Italian Studies

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Degree Options: Major
Locations: Rose Hill, Lincoln Center
Visit the Modern Languages and Literatures Department

Italian is a vibrant living language borne of a world-changing culture 2,500 years old.

Self-directed? Ambitious? A lover of Italian books, films, and culture? If you want to blaze your own path to fluency in Italian language and culture, the Italian area studies major at Fordham might be right for you.

It’s a highly individualized, interdisciplinary course of study based in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. With the help of a faculty advisor, you’ll craft a rigorous course of study that fits your passions and ambitions. Most of your classes will be in Italian. You’ll study a broad range of topics, including art history, classical languages, political science, and visual arts.

In the process, you’ll become fluent in Italian, refine your analytical skills, and acquire a critical understanding of Italian literary and cultural tradition over the centuries.

We draw on a long Jesuit tradition of scholarship on and respect for the world's diverse languages and cultures—and virtually all of them are in New York City. From cultural events to people on the streets, New York City is your classroom for learning Italian. 

You’ll learn more than Italian language and literature here. You’ll also study philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, ethics, science, and the performing arts through Fordham’s common core curriculum, the centerpiece of our liberal arts education.

We want you to excel in your field—and as a human being.

Program Highlights

As an Italian area studies major, you take 10 required courses. It’s an individualized, interdisciplinary major, so tailor a track to fit your interests. Some of the tracks our students have created:

  • Italy and the Arts
  • Italy, Film and Media Studies
  • Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean
  • Italy and the Italian American Experience 
  • Italy and the Italian Diaspora

All literature courses are taught in Italian, and you will be required to speak in Italian in class discussions and oral presentations.

We have two Language Learning Centers for solo studying or collaboration with classmates:

  • Language Learning Center at Rose Hill: a state-of-the-art, multi-use, interactive digital language laboratory with 54 self-contained computer stations equipped with the most up-to-date audio, recording, and film viewing technology.
  • Olga M. Ficarra/Francis J. Morison Language Laboratory at Lincoln Center: a multi-use, interactive, computer-based facility with 25 student work stations equipped with CD, audio, video, and DVD capabilities.

We offer free tutoring in Italian every week on both campuses.

Sample Courses

Introduction to Italian I & II
Italy and the Arts
Avant-Garde Movements
Michelangelo
Comedy and Satire in Italian Cinema
Italy Through Foreign Eyes
Love and Empire: Roman Philosophy
Italian Women Writers
Italian American Literature

Life After Fordham

You’ll graduate with advanced proficiency in speaking and writing in Italian—as well as an extensive literary and cultural preparation—that will open doors to many careers. Wherever Italian is spoken, there may be a role for you.

Our graduates earn advanced degrees in graduate programs in:

  • Foreign languages and literature
  • Comparative literature
  • International affairs

They attend professional schools in:

  • Law
  • Journalism 
  • Social work

They work in as many fields as there are people speaking French, including:

  • Finance
  • Publishing
  • Nonprofit

Our career services tap Fordham’s ties with more than 2,600 companies. We offer:

  • Post-graduation career search
  • Resume development, Interviewing practice
  • Networking skill development
  • Hands-on case-study sessions with industry executives
  • Field-specific advising/coaching

You also get access to our powerful (and Fordham-loyal) network of alumni, who want to see you succeed as they have.