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to Today
Studies in Italian Film
Studies in Modern Italian Literature and Culture
Studies in Contemporary Italian Literature and Culture
Topics in Language, Literature, or Culture
and Topics in Literature, Language, or Culture (when applicable)
Italian Literature of Migration
Select 2 elective upper-division Italian courses6
ITAL 495Senior Capstone Project 11-3
1

The  capstone project is carried out in the student’s last year  in the program, and it should be linked thematically to  one of the last two upper-division courses taken for the  major. The student must consult with the program  director to determine her or his project and enroll in ITAL 495.

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.

Interdisciplinary Courses – Double Counting:

The Department of Languages and Literatures will grant credit towards the Italian Studies major for interdisciplinary courses taken for another major.

Interdisciplinary Courses:

Six units of interdisciplinary courses from the following list:6
City and Utopia: Introduction to History of Urbanism
Contemporary Architecture
Art of the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries in Europe and the Americas
Intercultural Communication
International Economics (Prereq: ECON 101 and MATH 130, 150 or 151)
Dante
International Financial Management (Prereq: FINA 300))
Roman Civilization
The Fall of the Roman Empire
Castles and Crusades: Medieval Europe, 1050-1450
The Global Renaissance
World War II
Global Marketing (Prereq: MKTG 300 and MATH 130, 150 or 151)

Other catalog courses and special topics courses may count provided they have significant content on Italy or Italian topics. You must consult with the Director of Italian about all interdisciplinary courses, including those in the list above.

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 IHours
ITAL 101First Semester Italian3
Semester II
ITAL 102Second Semester Italian3
Second Year
Semester I
ITAL 201Third Semester Italian3
Students may also take an interdisciplinary course taught in English 
Semester II
ITAL 202Fourth Semester Italian3
Students may also take an interdisciplinary course taught in English 
Junior Year
Semester I
ITAL 301
or 302
Writing and Composition in Italian
Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society
3
ITAL 394 or Interdisciplinary course3
Semester II
ITAL 301
or 302
Writing and Composition in Italian
Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics and Society
3
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 I
Upper Division course3
Upper Division course3
Semester II
Upper Division course3
Upper Division course or Interdisciplinary course3
ITAL 495Senior Capstone Project (linked to Upper Division course)1-3

Requirements for the Italian Minor

All courses for the minor must be taken in Italian (ITAL).

A minimum of 6 upper-division units must be taken on the USD campus.

Two options are available.

  1. 18 units: at least 9 of the 18 units must be upper division courses (at the 300 level or higher) in Italian.
  2. 12 units of upper-division courses in Italian. Prerequisites: Fourth-semester competency in Italian and approval of department chair.

Courses

ITAL 101 | FIRST SEMESTER ITALIAN

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Essentials of Italian grammar with emphasis on communicative proficiency and cultural awareness. Development of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students with no previous knowledge of Italian must complete the Waiver for 101 on the Department’s website (https://www.sandiego.edu/cas/languages/requirements-and-placement/). Students with some knowledge of Italian must take the USD Placement Exam on the same website and register in the appropriate level. Every semester.

ITAL 102 | SECOND SEMESTER ITALIAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 101 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Same orientation as in ITAL 101. Further development of communicative proficiency and cultural and intercultural awareness for students who have completed Italian 101 or have previous knowledge of the language. Stress on listening, speaking, reading and writing.

ITAL 140 | TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in Italian literature and culture. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

ITAL 141 | TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE, FILM OR CULTURE-DOMESTIC FOCUS

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in Italian literature, film and/or culture with a Domestic Focus. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

ITAL 142 | TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE, FILM OR CULTURE–GLOBAL FOCUS

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in Italian literature, film and/or culture with a global focus. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

ITAL 194 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in Italian literature and culture. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

ITAL 201 | THIRD SEMESTER ITALIAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 102 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Completes the introduction of the basic structures of the language, with continuing emphasis on communicative proficiency and cultural awareness. At this level students may be encouraged to participate in community service-learning and/or cultural activities within the Italian speaking community. Prerequisites: ITAL 102 or equivalent, or Placement Exam. Every semester. ITAL 201.

ITAL 202 | FOURTH SEMESTER ITALIAN

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year or ITAL 201

Review and expansion of language structures, as well as practice in reading, composition and conversation in preparation for upper-division work.

ITAL 230 | INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATION

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 201 or ITAL 202

Intensive practice in spoken Italian based on assigned topics. This course does not count toward the major or the minor, but does count as elective units toward graduation.

ITAL 293 | LANGUAGE TUTORING OR FIELD EXPERIENCE IN ITALIAN

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Supervised participation in the department’s Tutoring Program or placement in a community organization in which the student’s skills in Italian are developed.

ITAL 294 | TOPICS IN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, OR CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: ITAL 202

Study at the lower-division level of a special topic in language, literature, or culture. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal. If taught in English, this course will not fulfill the Core Curriculum language requirement. Consult with instructor or the department chair.

ITAL 301 | WRITING AND COMPOSITION IN ITALIAN

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year or ITAL 202

Focus on the development of reading and writing skills through the analysis of authentic texts, the practice of various modes of written expression, and grammar review.

ITAL 302 | CONTEMPORARY ITALY: CULTURE, POLITICS AND SOCIETY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year or ITAL 202

Study of relevant aspects of Italian culture, politics and society, and of key moments in Italian history, with a focus on the development of oral communication skills.

ITAL 315 | L2 TEACHING METHODOLOGIES AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 301 or ITAL 302

An introduction to the history of second language teaching methods, applied linguistics, and the fundamentals of second language teaching. Initial training in the skills needed to be a second language teacher.

ITAL 320 | INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE I: FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE 17TH CENTURY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: ITAL 301 or ITAL 302 or ITAL 340 or ITAL 342 or ITAL 394

Introduction to the major works of Italian literature, in their socio-cultural context, from the birth of the language to the 17th century.

ITAL 321 | INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE II: FROM THE ENLIGHTENMENT TO TODAY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: ITAL 301 or ITAL 302 or ITAL 340 or ITAL 342 or ITAL 394

Introduction to the major works of Italian literature, in their socio-cultural context, from the 18th century to present times.

ITAL 340 | TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: ITAL 202 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Study at the third-year level of a topic in literature and culture. (Repeatable if topic differs).

ITAL 342 | TOPICS IN ITALIAN LITERATURE, FILM AND CULTURE-GLOBAL FOCUS

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year or ITAL 202

Study at the third-year level of a topic in literature, film and culture with a global focus. (Repeatable if topic differs).

ITAL 394 | TOPICS IN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, OR CULTURE

Units: 3-6 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: ITAL 202 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Study at the third-year level of a special topic in language, literature, or culture. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal. If taught in English, this course will not fulfill the Core Curriculum language requirement. Consult with instructor. May be taken for credit each time topic changes.

ITAL 403 | STUDIES IN ITALIAN FILM

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of relevant aspects of Italy’s rich cinematic tradition. The course can be repeated when the topic changes.

ITAL 410 | STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ITALY

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of relevant aspects of the literature, culture and society of Medieval, Humanist and Renaissance Italy. This course can be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

ITAL 411 | STUDIES IN MODERN ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of relevant aspects of the literature, culture and society of 18th- and 19th-century Italy. Particular emphasis is given to the discussion of Italian Risorgimento and the construction and representation of Italian national and cultural identity.

ITAL 412 | STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of relevant aspects of the literature, culture and society of 20th- and 21st-century Italy.

ITAL 413D | ITALIAN LITERATURE OF MIGRATION

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of works by native and non-native Italian writers that deal with the questions of migration, multiculturalism and otherness.

ITAL 420 | DANTE AND HIS TIMES

Units: 3

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

A study of Dante’s Divina Commedia and other selected works in their literary and historical context.

ITAL 493 | LANGUAGE TUTORING OR FIELD EXPERIENCE IN ITALIAN

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Supervised participation in the department’s Tutoring Program or placement in a community organization in which the student’s skills in Italian are developed.

ITAL 494 | TOPICS IN LITERATURE, LANGUAGE, OR CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: ITAL 320 or ITAL 321

Study of special topics in Italian literature, language, or culture. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal.

ITAL 495 | SENIOR CAPSTONE PROJECT

Units: 1-3

This is a culminating experience in which students reflect upon and integrate aspects of their entire undergraduate study. Through a writing project, an oral presentation, and an exit interview, students demonstrate their achievement of the program learning outcomes. The capstone is taken concurrently with one of the last two upper-division courses for the major, to which it is thematically linked. Consult with program director. Capstone projects are approved by the program director.

ITAL 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A program arranged between the advanced student and the instructor to provide intensive study in a particular area of interest. Extensive reading and consultation are required, as well as preparation of reports to be assigned by the instructor. A maximum of 3 units may be applied toward the major or the minor.

Program Director

Loredana Di Martino, PhD (on sabbatical 2016-2017)

Acting Program Director, 2016-17

Brittany Asaro, PhD