Italian & Italian Studies
The Italian and Italian studies program at Saint Joseph's University introduces students to Italian culture and language in a way that is both fun and gratifying. The program serves as the focus for education in liberal arts or the basis for graduate or professional study. Italian majors can continue with graduate study in a number of disciplines, including comparative literature, music, art history, journalism, business and international affairs. The program is also one of the few in Pennsylvania that award teacher certification in Italian.
We use multimedia 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, our program also aims to provide students with experiential knowledge of the language and culture through study abroad tours, internships and scholarships.
Honors in Italian
Gamma Kappa Alpha Honor Society
Gamma Kappa Alpha is the only Italian honor society in North America and has over fifty chapters. It was formed to acknowledge superior scholastic performance in the field of Italian language, literature and culture. It encourages a greater interest in and a deeper understanding of Italian culture, art and history.
Students majoring or minoring in Italian who distinguish themselves for their outstanding performance in Italian are eligible for induction in the honor society at the end of their undergraduate career. Additionally, the society recognizes outstanding undergraduate scholarship in the field of Italian by annually granting the Gamma Kappa Alpha Award for Scholarship. Each April, Italian majors and minors may submit their original essays for consideration. For further information, contact Kristen Grimes, Ph.D.
Students may enroll in Departmental Honors, which is awarded upon successful completion of a two-semester honors level research project under the guidance of a director. These two courses may be counted toward the eight-course honors requirement. Students with a GPA of 3.5 and above may apply.
Students of a highly exceptional caliber may apply for the University Scholar designation. See the Honors Program for more information.
Established in the Spring of 1999 by Paola Giuli, Ph.D., the Italian club is now among the most active clubs at Saint Joseph's University, co-organizing cultural and social events on and off campus; among them:
- The Italian Tables, devoted to speaking Italian in a relaxed setting and featuring short presentations by native Italian speakers about their personal and professional experiences such as university life in Italy, cultural differences between Italian cities and regions and more.
- Conferences, such as a lecture on “Images of Italy at the End of the Millennium,” “Images of the Italian-American Experience” in the context of Settimana italo-americana (Italian American week) and more.
- Trips to off-campus talks, such as one by Beppe Severgnini, a prominent journalist and satirist, or Umberto Eco, an internationally renowned author, literary critic and semiotician.
- Trips to the Philadelphia Opera, such as “L’Italiana in Algeri” by Gioacchino Rossini, “La Traviata” by Verdi, “Cosi fan tutte” by Mozart and “Il Trovatore” by Verdi.
- Trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, such as guided tours of the Italian Medieval and Renaissance Rooms, as well as special exhibits.
- Trips to the International Italian Film Festival at Penn, introducing new Italian auteurs filmmakers.
- Benefit dinners and fundraisers:
- Fall: Welcome Back Dinner to promote awareness of Italian culture, including a talent show and a charity fundraiser.
- Spring: Scholarship and Certificates Award Dinner to honor recipients and donors of scholarships to Italy as well as graduating Italian minors and majors.
- SJU Week: A week in celebration of our patron saint, of Italian father’s day and, of course, of our alma mater. It includes a movie showing, a charity soccer tournament and a dinner or pizza party.
- Career Fairs with guest speakers from various academic, business and government venues.
The success of the Italian Club is due to the dedication of club officers and advisors and the high quality of the activities organized. Many of our events and of the Italian program’s achievements were inspired by our students. Come and be a part of the experience!
Scholarships & Internships
Founded in 1984 by Mrs. Carmela Corso Zecca in memory of her brother, Anthony, a native of Philadelphia whose family emigrated from Naples to Philadelphia in the 1880s, the scholarship defrays the cost of travel and study in Italy.
Presented through the Coccia Foundation annually, this scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior who wishes to continue their Italian studies education to become an Italian teacher and/or wishes to continue their graduate studies in Italian for the preservation of the Italian Culture. This $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually on both a need and merit basis.
The Center for International Programs (CIP) offers a grant for Saint Joseph's University students studying abroad on faculty-led summer programs. These funds are based on financial need and merit and are awarded during the spring semester. The award is credited to a student's program fee.
The department has contacts in the Lombard region, Rome and Naples, as well as institutions in the U.S., for internships in the fields of teaching, business, political science and international relations.
Please contact Paola Giuli, Ph.D., for more information.
If you have any questions about the Italian program or related courses, please contact Thomas Buckley, Ph.D.