» 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.

  • Coursework
  • Cluster and Minor
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Our program offers a full range of instruction from elementary language classes to upper level courses in Italian culture and society. 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, students also choose to complete coursework by drawing from the rich disciplinary range of academic opportunities relating to Italian culture available at Chapman University.

    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).

  • Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster in Italian Studies. The cluster is open to all majors and allows students to bring an introductory exploration of the language and culture of Italy into their education. It consists of four courses (12 credits), of which ITAL 201 can be one, drawing from a broad list of offerings across various field. For more information, please visit the general education pages and review related section in the Italian Studies Advising Guide.

    Minor in Italian Studies. The minor is open to all majors and allows students to reach advanced proficiency in Italian, gain an understanding of key facets of Italian modern and contemporary culture, and deepen specific disciplinary areas of interest. It consists of seven courses (21 credits), of which ITAL 201 can be one, fulfills Chapman University’s Language Requirement, and allows for some sharing with other General Education requirements and the student’s major. For more information, see the course catalog and related section in the Italian Studies Advising Guide. Access the Form to Declare a Minor »

  • The Self-Designed B.A. in Italian Studies. Best suited for self-directed students aiming at a high level of language proficiency and advanced cultural studies research, this degree plan capitalizes on the interdisciplinary nature of Italian Studies by offering students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in designing a personalized study plan. By drawing from the wide array of courses offered at Chapman University in art, history, culture, media, and more, the self-designed major allows for the opening up new of directions across existing disciplines and career paths and the discovery and application of the student’s distinct critical and creative perspective and goals. The SD major consists of a minimum of 27 credits and can include individual studies tailored to the student’s interests. For more information Access the Form for a Self-Designed Major.

    The B.A. in Global Communication and World Languages (Italian). This degree is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine their interests in Italian with the study of evidence–based communication approaches to create shared meaning and understanding of messages. Students become productive global citizens as they learn how to engage in rigorous application of communication theory and research while increasing linguistic and practical skills and broadening their awareness of culture to prepare for the global workplace. Graduates are in high demand as they combine core communication skills with high-level proficiency in a world language. They will be able to pursue careers in diplomacy, government, health care professions, journalism, NGOs, philanthropic organizations with international reach and more. The nine-credit hour Capstone sequence, which includes a service learning course/internship, intensive research in their chosen language, and a senior seminar in the global workplace, will provide students with hands on experience, which future employers will value. The major consists of 45 credits taken through the School of Communication and Italian Studies. For more information, click here.

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Study 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 Universityà Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (learn more about studying abroad).

Students' Stories

Briana SalatinoBriana 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 SternbergAlessandra 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.


MarinoMelissa 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


SaglimbeniMarco 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."

  • Volunteer Assistant to the Executive Director of the Italian Scientists & Scholars of North America Foundation
  • Member of the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club where he takes Italian classes and plays for their men's soccer team

Students’ Opportunities

Chapman University's italophile character offers numerous possibilities to experience Italy while on student-opportunities.jpgcampus 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.

Italian Club

Italian Club at Paul's Pasta partyThe 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.

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.

Italian Studies Council

The Italian Studies Council