Irish Studies

Location: Ireland, Galway - National University of Ireland, Galway

The purpose of the six-week Irish Studies Program is to introduce students to Ireland's history, literature, society and archaeology through a 10-day Orientation in Dublin, Galway, and on the Aran Islands, and one month of coursework at the National University of Ireland, Galway Summer School in Irish Studies.

Dr. Mary L. Mullen, Assistant Professor of English and faculty member in Irish Students at Villanova University, and Dr. Mary Madec, Director of the Villanova Center, National University of Ireland, Galway, accompany the students throughout the Orientation Program in Eastern and Western Ireland.

Galway Group - Summer 2015
Galway Group - Summer 2015

Program Requirements

  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale; non-Villanova students must provide a recent official university transcript of undergraduate work
  • Full-time university status without disciplinary or academic probation, and/or financial holds
  • Completed Villanova application submitted to Faculty Program Coordinator

Irish Studies at Villanova University

Students studying in Ireland should highly consider a minor in Irish Studies. More information can be found on the Irish Studies website.

Course Offerings

Students select two (2) courses from the following list for six (6) Villanova undergraduate credits. Students are required to take six credits.
*Students: when selecting courses for your program application, please note that you are not permitted to take courses which you have already taken at Villanova University. Please speak with your Faculty Program Coordinator if you have any questions.

2018 Courses Coming Soon!
Advanced Theology: Special Topics - Religious Studies in Ireland
(Course number and title TBA)
This course is currently under development by our faculty and resident staff in Ireland and at Villanova Univeristy. This course will be allowed to count towards the Villanova University Advanced Theology core requirement. We will post any new information on this course as soon as it becomes available (mid-late February, 2016).

AAH 3007 The Art of Ireland: Archaeological Heritage of Ireland (NUIG course SS116)

A study of Ireland’s Neolithic and Celtic Iron ages through to the Christian Period including the early and late medieval era. 3 credits
*May count as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core Fine Arts requirement.

AAH 3009 Topics in Art History: Introduction to Art in Ireland (NUIG Course - SS118)
This course traces the development of Irish art from Newgrange to the 2009 Venice Biennale. A key question underlying the various strands of the course will be the development of a distinctly Irish cultural identity in the visual arts and the influence of international trends on Irish artists throughout the ages. 3 credits.
*May count as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core Fine Arts requirement.

ENG 2003 Intro to Creative Writing  (NUIG course SS119 Creative Writing - Poetry & Fiction)
This course will be a workshop in the writing of prose and poetry. Students may choose the genre they wish to emphasise, engaging in experimentation, writing and rewriting under the supervision of the directors and the faculty. Workshops will involve review, analysis and editing, in an atmosphere of constructive criticism and support. There will be individual contributions from a number of the country's leading writers. 3 credits

ENG 2450 Irish Literature to 1880 (NUIG course SS120 Gaelic Culture and Literature) A study of Gaelic culture and literature (in translation) from the earliest times to the present day. 3 credits

ENG 2490 Topics in English - Irish Studies: Representing Ireland - Literature & Film (NUIG course SS115)
The study of ways in which "Irishness" has been represented in 20th century fiction, drama, fiction, poetry, and film. 3 credits

HIS 3216 Ireland since 1880 (NUIG course SS117 Irish History)
Irish history including nationalism, the land question, and Anglo-Irish relations. 3 credits
*Cannot count towards College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core History requirement.

SOC 4000 Topics in Sociology - Irish Studies: Irish Society (NUIG course SS121)Irish Society Study of issues in modern Irish society, including family, religion, rural and urban communities, emigration, and the role of women. 3 credits

THE 3030 Special Topics in Irish Studies - Theatre: Negotiating Identity - Irish Traditional Music & Dance (NUIG course SS122)
A study of the ways in which music shapes cultural identity. 3 credits. *May count as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core Fine Arts requirement.

During the summer program, students will live with Irish families with two students for each family. Breakfast is provided daily. All housing is within an easy walk of campus and downtown.


Galway City, the third largest city in Ireland, is now regarded by many as the cultural capital of Ireland. Throughout the year, Galway is a thriving center of theater, galleries, readings, and concerts ranging from classical to the best of Irish traditional music. During the summer school period, Galway is especially alive with energy. Its natural attraction as a seaside resort is supplemented by events such as the Galway Arts Festival, which brings world-class performers to the city. Traditionally, many of our students volunteer in various aspects of the festival, further deepening their understanding of and involvement with the real Ireland beyond the walls of the classroom. Galway's location on the west coast places students in easy access to some of the richest and most complex aspects of Irish history.

National University of Ireland, Galway, our base for most of the program, was founded in 1849. It is one of the constituent colleges of NUI, the National University of Ireland. The campus is located on the banks of the River Corrib, about ten minutes walk from city center.

Programs  Dates: June 11- July 18, 2018
*Students should plan to depart from US on June 10, and arrive in Dublin Airport, Ireland on June 11 before 10 AM.


  • June 10, 2018: Students depart U.S.A., arrive on June 11
  • June 11-14: Arrive in Dublin, Dublin orientation
  • June 14: Depart Dublin for Galway, to Galway, via Clonmacnoise
  • June 15-16: Aran Islands Excursion
  • June 17: Return to Galway, Homestays begin, NUIG Welcome
  • July 17: Programme end/Farewell, last night of homestays
  • July 18, 2017: Last day of program, student departure from homestays and Ireland. Students may leave once coursework has completed.

Please note that these dates are subject to change, and students should not book personal travel before confirming with Dr. Mary Mullen that their plans do not conflict with required program activities.


Program Fee: $7,250 *(Final Fee TBD)

For a breakdown of the expenses, click here.

The comprehensive fee for the six-week program includes tuition, room and partial board, the Dublin and program tours, transfers and fees. The fee does not include airfare, health/accident insurance, personal expenses, or optional travel.

**Application deadline April 1, 2018. Please note that those students accepted after April 1 will be required to pay the non-refundable $450 commitment fee immediately. The normal 2-week period will not apply for acceptances after April 1.

Upon acceptance, student will have 2-weeks to submit a $450 non-refundable commitment fee. Program balance is invoiced directly to the VU student account during the first week of April, with final balance due May 1.

Students interested in financing should first review the OEA Scholarship page. Should there be a need to secure additional funding through loans, Villanova University students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

Students with a Federal Pell grant should consider applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship!

ATTENTION: Program DISCOUNT offered to students interested in attending BOTH the VU Summer Program in Galway 'and' the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio. Doing both programs would allow you to be in Ireland for almost 10-weeks and earn a total of 9-VU credits! Contact the Faculty Program Coordinators for more information.

Villanova University has the right to make cancellations, substitutions, or changes in case of emergency or changed conditions, or in the interest of the program.

Irish Studies at VU

Have you thought of minoring in Irish Studies?
Learn more about Center for Irish Studies at Villanova University!

Program Snapshot

  • Program Duration: 6-weeks Long
  • Credits: 6
  • Program Fee: $7,450
  • APPLY NOW through Passport Villanova!
    **Application deadline is April 1, 2018. Please note that those students accepted after April 1 will be required to pay the non-refundable $450 commitment fee immediately. The normal 2-week period will not apply for acceptances after April 1.

Faculty Coordinator

Ireland photo

Dr. Mary L. Mullen
St Augustine Ctr Liberal Arts Rm 455
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085