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World Languages and Cultural Studies

Italian Studies Major


As an Italian studies major, you’ll develop your language skills while immersing yourself in Italian literature, history and culture.

In addition to becoming fluent in Italian, you’ll also take part in an interdisciplinary program that covers topics ranging from medieval civilization to international financial management.

Meet Your Major

In the Italian studies program, you will:

  • Hone your ability to understand, speak and write Italian.
  • Be immersed in the language by taking select courses that are taught entirely in Italian.
  • Gain a greater understanding of Italian literature, film and other creative achievements.
  • Study the cultural heritage and history of Italy, from classical to modern times.
  • Explore topics related to international politics, finances and business.

Hands-On Learning

You can elect to spend a semester in Florence, Italy, through CAPA, Merrimack’s study-abroad provider that coordinates academics, housing and excursions, and provides in-country support. Through your travel and coursework, you’ll broaden your worldview, enabling you to pursue a career in business, government or the nonprofit sector. Bonus? If teaching is in your future, you can secure Massachusetts licensure through Merrimack and explore your options as an Italian and education double major.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the Italian studies program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue a career in business, academics, politics, the arts or a variety of other fields. Positions may include:

  • Cultural adviser
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Foreign Service officer
  • Intelligence officer
  • International business consultant
  • Teacher
  • Translator

What You’ll Take

All Italian studies majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 34-credit, nine-course requirement. To graduate with a degree in Italian studies, you must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in your selected Italian studies courses.

Required Courses

All Italian studies majors must take six courses (minimum 22 credits) in Italian Language and Culture (ITA), and at least one course must be at the 3000 level or above.

Italian Language

Select two Italian language courses at the intermediate level or beyond. The Introductory Italian sequence (ITA 1110 and ITA 1120) will not be counted as part of the major. Only the following courses may be used to fulfill the language requirement in the major:

ITA 2010

Intermediate Italian I

ITA 2020 

Intermediate Italian II 

ITA 3010  

Composition and Culture 

ITA 3020 

Conversation and Culture 

ITA 3050

Attualità italiana 

Italian Culture

Select four Italian culture courses from among the following options:

ITA 2530

Italian Women Writers

ITA 2550 

Italian Americans and Film

ITA 2560 (W)   

The Italian Southern Question
in Literature and Film

ITA 2570 

Italian Culture Through Film I

ITA 2580

Italian Culture Through Film II

ITA 3010 

Composition and Culture 

ITA 3020 

Conversation and Culture  

ITA 3050 

Attualità italiana  

Elective Courses

Choose three courses from the following options, with no more than two courses from the same department. At least two of these courses must be from departments within the School of Liberal Arts.
(* indicates a course with prerequisites)

FAA 2620

Classical Art

FAA 2630

The Art of the Middle Ages

FAA 2640W                                   

First Light: The Beginnings of Modernism in Western Art

FAA 2650

Artists, Princes and Popes: From Renaissance to Reformation

FAA 2660 

The Art of the Baroque: European Art of the 17th and 18th Centuries

FAA 3650 

The World of Michelangelo 

HIS 1119 

The European Experience: Antiquity to the Reformation 

HIS 1120

The European Experience: Early Modern to the Present 

HIS 3350 

Ancient History 

HIS 3355

Barbarians and Holy Men 

HIS 3360 

Medieval Civilization 

HIS 3370 

Renaissance, Reformation and Exploration 

HIS 3376 

Era of the French Revolution and Napoleon 

HIS 3401 

Topics in 19th-Century Europe 

HIS 3410  

Twentieth-Century Europe  

HUM 1010 

Stories of Ancient Greece 

HUM 1020 

Medieval Europe 

PHL 2200W 

History of Ancient Philosophy* 

PHL 2330 

History of Medieval Philosophy* 

PHL 2350W 

Philosophy of Augustine* 

RTS 2425 

Pellegrinaggio in Italia* 

POL 4850W 

Public service internship (approval of Italian studies director required)  

POL 4851

Public service summer internship (approval of Italian studies director required)  

ECO 3306 

International Economics* 

POL 1500 

Comparative Politics 

POL 2510 

International Politics* 

POL 2581

Political Thought: Plato to Machiavelli* 

POL 2582 

Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx* 

POL 3526

Politics of the European Union* 

POL 3540 

International Political Economy*

FIN 4406

International Financial Management*  

MGT 3357

International Management*  

MKT 3320

Global Marketing*

More Information

Luis Sáenz de Viguera Erkiaga

Assoc. Professor and Chair

World Languages and

Cultural Studies 

978-837-6976
saenzdevigul@merrimack.edu