The major in Italian explores Italy’s vital role in the formation of Western thought and culture. The core language courses bring students to a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills; provide a solid literary and historical background in the language; and prepare students for study in Italy. Other offerings build on the core courses to explore Italian literature, film, history, culture, and art. The Italian major is of particular relevance to the fields of art, art history, economics, film studies, history, international relations, linguistics, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Students who would like to study Italian thought and culture before acquiring linguistic proficiency may take upper-level courses conducted in English. Comparative and interdepartmental courses are also offered.

Combined B.A./M.A. Program in Italian

Yale College allows Italian majors to complete the Italian B.A. and M.A. degrees simultaneously in four years, provided the student meets certain requirements. Admission to the program is limited, and students should apply through the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) no later than the last day of classes in their fifth term of enrollment in Yale College.


The placement examination in Italian will be offered on line prior to the start of the fall term. Students who have studied Italian in high school, taken the AP Italian test, or completed course work in Italy are advised to take the placement test. Details will be published in the Calendar for the Opening Days, on the departmental Web site, and on the Center for Language Study Web site.

The core courses are:

  • ITAL 110, Elementary Italian I, and ITAL 120, Elementary Italian II, a two-term introduction to Italian and the first course in the two-year sequence ITAL 110, ITAL 120, and ITAL 130, ITAL 140.
  • ITAL 125, Intensive Elementary Italian, an accelerated beginning course that covers the material taught in ITAL 110 and ITAL 120 in one term.
  • ITAL 130, Intermediate Italian I, and ITAL 140, Intermediate Italian II, for students with one year of college-level Italian or a strong background in high school Italian (students with especially strong backgrounds in high school Italian may be admitted to ITAL 150, Advanced Composition and Conversation, or ITAL 151, Advanced Italian Workshop: Writing and Translation).

Candidates for the major must complete a course in Italian at the level of ITAL 130 (L3) or receive credit for equivalent work by the end of their sophomore year.