A building in the countryside.

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

» Italian Studies

Benvenuti! Welcome to the Italian Studies program! 

Our program offers a full range of instruction from elementary language classes to upper level courses in Italian and Italian-American literature, film and culture. We are a group of committed professors dedicated to assisting individual students in growing professionally and personally, both at Chapman University and on an international level. Chapman University's italophile character also offers numerous possibilities to experience Italy while on campus through student events organized by the Italian Club, operas performed by the Conservatory of Music, numerous Italian American and International celebrations and resources such as the Italian Heritage archive and group study room at the Leatherby Library.

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. Our students choose to fulfill the Multidisciplinary Cluster in Italian Studies or the Italian Studies Minor by completing coursework in Italian as well as by drawing from the rich disciplinary range of academic opportunities relating to Italian culture available at Chapman University.

+ - About Us

Irma Booker Irma Booker
Federico Pacchioni

Federico Pacchioni
Program Coordinator


Francesca Paduano
Italian club advisor

Pettinger Nadia Pettinger
Spanu Luisa Spanu

+ - Degrees Offered

The Italian studies program prepares students to become effective participants within Italian communities in America and abroad. In addition to language acquisition, students explore central aspects of Italian civilization, increasing their awareness of the influence of the Italian classics and their understanding of Italy’s modern condition, including both the highbrow domain and popular culture. By studying the work of thinkers of Medieval and Renaissance Italy and of those who led to national Unification in the 19th century, or by analyzing the experiences of Fascism and the World Wars and of modern anthropological and societal changes, students become aware of the vital relationship existing between literary and cinematic production and the history and identity of Italy.

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, we encourage Italian minors to experience Italy firsthand through the courses taught by our professors abroad during the summer and interterm on a travel course. In addition, students are encouraged to study abroad through a semester exchange program with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, the Umbra Institute in Perugia, as well as other programs in Rome and Florence. For more information click here: Italian.

+ - 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.

Visit Italian Club Website

Visit Italian Club Blog

 President: Avery Cardosi

 Advisor: Professor Francesca Paduano

+ - The Italian Studies Council

council logo

The Italian Studies Council is a philanthropic group whose goal is to bridge higher learning in Italian Studies with the possibilities and needs of the community locally and abroad. The Council aims to support Italian Studies at Chapman and raise students’ awareness regarding the potential applications of their studies in various areas of cultural, artistic and business entrepreneurship.

Download Brochure »

For information contact: Vicky Carabini or Federico Pacchioni

+ - What are our graduates doing now?


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

IS Alumni GroupThe 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.