Contact the Undergraduate Advising Head, Paola Servino.

The Italian Studies Undergraduate Departmental Representatives (UDRs) for 2016-17 are: 

Looking for a group to study with? Check out B.U.G.S.

Want to investigate what you can do with an Independent Interdisciplinary Major in Italian Studies? Visit the Hiatt Career Center here!

Special Announcements

image of poster for Critical Made in Italy
Critical Made in Italy: Italian Design
A talk with Daniele Balicco
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Shiffman 219
10:00–10:50 AM & 11:0011:50 AM

Sponsored by the Italian Studies program in collaboration with Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University. This event is in connection with ITAL 20 but all are welcome to attend!

image of poster for Critical Made in Italy
MADE in ITALY: La giornata della Lingua Italiana
Friday, April 7, 2017
9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Golding Auditorium
This is a friendly competition among high school students who will create a skit, a song, or other form of expression in Italian!
Presented in collaboration with and sponsored by the MITA, a chapter of the AATI New England. A limited number of available seating for Brandeis community members. RSVP to by March 31.

For more information and other upcoming events, please see our Current Events page.

Masks in Motion photo

Check out more photos from our Masks in Motion commedia dell'arte event on the ROMS News page!

Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM) in Italian Studies

Brandeis offers students the opportunity to focus on the cultural heritage of Italy from the inception of the Italian language to the present day. The study of Italy’s language and creative achievements enables a student to explore another culture in depth in preparation for study abroad and eventual graduate work or related opportunities in the workplace.

Please follow this link to:
Learning Goals for Italian Studies

Curriculum Overview

Italian Studies provides a minor and an independent major (through an Independent Interdisciplinary Major or IIM) for those who wish to extend their study of Italian beyond language and culture to areas of Italian literature, history, film, art history, and music. The study of Italian within a variety of cultural contexts enables students to deepen their understanding of Italian culture beyond the boundaries of a single time frame, region, gender, genre, or academic discipline.

Students in the program work closely with an adviser to develop an individualized plan of study that balances the exploration of a broad range of topics and sectors with a focus on a single discipline or cultural period.

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The IIM consists of 9 semester courses:

  1. One or two advanced language and culture course(s): ITAL 105a and/or ITAL 106a.

  2. Two upper level courses in Italian: ITAL 110a, 120b, 128a, or 134b.

  3. 4-5 electives listed below or other courses on Italian-related culture approved by the student’s Italian Studies advisor. Senior Experience: Students must complete either a one-semester independent study or senior essay course (IIM 97a, IIM 97b, IIM 98a or IIM 98b) or a two-semester senior research course (IIM 99d).

    • An Italian Studies IIM student who wishes to do an internship in an Italian environment may enroll in ITAL 92a (Internship and Analysis) as one of their electives. Students arrange their own internships with prior permission of the Undergraduate Advising Head.
  4. The total number of courses for the major must add up to 9 courses. If students choose the senior thesis option, students must take 2 semesters of 99d, for a total of 10 courses.

CLAS 115b Topics in Greek and Roman History
CLAS 120a
Age of Caesar
CLAS 121b
Money, Markets, and Society in the Ancient Mediterranean
CLAS 134b
The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
CLAS 136b
Roman Technology, Medicine, and Art
CLAS 140a
Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Greek and Roman Art and Text
CLAS 145b
Topics in Greek & Roman Art/Archaeology
CLAS 150b
Pompeii: Life in the Shadow of Vesuvius
CLAS 151a 
Greece, Rome, Myth, and the Movies
CLAS 165a
Roman Sex, Violence, & Decadence in Translation
COML 103b
Madness & Folly in Renaissance Literature
FA 45b
Art of the Early Renaissance in Italy
FA 46b
High and Late Renaissance in Italy
FA 48a
Baroque in Italy and Spain
FA 145a
St. Peter's and the Vatican
FA 191b
Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art
FYS 48a
JustBooks: Voicing the Outrage of Silence, Social Justice and the Mafia
HIST 103a
Roman History to 455 CE
HIST 123a
The Renaissance
HIST 131a
Hitler's Europe in Film (when topic is related to Italian Studies)
HIST 139b
Fascism East and West
HIST 140a
A History of Fashion in Europe
HIST 142a
Crime, Deviance, and Confinement in Modern Europe (when topic is related to Italian Studies)
HIST 142b
History of Sexualities in Europe
HIST 170a
Italian Films, Italian Histories

At the end of their courses in Italian Studies (usually during the spring semester of the senior year), all students pursuing an IIM in Italian Studies will participate in an oral presentation and discussion of a sample of their work that best demonstrates their proficiency in and knowledge of Italian Studies.

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How to Become an Independent Interdisciplinary Major

Students interested in the Independent Interdisciplinary Major option in Italian Studies should contact the Office of Academic Services or visit for application information and discuss various options with the Italian Studies faculty members.

The IIM Proposal in Italian Studies consists of 3 parts

  1. Cover Sheet, signed by the student and the Undergraduate Advising Head in Italian Studies
  2. Completed Proposed Curriculum for the Independent Interdisciplinary Major
  3. Written Proposal (2-3 pages)

The written proposal should address:     

  • A description of how the major contributes to your intellectual development.
  • A discussion of the curriculum and how the courses contribute to your course of study.
  • (Optional): A description of your post-Brandeis plans.

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To be considered for departmental honors upon graduation, students must successfully complete two semesters of IIM 99d, and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in all Italian Studies courses. Departmental honors are awarded based on cumulative excellence in all courses taken in the IIM, including the senior essay and thesis.


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Opportunities beyond the Classroom

In addition to studying abroad, students are encouraged to take advantage of resources within the  Boston Area Consortium (Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University and Wellesley College).

The Hiatt Career Center has a page devoted to Italian Studies, which has a host of information specific to Independent Interdisciplinary Majors in Italian Studies. For sample internships, alumni career paths, transferable skills, and links to professional websites, please visit the Hiatt Italian Studies Page.

The Hiatt Center has also compiled student destination data from Post-Grad surveys over the last five years. To discover career paths other students have pursued, please visit the First Destination Data Page.

More information can be found on the Internship & Job Opportunities section of the ROMS website.

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CET Intensive Language and Cultural Studies in Siena, Italy

If you are thinking about spending a summer in Siena, Italy to learn Italian (even if you are a total beginner) in addition to taking elective courses in a wide variety of other subjects, the CET program in Siena would be perfect for you!

Just go on the CET website and explore the possibilities. It would be a good idea to remember that the Brandeis application deadline for summer 2017 was in March so you should plan accordingly. In previous years, the Italian Studies program has offered a small scholarship of $400.00 to the first three people who applied. There are also other scholarships available.

Information about the summer 2018 will be posted here as soon as it is available.

Please contact the Study Abroad Office or Professor Servino for more information.

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