At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The major encourages students to prepare for careers in which fluency in Italian can be combined with training in other academic disciplines.
What is Italian?
Italian is the voice of one of the formative cultural traditions of the Western world. The study of Italy and its language offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary exploration of the continuing vitality of modern Italian and Italian American culture though literature, cinema, translation studies, the arts, Roman thought, fashion, tourism, Mediterranean cuisine, and much more. Italian, in its humanistic breadth and depth, offers students access to a wide variety of professional pathways through an emphasis on global communicative understanding and cultural sensitivity. Italian is increasingly important in business; six of the 100 biggest companies are headquartered in Italy, and Italy is the world’s fifth largest industrial producer of goods. Learning a foreign language also improves oral and written skills in English interactions. Penn State's Italian program is small, and prides itself on its capacity to provide individual attention and mentoring to each of its majors and minors.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You enjoy learning languages and communicating with people from a particularly rich cultural civilization.
- You dream of studying abroad. More Penn State students currently study in Italy than in any other nation of the world, and you will enjoy more memorable experiences with a deeper preparation through advanced coursework in Italian.
- You wish to learn more about the roots of your family heritage and traditions.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Science degree in Italian, a minimum of 123 credits is required:
|Requirements for the Major||60-72|
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
This includes 0-12 credits of General Education Courses: 0-9 credits of GS courses, 0-3 credits of GWS courses.
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|IT 110||Topics in Italian Conversation||3|
|IT 301||Pathways to Fluency||3|
|IT 320||Introduction to Italian Culture; Food, Fashion, Family||3|
|IT 412||Theory and Practice of Translation||3|
|IT 485||Italian-American Cultural Studies||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 15 credits (at least 6 of which must be at the 400-level) of the following:||15|
|Italian Culture and Civilization|
|Introduction to Italian American Culture|
|Masterpieces of Italian Literature in English Translation|
|Introduction to Italy's Genius|
|Greatest Books of Italian Literature|
|Topics in the Italian Renaissance|
|Modern Italian Literature and Cinema|
|Italian Women Writers Through the Centuries|
|Dante in Translation|
Other course in consultation with major advisor
|Select 33 credits of the following:||33|
|Language, Culture, and Communication|
|Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy|
|Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy|
|Effective Writing: Technical Writing|
or ENGL 202D
|Effective Writing: Business Writing|
|Foundations of Linguistics|
|Comparative Politics--Western Europe|
|Science, Technology, and Culture|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 9 credits from one of the following two areas:||9|
|1. Select 9 credits (at least 3 credits taught in Italian language) as participants in a Penn State or Penn State-approved education abroad program of a minimum of six weeks in length:|
|Elementary Italian I|
|Elementary Italian II|
Other courses abroad in consultation with an advisor for the major
|(2) Select 9 credits of 400-level courses in related disciplines from the following or another 400-level course in consultation with an advisor for the major:|
|Ethnography of the United States|
|Studies in Italian Renaissance Art|
|Renaissance and Baroque Palaces|
|The City 1600-1800|
|Intercultural Communication Theory and Research|
|The Editorial Process|
|Advanced Technical Writing and Editing|
|Advanced Business Writing|
|History of Latin|
|Topics in Modern Philosophy|
|Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Political Theories|
|Modern and Contemporary Political Theories|
|Psychology of Language|
Program Learning Objectives
The linguistic objectives for students who have completed an undergraduate major in Italian are as follows:
- Students will have developed oral skills in Italian that allow them to communicate effectively and accurately in a range of settings.
- Students will have developed written skills in Italian that allow them to communicate effectively and accurately in a range of settings.
- Students will have developed literacy skills that allow them to read and understand texts in a variety of media ranging from newspapers to literary texts and formal academic prose.
- Students will have developed a cultural awareness that allows them to interact well with Italians in informal and formal situations and to use knowledge of target culture to interpret texts read, heard or viewed in Italian or English.
- Students will, ideally, have spent at least six weeks in Italy immersed in the target language and its culture.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information need to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Because the study of Italian comprises advanced-level language proficiency and the development of cultural understanding, critical thinking, and communicative capacities, successful Penn State students have gone on to pursue many professions. In the Italian program, majors and minors have access to:
- Individualized advising aimed at integrating complementary majors/minors, study abroad, and internship opportunities.
- Italian-specific fellowships, prizes, and capstone project opportunities to ready them for future goals.
- Mentorship that connects Italian students with alumni who have applied successfully to graduate schools, participated in Fulbright/Peace Corps/Teach for America/etc., or are making contributions in the career path of particular interest.
As a humanistic program in the liberal arts, Italian is not designed to be directly vocational. Italian prepares students to access a wide array of rewarding and unique careers, including those related to international business, travel, journalism, ministry, diplomacy, banking, science fields, the arts, and education. The federal government employs graduates with advanced foreign-language skills in organizations including the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Department of Labor. Students with degrees in the humanities are also particularly successful applicants to graduate and professional schools, such as law, business, and medicine.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
Any of the three baccalaureate degree options in Italian (the Bachelor of Arts in Italian Language and Literature, the Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies, or the Bachelor of Science in Applied Italian) can serve as the foundation for graduate studies in Italian, as well as other humanistic, social science, and STEM disciplines. Italian can also lead to advanced professional degrees in business, educational administration, law, and medicine.