Italian Studies: Italian Culture, BA

The Italian Studies section of the Romance Languages Department offers programs in language, literature, film, linguistics, cultural studies and civilization for students with or without a background in Italian. At the core of this program is the study of the Italian language, understood both in the narrow sense of verbal communication, but also in the larger sense of textual messages: literary, cinematic, historical, art-historical, and mass-cultural.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 32. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Required Courses
ITAL 1000Advanced Italian I1
Select one of the following:1
Advanced Italian II
Masterpieces-Italian Literature
Italian History on Screen: How Movies Tell the Story of Italy
Select 10 course units of Electives 210
Research Requirement
Must be taken in the Department at Penn
Total Course Units32

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Courses should cluster around no more than 2 scholarly disciplines or periods in Italian civilization. At least 3 courses must be taken in Italian Studies in Romance Languages, including at least 2 at the 3000-level in Italian. The disciplinary courses should include at least 2 in History, 1 of which may be an Art History course. No more than 6 elective courses can be taken abroad.

Up to 8 courses taught in English may be chosen in Romance Languages or from courses in other departments if they have an Italian focus or an Italian cultural component.


Must have a minimum 3.5 GPA in the Major and a GPA of 3.3 overall.

ITAL 4000Honors Thesis 11.0

Must be completed in the Department at Penn.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.