Study Italian at Boston University

Italian Studies at Boston University offers a comprehensive undergraduate preparation in the fields of Italian language, literature and culture.

The Section Head of the Italian Studies Program, Professor Nancy Harrowitz, teaches courses on 19th and 20th century Italian literature, on the Italian novel, on literature and film during/in response to the fascist period, and on Primo Levi, and is a specialist in Holocaust studies as well. The overall coordinator, Laura Brusetti McGinn, teaches all levels of Italian language courses as well as 313 “Italian Media and Popular Culture”. Jim Carter teaches courses on Italian film and on aspects of contemporary Italian culture. Rita Coté teaches LI 312 “Italian for the Professions” as well as reading, writing, and literature classes.  Our courses in advanced language and Italian culture (Italian media, Italian film) on the Boston campus are supplemented by the curriculum of our study abroad program (CIES/Center for Italian & European Studies) in  Padova in coordination with the Universita’ degli Studi di Padova.

Overview of the Program

All majors must take at least 11 courses, and all minors must take 6 courses 300-level and above. Out of these courses, majors/minors must fulfill each of the distributional requirements outlined in the posters below.

Major In Italian

Minor in Italian

To Declare a Major or Minor in Italian, please click here and follow the instructions based on your current school or college.

Peer Tutoring

Free peer tutoring is available to all students in first through fourth semester of Italian language courses. Please click here for further information.


Major in Italian Worksheet

Minor in Italian Worksheet

Placement Tests

Honors Program in Italian

The Honors Program in Italian Studies requires 15 courses in all, to be completed with an average GPA of at least 3.7.

Please click Honors Program in Italian Studies for more information on requirements for achieving honors in Italian Studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Advanced-low level proficiency (measured by ACTFL) in speaking, reading, writing and the understanding of spoken Italian, and the ability to use these skills in a range of academic and everyday situations.
  • Advanced knowledge of major periods of Italian literature and other cultural texts with understanding of historical, generic, or cultural context.
  • The capacity to read critically and closely, to interpret texts and to evaluate arguments about literary and cultural texts and topics.
  • The ability to produce an organized, well-supported argument in writing; to write clearly and persuasively; and to observe ethical and precise citation practices

Italian Language Administration

Photo of Nancy Harrowitz

Nancy Harrowitz

Head of Italian Section, Professor of Italian & Jewish Studies

Laura Brusetti McGinn

Coordinator of Italian Language Program, Master Lecturer in Italian