Program Director: Giordana Poggioli-Kaftan, Ph.D.

The Italian Language and Culture Studies minor provides students with a practical and marketable command of the Italian language, as well as a cultural understanding, both important tools in today’s global world. Proficiency in Italian language and culture equips students for jobs, which can be found in education, international business and international law. The modern nation of Italy plays a significant role in European finance, culture, and politics; thus, students in pre-professional as well as academic programs are attracted to this minor. Italian culture enjoys great prestige in view of its historical contributions to the fine arts, architecture, literature, political theory, and cinema, and many students regard Italy as an attractive destination for foreign study abroad and travel.

Italian Language and Culture Studies

The minor in Italian Language and Culture Studies consists of five required courses (16 cr. hrs.) and one elective course (3 cr. hrs.) for a total of 19 cr. hrs. Students who place into ITAL 2001 Intermediate Italian 1 are required to substitute a second elective for ITAL 1002 Elementary Italian 2 for a total of 18 cr. hrs.

Required Courses:
ITAL 1002Elementary Italian 2 (or elective course, if placed into ITAL 2001) 13-4
ITAL 2001Intermediate Italian 13
ITAL 2002Intermediate Italian 23
ITAL 3200Italian Culture and Civilization3
ITAL 3210Sicilian Mafia and Antimafia Representations and Literature and Film3
Elective - Choose one course from the following: 13
Greek and Roman Epic Poetry
Roman Civilization and Art
History of Western Art 1
History of Western Art 2
Ancient Greece and Rome
Imagining the Middle Ages
The Renaissance
War and Religion in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1650
The Crusades
Italian Composition and Conversation
Advanced Italian Composition and Conversation
Topics in Italian Language, Culture and Literature
Medieval Philosophy
European Politics
Total Credit Hours:18-19


  • ITAL 1001 Elementary Italian 1 does not count toward the minor.
  • LLAC 4931 Topics in Foreign Language, Culture and Literaturemay be used to fulfill an elective requirement depending on the relevance of the topic and only with the permission of the program director.


ITAL 1001. Elementary Italian 1. 4 cr. hrs.

Introduction to the Italian language fundamentals of comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Prereq: No previous study of Italian; or by departmental placement.

ITAL 1002. Elementary Italian 2. 4 cr. hrs.

Continuation of ITAL 1001 with an emphasis on further development of vocabulary and basic conversation through supplemental readings. Prereq: ITAL 1001.

ITAL 2001. Intermediate Italian 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Grammar review, oral and written practice, and supplemental readings and activities to develop cultural awareness. Prereq: ITAL 1002; or by departmental placement.

ITAL 2002. Intermediate Italian 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Continuation of ITAL 2001 with further development and practice of all language skills. Prereq: ITAL 2001; or by departmental placement.

ITAL 3001. Italian Composition and Conversation. 3 cr. hrs.

Grammar review and practice in the oral and written use of the Italian language. Prereq: ITAL 2002; or by departmental placement.

ITAL 3100. Advanced Italian Composition and Conversation. 3 cr. hrs.

Practice and review of advanced grammatical structures of the Italian language for further development of oral and written communication skills.

ITAL 3200. Italian Culture and Civilization. 3 cr. hrs.

Readings and lectures in English dealing with different aspects of Italian culture as seen through its history, art, literature, culinary traditions and film. Knowledge of Italian not required. Variable subtitles depending on the content and focus.

ITAL 3210. Sicilian Mafia and Antimafia Representations and Literature and Film. 3 cr. hrs.

Understand the Sicilian Mafia, La Cosa Nostra (Our Thing), from historical, economic and political perspectives. Distinguish romanticized portrayals of the Mafia in American film and television from the brutal and ruthless criminal organization. Through extensive readings, understand La Cosa Nostra in all its complexities: its history, ontology, structure and contacts with the Italian-American communities from the end of the nineteenth century. Taught in English, no knowledge of Italian required.

ITAL 3215. Italian Art, Fashion and Nation. 3 cr. hrs.

Study the artistic production of Italian artists’ images of their ideal nation from 1861 to the end of WWII. Understand how fashion helped create Italy’s national identity and how that it was cast abroad to enhance the nation’s standing within the western world.

ITAL 4931. Topics in Italian Language, Culture and Literature. 3 cr. hrs.

Topics vary. Subject to be announced.