Italian: Major or Minor

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Why Study Italian?

Learn about the language, literature and culture of Italian-speaking world regions: Italy, but also Argentina, Canada, Switzerland, the United States and more. The undergraduate program will develop your research and analytical skills, enhance your capacity for aesthetic appreciation, strengthen your powers of observation and self-expression, and prepare you for cross-cultural, global interaction.

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Degree Requirements

The Italian undergraduate tracks cover a wide range of disciplines and historical periods while providing linguistic proficiency and cultural fluency. Students gain breadth and depth of knowledge in Italian Studies as they earn credits necessary for fulfilling a major, a joint major or a minor.

Academic Advisement (ITA 200+)

BA in Italian

24 credits (including double and triple majors; for double degree combinations, see below):

  • Three credits of lower (200) level coursework: ITA 207, taken prior to upper-level courses; letter grade required; minimum GPA 2.5
  • 21 credits of upper (300/400) level coursework: seven courses including ITA 322 and six electives; breadth in time periods and topics strongly encouraged; letter grades required; minimum cumulative GPA 2.5

Joint Major

21 credits (with a major in another BA track in a separate department; not for double degrees):

  • Three credits of lower (200) level coursework: ITA 207, taken prior to upper-level courses; letter grade required; minimum GPA 2.5
  • 18 credits of upper (300/400) level coursework: six courses including ITA 322 and five electives; breadth in time periods and topics strongly encouraged; letter grades required; minimum cumulative GPA 2.5

Minor in Italian

12 credits

  • Three credits of lower (200) level coursework: ITA 207, taken prior to upper-level courses; letter grade required; minimum GPA 2.5
  • Nine credits of upper (300/400) level coursework: three courses including ITA 322 and two electives; breadth in time periods and topics strongly encouraged; letter grades required; minimum cumulative GPA 2.5

Double Degree

A double degree combines a BA in Italian with, for example, a BS in Biology or a BFS in Music. Please see the Undergraduate Catalog for additional credit requirements. 

Residency Requirement

The department requires that at least 50% of credits necessary for a major, joint major or minor degree in Italian be completed on a local UB campus. The remaining 50% may be fulfilled through any combination of study abroad coursework, transfer courses, placement exams or other pre-approved credit-earning opportunities.

Prerequisites

Acceptance into the major, joint major, or minor degree in Italian requires satisfactory completion of prerequisites through ITA 152 or equivalent work, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Acceptance also requires a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.

If prerequisites are not fulfilled through departmental coursework, or if UB credit has not been articulated for qualified non-UB prerequisite work, an RLL faculty advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies may advise and, when necessary, determine satisfaction as well as coursework levels suited to the students’ linguistic abilities.

Students who are heritage or first speakers of Italian must meet with an RLL faculty advisor before enrolling in any Italian courses to determine an appropriate level of study.

The following is a guide for completing prerequisites in the department, and shows how previous instruction may help fulfill them. RLL faculty advisors or the Director of Undergraduate Studies can assist with any questions.

No Prior Italian Instruction Average Preparation
(~ 2 years)
Intermediate Preparation
(~ 4 years)
Advanced Preparation
(~ 6+ years)
ITA 101 (5 credits) ITA 104 (5 credits) ITA 151 (3 credits) No courses required
ITA 102 (5 credits) ITA 151 (3 credits) ITA 152 (3 credits)  
ITA 151 (3 credits) ITA 152 (3 credits)    
ITA 152 (3 credits)      

Completing Required Credits

There are several ways for students to fulfill required credits for the major, joint major or minor: 

Departmental Coursework (as detailed above)

  • Course levels should ordinarliy be completed in sequence: Foundational 200-level courses should be successfully completed before advanced courses at the 300- and 400-levels (unless an RLL faculty advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies advises otherwise).
  • Occasionally (and by prior written permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies), students may obtain exceptions, such as substitution of advanced courses for foundational courses, or credit for an internship or a course taken in another department toward one advanced elective course.
Study Abroad
  • RLL faculty advisement on program and course selection is required prior to participation for students who wish to count study abroad courses toward their major or minor. For further information, visit the Office of Study Abroad or see Study Abroad with RLL.

AP or Similar Credit

  • Advanced standing and university credit may be awarded to students who complete college-level work in high school. UB awards credit based on AP exam scores, IB exam scores for certificates and diplomas, GCE exam scores and CLEP exam scores. Visit University Admissions for more information.

Transfer Coursework

  • Some course articulations are available on the TAURUS website. Italian faculty advisors will review syllabi upon request.

Other Opportunities

  • Including internships, guided creative or research activity, or independent study, all of which require approval by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

For all study abroad, transfer courses and/or AP or similar credit, the department’s residency requirement (see above) always applies.

How to Apply

Once prerequisites are complete, acceptance into the major, joint major or minor requires an application to the major or minor and a current Academic Advisement Report (AAR), available through HUB

Please Note: Early or provisional acceptance is  possible during the semester of the last prerequisite.

For students who do not wish to submit an online application, paper copies are available from the department office. Completed paper applications and AARs may be submitted by mail or in person (between 8:30am and 5pm) to:

Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
910 Clemens Hall
University at Buffalo, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Contact Us

Language Advisement (ITA 101-ITA 152)
Paola Ugolini

915 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0865

ugolini@buffalo.edu

Assistant Professor
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
College of Arts and Sciences

Scholarly Interests: Early modern Italian literature, culture and conduct manuals; Satire; Chivalric poems; Gender studies

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915 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0865

ugolini@buffalo.edu

Language Advisement (ITA 200+)
Laura Chiesa

927 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0872

lchiesa@buffalo.edu

Associate Professor
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
College of Arts and Sciences

Scholarly Interests: Modern and Contemporary Italian and French Studies; Critical Theory; Architecture; Film and Visual Studies

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927 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0872

lchiesa@buffalo.edu