Italian Graduate Studies

The Italian Program offers an MA degree program spanning many aspects of Italian studies including literature, culture, politics, and the visual arts. Our graduate course offerings cover all literary periods from the Middle Age to the contemporary. We encourage our graduate students to develop and hone their research skills and we support them in building a solid foundation for their future academic endeavors. They receive cutting-edge pedagogical training that make them better teachers and communicators, and that prepare them for a variety of professional paths.

MA students in Italian are encouraged to explore other cultural traditions and other disciplines. They can enroll in courses offered by other language programs within the Modern Languages and Linguistics Department, and they can profit from our interdisciplinary collaborations with Departments such as Art History, English, Classics, History, Music and Women’s Studies.

Students holding a degree from our program have gone on to pursue PhD degrees in Italian (Harvard, UCLA, Johns Hopkins among others), in other disciplines (for example, Communication, but also Law School, Medical School, Veterinary School); some of them work in the fields of translation, import-export, K-12 education, Instructional Technologies, Language Instruction Coordination, and Study Abroad Programs.


REQUIREMENTS (for general University requirements and for information on how to submit an online application, see Graduate-Studies): BA in Italian Studies or equivalent for admission to the MA program; complete and acceptable ("good standing") academic transcripts; GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale; departmental approval, consisting of the collective appraisal of the program faculty. The application is then submitted to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for appropriate action. Before beginning graduate work in Italian, a student normally has an undergraduate major or minor in Italian Studies, but we also consider students from different disciplinary backgrounds.


Graduate students in Italian are eligible for Teaching Assistantships and a range of scholarships and other awards, many of them supported by the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Memorial Fund. These include teaching assistantships, W-K Salary enhancements, and travel and research funds.


MA in Italian Studies

Requirements for the MA in Italian Studies include course work and a final written Comprehensive Examination. A minimum of 32 semester hours in graduate courses (including Minor, if any) must be earned and at least 21 of these must be taken for a letter grade.

Required courses include a distribution of coursework across the centuries. Courses are not offered as exam preparation; rather, course work provides the basis for the student to further synthesize and expand their knowledge during exam preparation.

MA Comprehensive Examination in Italian Studies

The Italian Studies MA track concludes with a written MA Comprehensive Examination. The Exam takes place in the last weeks of the Spring semester (usually early April) and is based on the exam text list the candidate prepares with the members of their Exam Committee. The student will take three written exams which will cover three main disciplinary areas, established with the Committee members. The detailed format for the MA Comprehensive Examination is outlined in the Graduate Studies Handbook.

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