New York University’s Department of Italian Studies is the largest free-standing Italian department in North America, with faculty expertise that includes a range of historical periods and methodologies, spanning from medieval literature to neorealist cinema. Students can take courses in topics such as Renaissance epic, Futurism, literary translation, avant-garde literature, opera, Italian American culture, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Classes are conducted in both Italian and English.
We offer one-on-one faculty advising for students who choose to write honors theses and/or present their work at our annual undergraduate research symposium. Through our department, students have access to the bountiful event programming of the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and have the opportunity for internships and scholarships. Majors and minors are encouraged to enrich their studies by spending at least one semester at NYU’s breathtaking Florence campus.
Students of Italian studies gain cultural fluency and research experience that prepares them for graduate study and for careers in a range of fields.
Honors Program in Italian Studies
To qualify for honors in the Italian studies major, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.65 and a major GPA of 3.65 or higher. Students who wish to pursue honors should contact the director of undergraduate studies for an application during the junior year. The director of undergraduate studies may, by petition to the director of college honors, consider strong candidates who do not meet the GPA threshold of 3.65.
Honors majors complete an 8-credit sequence consisting of ITAL-UA 999 Senior Honors Seminar, taken in the fall of senior year, and ITAL-UA 990 , taken in the spring of senior year. Both count as advanced courses for the major. Students work closely with a departmental faculty member who becomes the honors thesis adviser (chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies). The thesis should be a work of scholarship and/or criticism from 40 to 60 pages in length. In consultation with a second faculty reader, the student’s thesis adviser determines whether or not to recommend him or her for honors in Italian. A grade of at least A- is required for the award of honors. Students receiving a lower grade will simply be awarded 8 credits toward the major.
Students are able to study at NYU Florence in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. While most courses are taught in English, NYU Florence also offers an Italian immersion program for Italian majors and minors, as well as for those whose language abilities are sufficiently advanced. Advanced students are also eligible to take courses at the Università di Firenze. Students can study abroad in the summer through the 6-week program Summer in Florence, which offers courses in Italian language as well as literature, cinema, opera, and art history. Visit the department’s website for more study away information.
Accelerated BA/MA Program in Italian Studies
Undergraduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for the five-year program in Italian Studies. For full-time students in CAS, tuition for the fifth year is offered at a 50 percent discount, and the application fee and GRE exam are waived. Majors in Italian may apply to the program once they have completed between 48 and 96 credits toward the BA Students in the program must satisfy all of the requirements of both the BA and MA; there is no double-counting of courses. To complete the program in five years, students must finish at least a fourth of the master’s requirements (two graduate courses) before the beginning of the fifth year. For further information about the BA/MA, contact the department’s director of graduate studies.
New York University's Office of Undergraduate Admissions supports the application process for all undergraduate programs at NYU. For additional information about undergraduate admissions, including application requirements, see How to Apply.