College of Arts & Sciences

Modern and Classical Languages

Why Study Italian at SJU?

The Italian program offers a liberal arts major, designed to give students a thorough preparation in Italian language, literature, and culture, independently or in combination with other languages and cognate subjects. It offers practical instruction in the language and a historical and theoretical introduction to Italian literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present.

Students can combine Italian with work in other literatures, art history, business, education, finance, history, international relations, political science, philosophy, psychology, for a double major or a major/minor combination.

We will introduce you to Italian culture and language in a way that is both fun and gratifying. We use multi-media technology and are proud to feature two state-of–the art language labs and one computer lab for the ultimate interactive learning experience.

Beyond promoting linguistic, literary and cultural competency, the program also aims to providing students with experiential knowledge of the language and culture through study tours, study abroad, internships and scholarships to Italy. Your junior year could find you in Rome or Florence for an unforgettable fully accredited semester abroad. We also offer opportunities to take summer courses in the various cultural and historical centers of Italy. A study tour to key Italian destinations such as Rome, Florence, Venice and the hill towns of Tuscany is a great way to earn credits during the summer session.

In addition to serving as the focus for an education in liberal arts, the Italian concentrations can be the basis for graduate or professional study. Italian majors can continue with graduate study in a number of disciplines, not only Romance Languages, Italian, Comparative Literature and other literatures, but also music, art history, journalism, business, law, government service, business and international affairs.

The program also seeks to address the national need for competent Italian teachers. Granting a PA certification in Italian, the program is an excellent preparation for students who intend to teach Italian, thanks to its emphasis on Italian language, culture and literature.

Demand for Italian as a language of business, culture and travel would also benefit students of Italian. Graduates benefit from knowing a living foreign language in the context of its cultural history. In the business world, Italy is in the forefront with style, quality and innovative ideas. Many Italian corporations are established in the U.S. and many U.S. companies have subsidiaries throughout Italy. In this age of globalization, just think of how many Italian products are popular here; then know that Italians feel the same way about many “all American” products!

Last but not least, our Italian club is a great place to come hang-out and have fun. Among the many activities are: dinner dances, luncheons with interesting speakers, a variety of film series to assist the learning process and organized trips to many cultural events in and around Philadelphia.

Above all, a major or a minor in Italian responds to the Jesuit liberal arts curriculum and education philosophy. We believe that studying Italian language and its cultural uses fosters students’ self-awareness, enhances their appreciation of diversity, and prepares them for disciplined work in any field.