Interdepartmental Program in Italian Studies

Minor in Italian Studies

The Italian Studies minor at Brandeis offers you 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 you to explore another culture in depth in preparation for study abroad and eventual graduate work or related opportunities in the workplace.

Why Brandeis?

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 you to deepen your understanding of Italian culture beyond the boundaries of a single time frame, region, gender, genre, or academic discipline. You will work closely with an advisor 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.

Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM)

Students interested in the IIM option in Italian Studies should visit the Office of Academic Services website for application information and discuss various options with the Italian Studies faculty members.


The IIM Proposal in Italian Studies consists of 3 parts:

  • Cover Sheet, signed by the student and the Undergraduate Advising Head in Italian Studies

  • Completed Proposed Curriculum for the Independent Interdisciplinary Major

  • 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.

Visit the Academic Advising website to learn more about declaring an Independent Interdisciplinary Major.


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 in the Bulletin 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.

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.


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.