Academic Programs - Undergraduate

Italian Studies at UCLA offer an exciting combination of linguistic, literary and cultural experience.  Besides covering the full range of Italian language and literature, the Department also offers courses approaching Italian civilization through film, through folklore, and through linguistic history and dialectology. 

A unique aspect of Italian Studies at UCLA is the Major in Italian and Special Fields.  There are sixteen such fields from English and Art History to Film and Women's Studies.  Conceived to as flexible a major as possible, the B.A. in Italian and Special Fields allows students maximum freedom to construct and pursue individualized courses of study. Dividing academic work equally between Italian and a field of choice (roughly six courses in each), majors of Italian and Special Fields are particularly well-equipped to pursue careers where knowledge of Italian enhances more specific expertise.

The classical Major in Italian, which requires thirteen courses in Italian, offers an assurance of complete proficiency in all aspects of Italian studies:  language, literature, film and culture.  Both majors emphasize the development of linguistic fluency as well as overall familiarity with Italian literary and cultural history.

In addition to the regular offerings in Italian here in Los Angeles, UCLA boasts  direct connections with Italy and opportunities for smoothly integrating study there into an American degree program. Students gain access to the resources of Italy's two oldest universities, Padua and Bologna; for  the fine arts and architecture, to Florence and Venice: for business, Milano's Bocconi. In the Summer UCLA hosts a 12-units program in Florence, still one of the most fascinating and lively cities in Europe.  Without going abroad, Summer students can study Italian language, literature and film every summer in Los Angeles via the UCLA Summer Sessions.

On the threshold of the twenty-first century, Italian studies provide a way of reaffirming the principle underlying all humanistic studies:  namely, a critical evaluation of theories and historical trends with an eye toward shaping the future.
Knowledge of Italian can be a significant asset for students wishing to pursue a career in business, government, law, medicine or education.  The advent of a global economy and worldwide deregulation in commerce offer many opportunities for those fluent in Italian.  Stated simply, it has become imperative that U.S. companies seek people with international cultural and linguistic experience.  In retail sales, in the media and in the arts--especially music, design and film--the career opportunities are even more apparent.

Degrees in Italian can also lead to careers in teaching.  While traditionally many of our majors have entered graduate programs in the U.S. or abroad with the goal of pursuing scholarly professions, now an equal number pursue post-graduate studies in social work, law and medicine.

Language Courses

Beginning, intermediate and advanced courses aim to provide students with a sound basis for communicating effectively and accurately in Italian. Emphasis is placed equally on listening, speaking, reading and writing. Real-life activities expose students to day-to-day contexts likely to be encountered in Italy, thus reinforcing grammatical structures learned in class and increasing functional skills.  Students of language are also introduced to contemporary Italian life and culture.  First-year Italian corresponds to the three quarter sequence, Italian 1-3, second-year Italian to Italian 4-6.

Advanced language courses include Italian 100, a composition course, and Italian 131, a theater course which provides the student with the opportunity to interpret and perform one-act plays in Italian. 

UCLA Summer Sessions generally offers also an acclerated summer course, Italian 1A (a composite of Italian 1, 2 and 3 over a ten-week period).  Further conversation skills can be developed through the Italian 8A,B and C series in spoken Italian offered on a rotating basis. 

Culture and Literature Courses in English

The Department offers an array of courses in Italian subjects taught in English:  Italian 42A and 42B (on the history of Italian culture), Italian 46 (on Italian Cinema & Culture), and Italian 50A and 50B (on major trends in Italian literature).  These are  lecture courses, accompanied by weekly break-down groups of twenty students per discussion.  All three courses fulfill General Education requirements within UCLA's College of Letters and Science. 

Upper division courses in English include Italian 102A, 102B, and 102C (on medieval, Renaissance, and modern literature), Italian 110 (Dante's Divine Comedy), Italian 121 (film and literature), Italian 140 (the short story from Boccaccio to Celati), Italian 150 (modern & contemporary Italian fiction), and Italian 158 (on the role of women in Italian society & literature).

Study in Italy

The Department's intensive summer program in Florence covers a four four-week period in late June to July. Students generally receive twelve-units of course credit, usually Italian 1, 8A and 8C, and 46, or Italian 4, 8B and 8C, and 46.  More advanced students may take Italian 197 and/or 199 (independent studies on Italian film, art, or history).  Cost for the month abroad tends to run about $2650 (exclusive of airfare).

Our students are encouraged to go even further and spend up to one year in Italy on an American education abroad program or in an Italian university. The Education Abroad Program of UCLA places students regularly in one of a number of the finest Italian universities.  After being accepted, students consult with the Undergraduate Advisor on what courses to take abroad, and then obtain UCLA transfer credit upon return.  We also urge students to take advantage of summer language workshops, either here in the U.S. in Italy. 

The Minor and Major in Italian
The Major in "Italian & Special Fields"


and for program changes

Honors Program

Italian majors with an overall grade-point average of 3.25, and a 3.5 GPA or better in Italian, are eligible to participate in the honors program. Candidates must select three upper division literature courses in which to do additional readings.  In the last term of the senior year, they write a thesis on a subject related to one of these three courses.  The average grade for the three courses cannot fall below A-.  Applications to graduate with Honors in Italian should be made during the last term of the junior year.

Fellowships and Assistantships

Consult with the undergraduate advisor for current listings.
Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. Elissa Tognozzi



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