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Italian Studies

Italian Studies is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on the study of Italy from a multifaceted perspective: literary, cultural, historical, artistic, philosophical and political.

Italian Major

Registrar CodeDegree AwardedCompletion HoursCourses Required


Students must complete 36-42 credit hours in Italian Studies courses to complete the major. The required language sequence is 101,102, 201, 202, 301, 302 and two 470 courses, but students may waive courses in the sequence based on their placement :  

  • For students beginning with 101, 42 credit hours including 8 credits for the 101-102 sequence are required to complete the major.
  • For students beginning with 102, 38 credit hours including 4 credits for 102 are required.
  • For students beginning with courses numbered 201 or higher, 36 credit hours are required, including the language sequence classes that follow the initial enrolled course (i.e. 202, 301, 302, 470)  

    Regardless of placement, required components of the major include the following:  
  • 2 advanced level courses in Italian language (ITAL 470 topics classes or equivalents);  
  • 1 course in ITAL 300 level, either Culture or Literature (in English or Italian)   
  • 3 pre-approved courses (In Italian or English) offered at Emory University, either from the Italian studies program (any 200, 300 or 400 level) or another department, including but not limited to, Film Studies, History, Art History, Music, Political Science, or Philosophy or abroad, where the main focus of the course is Italian culture, literature, art, politics etc.  


ITAL 101 and ITAL 102 or approval of the Program Director

Italian Minor

Registrar CodeCompletion HoursCourses Required


Students may minor in Italian language or Italian studies. Students must complete 21 to 27 credit hours depending on their placement level:               

  •  For students beginning with 101, 27 credit hours including 8 credits for the 101-102 sequence are required. 
  •  For students beginning with 102, 23 credit hours including 4 credits for 102 are required.
  • For students beginning with courses numbered 201 or higher a minimum of 21 credit hours are required, including the language sequence classes that follow the initial enrolled course (i.e. 202, 301, 302)   

A focus on Italian language, requiring six courses conducted in language + 1 elective: 

  1. Ital 101/102 pre-requisites  
  2. Ital 201/202; plus  
  3. Ital 301/302  
  4. 1 course on the topics of Italian culture or literature  

A focus on Italian culture, requiring four courses conducted in language and the two culture courses may be taken in English. The four courses in Italian language typically are:  

  1. Ital 101/102 pre-requisites  
  2. Ital 201/202; plus  
  3. Three further courses must be taken on topics of Italian culture or literature.  

Courses from various majors that typically offer classes related to Italy and Italian studies may be considered for this requirement. As the course offering of each department varies considerably from semester to semester, you must submit via email any course you believe satisfies these requirements to the attention of the Program Director for written approval prior to taking the course. Approval after the course has already been taken is rarely granted.

Honors Program

Information on the general College requirements for the Honors Program is located in the College catalog.


  • The student must be a major in Italian Studies and must have completed their third-year courses by the end of their junior year.
  • The student must have a cumulative average of 3.70. Exceptions to the 3.70 average requirements may be made by the Honors Committee in individual cases upon recommendation by the program faculty.
  • As the major is in Italian Studies if appropriate the honors requirements must be conducted in collaboration with the student's other major department. Generally, the graduate methods course or seminar, which is highly encouraged, is conducted in the partner department.
  • The student must obtain the approval of both the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Italian Studies and the faculty member from the partner department who will co-direct the Honors Thesis.


(a) Two semesters of Honors Directed Studies

  1. Italian 495A (Research)
  2. Italian 495B (Writing)
    Both courses will count towards the major.

(b) Successful completion of the Honors Thesis

(c) Successful completion of an examination, written and/or oral, covering the honors work, including the thesis, will be given during the final semester of the Honor's program. The panel of three examiners is chosen in conjunction with the student's Honors advisors and shall include one examiner from outside the department.

Graduation with Honors (3.70 GPA minimum)

The degree of Honors (Honors, cum laude; High Honors magna cum laude; or Highest Honors, summa cum laude) will be decided by the examiners in accordance with College policy (see College catalog for details)

Other Honors

Sigma chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the national Romance language honor society, was installed at Emory in 1930.

Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.7, to be enrolled at Emory for both semesters in which they are pursuing honors, to be in residence, and enrolled in at least one hour of honors research during the final semester of their participation in the Honors Program, to complete the mandatory orientation in Canvas and any other required trainings, to write and defend an honors thesis, and to submit all required honors forms and complete the ETD submission process.

Additionally, many departments have their own requirements for honors students; be sure to check with your Departmental Honors Coordinator to find out what, if any, additional requirements you must meet.

Admission to the Emory College Honors Program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above, and students must maintain a cumulative 3.7 GPA through graduation to be eligible to graduate with Honors.

Only Emory grades (including Emory-sponsored study abroad programs and courses offered at Emory but outside the College, such as those offered by the Goizueta Business School) are calculated as part of a student’s Emory GPA.

In May and August, the Honors Committee considers petitions to be admitted to Honors from students who do not meet the 3.7 cumulative GPA requirement. Students who have a GPA of at least 3.45, and the support of their departmental honors coordinator and potential thesis advisor are eligible to petition.

Students who are admitted by petition must earn at least the cumulative GPA with which they entered the Honors Program.

Thus, if a student enters the Honors Program through a petition with a 3.5 cumulative GPA, that student must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA in every subsequent semester to be eligible to continue in the Honors Program.