A building in the countryside of Italy.

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

» Italian Studies

Umbrellas in the sky in an alley in ItalyBenvenuti!
As a student of Italian, you will develop in your ability to participate in the Italian culture and community, you will be invited to share in an immersive and fertile experience of Italy both here and abroad, and you will see opening in front of you Italy’s precious humanistic knowledge incased in the cultural history and artistic production of yesterday and today. Given the richness of Italian culture across many disciplines and sectors of the arts, Italian Studies provides a highly versatile area of study, complementing various career paths in performance, music, history, art history, film, business, and more. Regardless of your professional goals, the study of Italy, so central to the history of the evolution of western civilization, brings a liberal arts quality to your education.

+ - About Us

We are a group of committed professors dedicated to assisting individual students in growing both personally and professionally. We will look forward to sharing with you our special and unique connection with Italy and life-long study of its culture. 

Federico Pacchioni
Federico Pacchioni
Program Coordinator

Francesca Paduano
Italian club advisor

Luisa Spanu
Irma Booker
Irma Booker
Nadia Pettinger

+ - Coursework

Italian Cinema. Our program offers a full range of instruction from elementary language classes to upper level courses in Italian culture and society. Our students acquire proficiency and fluency in the classroom through immersion in Italian paced to build linguistic competence and foster understanding of the artistic traditions and cultural history of Italy. Upper level courses further develop the students’ critical use of the language as well as knowledge of Italy. While introducing students to interdisciplinary research in cultural studies, the curriculum also aims to nurture connections with the students’ professional goals and personal interests. Therefore, our students also choose to complete coursework by drawing from the rich disciplinary range of academic opportunities relating to Italian culture available at Chapman University.
View Course Catalogs.

+ - Degrees Offered

Art and ceramics in Italy.You can integrate a focus on Italian alongside your other major/s and minors with an Italian Studies Multidisciplinary Cluster (12 credits) or with a minor (21 credits), or you can choose to make it a central component of your studies by enrolling in the B.A. in Global Communication and World Languages/Italian (45 credits) or by creating a self-designed B.A. in Italian Studies (27+ credits).

No matter the type of degree selected, flexible curricular requirements give you the freedom to select from a large array of courses taught in Italian as well as in English focusing on Italy from a variety of disciplinary lenses and approaches. As you develop your fluency in the language, you will develop familiarity with the literary canon, cinema, and theater of Italy, but also with the country’s popular culture, contemporary society, food culture, and business world. If you are particularly interested in a specific aspect of Italy–such as cinema, history, or music–you will also be able to complete your degree by integrating courses offered beyond the Italian Studies program.

Multidisciplinary Cluster in Italian Studies: 12 Credits. Students have the option of counting either ITAL 201 or ITAL 202, but not both, to complete the Italian Studies cluster requirements. For more information, please visit the general education pages.

Minor in Italian Studies: 21 credits. For more information please see the course catalog
Access the Form to Declare a Minor »

Self-Designed Major in Italian Studies: 27 credits. 
Access the Form for a Self-Designed Major »

+ - Study Abroad in Italy

Chapman Student participating in the semester exchange program in Italy

In order to learn the necessary socio-cultural skills to be able to communicate effectively with Italian speakers, and to understand the extremely varied and complex realities that Italy comprises, we invite you to experience Italy firsthand through our travel courses during the summer and interterm.

We currently offer an intensive 3-week semester abroad during the summer in Taormina, Sicily, where students take a language course at their own level, live with a local family, and engage in various field trips and exploratory assignments. Enrollment in our travel courses is competitive and depends on successful application. Travel grants are available.

In addition, you are encouraged to consider undertaking one of the semester of study abroad offered by the Chapman’s Center for Global Education, such as the Umbra Institute in Perugia and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (for more information click here).

+ - Italian Club

Italian ClubThe goal of the Italian Club at Chapman University is to create a social network among people with the common passion for Italian culture and language. We wish to promote the Italian lifestyle through cultural understanding and social interactions with the greater Italian community of Orange County. Film showings, Italian board games, Italian food demonstrations and fairs, Italian Carnevale and field trips, are just some of the ways students can become involved. The club is also a great opportunity for students interested in studying or working abroad, as it provides a casual and fun setting outside the classroom environment to hone language skills and to learn about the regional cultures that make up the country of Italy.

+ - The Italian Studies Council

+ - Students’ Opportunities

Chapman University's italophile character offers numerous possibilities to experience Italy while on campus through numerous artistic and cultural events organized by our program, social gathering and networking opportunities with the local Italian community, moments of playful learning organized by the student-led Italian Club, Italian operas performed at the Musco Center for the Arts, and more! Below is a list of grants applications and other opportunities available to Chapman Italian Studies students.

+ - What are our graduates doing now?

Briana Salatino

Briana Salatino, BA2018
"The Italian studies B.A. complemented my other coursework in public relations, advertising, and sociology, while also allowing me to heighten my communication skills. I was also able to apply my professional focus internationally by analyzing the link between cultural identity and advertisement while studying in Perugia, Italy. Because of my Italian studies education, I now have the necessary tools to communicate with Italians and effectively participate in Italian communities. In the future, I hope to facilitate my employer’s expansion to thriving cities such as Milan and Bologna in Italy and lead new initiatives there."

  • Fair Assistant at The Other Art Fair Los Angeles (managing communication with international artists, many of whom Italian). 


Alessandra Sternberg

Alessandra Sternberg, BA2018
"The Italian Studies major gave me the opportunity to deepen my own Italian heritage as well as to combine my passion for film with the study of Italian language, literature, and culture. I was able to actively participate and experience the Italian lifestyle directly through many rewarding experiences, such as studying abroad for a semester at the Cattolica University in Milan and taking a travel course in Sicily. In the future, I intend to pursue graduate work in film studies with an emphasis on Italian cinema and find work in Italy."

  • International Federation of Film Archives summer school program at the L’Immagine Ritrovata restoration lab in Bologna.

Melissa Marino, BA2017
"Being involved with the Italian Studies program at Chapman changed the course of both my college and post-grad career. The education I received from the incredible professors here challenged me and stretched me as well as provided me with a myriad of new opportunities. By being involved with the Italian studies program and with the Italian club, I was chosen to be a National Collegiate Italian-American Scholar, and I later received a full scholarship to pursue a master's degree in Italy from the same organization. These opportunities would not have been possible without the help, encouragement and knowledge of the Chapman Italian Studies program."

  • Master in Performing Arts Management at Teatro La Scala in Milan
  • National Italian American Foundation, Italian American Leadership Council Fellow Program

Marco Saglimbeni, BA2017
"Although my career path will follow my Biological Sciences major, the opportunity and experience of studying Italian at Chapman challenged me intellectually and allowed me to achieve a personal goal of being able to speak Italian with my grandparents and relatives. The Italian program prepared me exceptionally well to study abroad in Perugia, allowing me to fully integrate myself into the city’s unique Italian culture and create a lifetime of memories."

  • Master of Business & Science, Keck Graduate Institute of the Claremont Colleges
  • Volunteer Assistant to the Executive Director of the Italian Scientists & Scholars of North America Foundation


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Contact Us!

Federico Pacchioni, PhD
Associate Professor
Musco Endowed Chair in Italian Studies
Department of Languages
Chapman University 
(714) 744-7846

Alumni Group

The Chapman Italian Studies Alumni LinkedIn Group was created to enable you to remain connected with Chapman University Italian Studies alumni and to share your Italy-related professional and personal experiences.