Loyola University Chicago

Modern Languages and Literatures

BA Italian Studies


The Italian Studies Major at Loyola University Chicago is an interdisciplinary program that offers students a learning experience in the field of the humanities with a focus on broader cultural, historical, and societal contexts beyond language studies.  Since antiquity, Italy has been a crossroad of civilizations connecting the ancient, medieval, and modern world of Europe. It continues to be an international cultural destination and a central passage in the Mediterranean connecting the Global North and South. For these reasons, while the mission of teaching and promoting the language and literature of Italy is at the core of our Program, the Italian Studies major extends its scope to include multiple interdisciplinary perspectives (Classics, Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, Global Studies, History, Philosophy, Theology, Music, and Sociology), placing the country, its language, and its peoples in a Mediterranean, European, and global contexts. 


The Italian Studies curriculum includes courses in the Italian language; Italian literature courses both in Italian and in translation; a 300-level internship course, with the possibility of completing it with international firms in Italy; and courses in other disciplines taught at Loyola. The Italian Studies major prepares students to work in a variety of fields that require an international background and solid intercultural skills. 


Learning outcomes 

By the completion of the Italian Studies Major program, students will 

  1. Acquirea low-advanced proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the Italian language 
  2. Analyze works ofItalian literature in the historical and social contexts in which they were created 
  3. Discern key elements ofthe Italian cultural identity both in the present and historically, making cross-cultural and intercultural comparisons 
  4. Achieve,in the Jesuit spirit, self-awareness of their role as active and engaged members of an expanding, global community outside of their own cultural frames of reference  
  5. Capitalize on the opportunity to complete an international internship related to their professional and career fields and on an immersion learning experience abroad at the Loyola John Felice Rome Center


Career Pathways 

By incorporating an international academic experience within their curriculum, students majoring in Italian Studies demonstrate competence in a foreign language, unique intercultural skills, an international outlook, and the ability to apply their skills to global challenges. All these valuable assets are highly marketable skills employers seek for, particularly in the field of law, finance, international business, international affairs, public policy, and education.  The rigorous academic content of the Italian Studies curriculum provides a solid basis for students who intend to further their education by pursuing a graduate degree in Italian Studies, International and Global Studies, Classical Studies, Philosophy, Theology, History, History of Art, and the Humanities at large. The internship will enable students to gain practical experience in working in Italian government institutions in Chicago or abroad, as well as in Italian and Italian American owned businesses and cultural organizations.


Faculty in Italian

The Italian Program is proud of its international and multilingual faculty members. All faculty in Italian are native of Italy or have native fluency in Italian, have lived abroad, and have taught in a variety of academic and non-academic settings. Check their profiles here (Link to Faculty pages)


Study Abroad

Students in the major have the opportunity to study abroad at the Loyola Rome campus, the John Felice Rome Center, choosing a one-semester, one-year or summer session program. Students at the JFRC form a tight-knit community in one of Europe's largest and most captivating capital cities. (Link to JFRC webpage)


Declaring the major

How do I declare the major? The first step to declaring the major is determining your language level and whether you need to take the Italian placement exam (see information below). Students with no prior knowledge of Italian do not need to take the placement test. They will fulfill the language requirement by successfully completing the sequence Italian 101-102, 103-104, and 250 or 251. Heritage students, or incoming students who have taken Italian in high school, may place into intermediate or advanced Italian. Students with AP credits may also begin their language studies at a higher level, continuing after 103-104 or 250-251, depending on their AP score, to higher-level Italian courses taught entirely in the target language.


To declare a major in Italian, print out a Declaration of Major Form from the College of Arts & Sciences, and bring the form to Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Crown Center 217. Upon declaring a major, you will be assigned a faculty advisor. It is your responsibility to arrange interviews with the advisor at least twice a year. Any questions should be addressed to the advisor. Majors will not be permitted to enroll in 300-level courses without the permission of the advisor.


Placement test

The exam can be taken from any computer with Internet access. After logging in, follow the instructions. Because the first exam results are used for placement, there is no reason to retake the exam. To begin the exam, go to: http://bit.ly/2PtdEwx. For more information about the Foreign Language Placement Exam follow this link (Link to the placement test webpage)



Students in the Italian Studies Major take a total of 10 courses to satisfy 30 credit hours of course work.


Required Courses (30 credit-hours)

All students must complete

  • A 3-credit hour Introductory, interdisciplinary course: LITR 161: Introduction to Italian Culture
  • 15 hours of course work in the Italian Language (5 courses)
  • A 3-hour Internship or service-learning course, which can be taken in Chicago or at the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC): ROST 370 International Internship – Rome Focus or ITAL 395
  • E-Portfolio Capstone work. This is a non-credit requirement.
  • 9 credit-hours (3 courses) of electives to be chosen from the four categories listed below

Here is a partial list of courses, divided into four groups. Please consult with your advisor for a complete list of courses.

  1. Current courses taught in Italian.
  2. Current and Past 100-200 courses in English

0 Italian 250: Composition & Conversation I

o Italian 251: Composition & Conversation II

o Italian 270: Main Currents of Ital Lit I

o Italian 271: Main Currents of Ital Lit II

0 Italian 290: the Italians

o Italian 300: Tutorial for Credit

o Italian 312: Dante: The Divine Comedy

o Italian 390: Culture & Civilization

o Italian 395: Internship

o Italian 397: Topics in Italian Literature

o Italian 399: Honors Tutorial

o ITAS 101: Introduction to Italian American Studies

o LITR 200: European Masterpieces

o LITR 202: European Novel

o LITR 161: Introduction to Italian Culture

o LITR 264: Italian Film Genre

o LITR 267: Italian Film History

o LITR 268: Italy: Cultural History

o LITR 268R: Italian Culture: Food & Wine

o LITR 280: World Masterpieces in Translation

o LITR 283: Major authors in Translation

o LITR 291: Italian & Italian American Women Writers



  1. Interdisciplinary courses in other departments at Loyola
  2. Current and past courses offered at the John Felice Rome Center

o CJC 351: Organized Crime

o CLST 206 Art of Ancient Greece (also offered in Rome)

o CLST 207 Art of the Roman World (also offered in Rome)

o CLST 276 World of Classical Rome (also offered in Rome).

o CLST 277 World of Late Antiquity (also offered in Rome).

o CLST 295 Women in the Classical World

o FNAR 345 Italian High Renaissance and Mannerist Art

o HIST 253A Barbarians and the Fall of the Roman Empire

o HIST 300D: Italian American Culture

o HIST 324 Italy 19th and 20th Centuries

o HIST 379A: Italian Americans in World War II

o HIST 379B: History of Italians in Chicago

o PHIL 288R: Italian Culture & Civilization in Rome

o PLSC 365 Italian Politics & Government

o THEO 266 Church and Global Cultures

o THEO 279 Rome and Catholicism

o CLST 206 Art of Ancient Greece

o CLST 276 World of Classical Rome

o CLST 334R Classical Archeology-Italy

o ENGL 318R The Writing of Fiction – Writing Rome

o ENVS 227R Ecology of the Mediterranean Sea

o FNAR 342 Art in Rome

o HIST 300 Topics – Emperors, Bishops, Barbarians

o HIST 324 19th and 20th Century Italy

o LITR 268R Italian Culture – Food and Wine of Italy

o MUSC 154R Introduction to Opera – Rome

o PHIL 277R Aesthetics – The aesthetic experience in Rome

o PHIL 288R Italian Culture & Civilization in Rome

o ROST 199 Topics in Rome Studies, Introductory

o ROST 299 Topics in Rome Studies, Intermediate

o ROST 300 Italy, Culture, and Context

o ROST 370 International Internship: Rome Focus

o ROST 382 Human Rights: The View from Rome

o ROST 390: Special Topics in Rome Studies

o ROST 399: Directed Readings in Rome Studies

o SOCL 267 Italy Today

 Double-Dipping Policy

This program observes the CAS Double-Dipping Policy regarding unique credits required for each declared major/minor. Additional information about the policy may be found at: Double-Dipping Policy



Spring 2023 Scheduled courses







ITAL 101 – Italian I

 MWF 8:15-9:05am

Antonio Romano – MWF 9:20-10:10am

Dennis Martinez – MWF 10:25-11:15am

Instructor of role – T/Th – 4:15-5:30pm

Elena Spilioti – TuTh 11:30am-12:45pm


ITAL 102 – Italian II

Anna Clara Ionta – MWF 10:25-11:15am

Alessandra Visconti – MWF 11:30am-12:20pm

Elena Spilioti – TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Claudia Defraia – TuTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

Claudia Defraia – TuTh 2:30pm-3:45pm


ITAL 103 – Italian III

Alessandra Visconti – MWF 10:25-11:15am


ITAL 104 – Italian IV

Anna Clara Ionta – MWF 11:30 – 12:20 pm


ITAL 251 – Composition & Coversation II

Anna Clara Ionta – MWF 2:45 – 3:35pm


ITAL 270 – Main Current of Ital II

 Cristina Lombardi-Diop - TTh 10:00-11:15am


ITAL 290 – The Italians

Anna Clara Ionta – MWF 1:40-2:30pm


LITR 161 – Intro to Italian Culture

Cristina Lombardi-Diop – TTh 2:30- 3:45 pm


LITR 264 – Italian Film Genre

Dennis Martinez TTh 11:30am-12:45pm

Dennis Martinez, TTh 10:00-11:15 am


LITR 200 - European Masterpieces

Instructor of role TTh 2:30-3:45 pm


LITR 202 - European Novel

Dennis Martinez –  MWF 12:35-13:25pm


LITR 280: World Masterpieces

Carla Simonini – TTh 20:30-3:45 pm


Italian Language and Literature Courses offered in Rome

Please consult the JFRC website https://www.luc.edu/rome/academics/spring2022courseofferings


For any questions, please contact Dr. Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Italian Program Undergraduate Director