Major and Minor

Students studying Italian at Villanova, in addition to satisfying the core language requirement at the intermediate level (1121 -1122), can also major or minor in the language. In the cordial environment ofthe Italian Division of the Romance Languages Department, students are encouraged and assisted in discovering different aspects of the Italian Language, Literature and Culture.

Majors and minors can earn some of their credits by studying in Italy either through the six-week summer program in Urbino/Florence or through semester-long program held at various academic centers located in Urbino, Perugia, Rome, Milan, and Florence. Students can earn six credits in the summer and up to fifteen credits in a semester-long program. Majors and minors, however, need to take at least 50% of their required courses at Villanova in order to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Italian from Villanova University. No A & S core requirements need be fulfilled by majors coming from Colleges other than Arts and Sciences.

Major in Italian

10 courses above the Intermediate level, nine of which must be conducted in Italian and one course taught in English (RLL 3413), provided that the course deals primarily with Italian culture, has an RLL designation, and has the ITA attribute.

The following courses are required:

  • ITA 1138 Advanced Grammar OR ITA 1140 Writing and Stylistics
  • ITA 2220 Literature and Culture I OR ITA 2221 Literature and Culture II
  • ITA 3970 Directed Research in ITA (1 credit)

Minor in Italian

4 courses above the intermediate level plus RLL 3413 (Italy and Beauty - taught in English)

The following courses are required:

  • ITA 1131 Conversation and Composition I
  • ITA 1132 Conversation and Composition
  • RLL 3413 Italy and Beauty
  • 2 additional upper level courses taught in Italian

Additional Notes

  • Once a sequence of courses has begun, a student may not revert to a lower-level course.
  • All upper level courses will require a prerequisite of 1132.
  • Majors and minors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Villanova summer or semester program abroad in Urbino. Students may obtain up to six credits through Villanova University Summer program abroad in Urbino (Italy). All courses taken abroad must transfer to the same numbers as those taken at Villanova.
  • The Italian Division of the Department will facilitate an ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Italian Proficiency certificate to all majors during their senior year. Contact person is Dr. Luca Cottini (

Honors Program

To qualify for the Italian Honors Program, students are required to maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 and an average of 3.4 or higher in Italian. Prospective candidates  must apply with the program director. Candidates for the Honors Program must complete a set of readings and write a short thesis on one or more of those readings. An oral examination by a faculty honors committee finalizes the process.

Note: The Department also offers literature courses in English translation. Such courses may be used to fulfill a Humanities elective; however, they may not be used toward credit requirements for a foreign language major or minor. An upper level literature course in any language taught in the Department may satisfy the advanced literature core requirement. At the same time, it may also count for the minor in a language.  However, it may not count for both the advanced literature requirement and the major in a language.