Jenny Joyce teaches a class of Irish Studies students.

Irish Studies provides an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to deepen students' understandings of the history, culture, religion, politics, literature and society of Ireland.

Students can major in Irish Studies—as a specialization of a Global Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) major—or minor in Irish Studies. The Center for Irish Studies also offers language courses for undergraduate students and adult learners through the College of Professional Studies. The Irish Studies major and minor teach students in an interdisciplinary manner about the art, literature, theatre, politics and history of modern Ireland and its United States diaspora.


Each spring the Center for Irish Studies hosts the Charles A. Heimbold Chair. This visiting professor is always and distinguished Irish writer or poet and designs two courses, open to Villanova students. This visiting writer-in-residence program offers Irish Studies students the enriching experience of a close classroom experience with one of Ireland’s finest authors. 

Many study abroad programs are available in Ireland on a semester or year-long basis. You can study at the National University of Ireland, Galway or participate in our Irish Theatre Summer Studio, in association with the Abbey Theatre. We also offer an internship at the Jackie Clarke Museum and Library, open to undergraduate and graduate students. Learn more about our study abroad and global learning opportunities.

Ireland's cultural history is rich and varied, and the skills you learn are applicable to many fields of work. You'll refine your skills in critical thinking, research methods and writing, presentations and argument—beneficial to fields as diverse as law, medicine, public relations, nonprofit and business management. Our faculty are world-class and our courses varied, rich and engaging.  

Studing the Irish language is a critical component for understanding history, literature, and the culture of Ireland. An ancient and living language in Europe, Irish language has experienced a resurgence in the number of speakers in recent decades.

Students have the opportunity to learn Irish on campus by a native speaker from Ireland through the Fulbright FLTA program and abroad in the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland. 

Jennifer Joyce, PhD
Acting Director, Center for Irish Studies

Current students should contact Dr. Joyce with any questions about the major, minor or advising.

Take an Irish Language Course!



The Irish Studies major has an academic partnership with the Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS), offering academic programs in six area studies, Gender and Women's Studies and Peace and Justice.