Undergraduate Program

Learn Italian from scratch and explore the history, art, and culture of Italy, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

It is quite possible to concentrate in Italian studies without having studied the language before coming to Brown, although doing so requires an early start. Having fulfilled the language requirement (Italian 0600), students will be able to enroll in a variety of advanced courses taught in Italian, reflecting the interdisciplinary scope of the program (including literature, history, history of art, film, media and culture). Students are strongly encouraged to take Italian Studies courses taught in English before fulfilling the language requirement.

To concentrate in Italian Studies, students are required to: 1) demonstrate proficiency in the Italian language, by completing language and culture courses leading up to, and including, Italian 0600;  and 2) take eight subject courses on any aspect and period of Italian culture (Italian 0600 is included in the eight subject courses). At least four of the eight courses required for the concentration should be taken in Italian. Students can fulfill concentration requirements by studying abroad in the Bologna program, for a semester or an academic year. Concentrators may transfer three courses per semester taken in Bologna toward the concentration (or six courses total for the year), provided that the courses are taught in Italian and  focus on Italy.

Concentrators are encouraged to expand their understanding of Italian language, history, or culture through independent research that will result in a thesis, a translation, or a multimedia project, developed in consultation with the undergraduate concentration advisor and a faculty member. The Honors thesis in Italian Studies is a two-semester thesis. A Capstone experience in Italian Studies would consist of a course or project that a student, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, feels would constitute a culminating experience in Italian Studies at Brown. This could also include the Brown Program in Bologna, typically taken in the Junior year.