Loyola University Chicago

Modern Languages and Literatures


The major in Italian offers students the opportunity to master skills of language acquisition and literary and cultural knowledge as cross-cultural communicative competence while developing multicultural awareness of Italian speakers in Italy and around the world. Our program prepares students to think critically and to develop advanced reading comprehension skills and allows them to gain knowledge of Italian language, literature, film and culture.


The major sequences begins with Italian 250 and 251 (Advanced Conversation and Composition) and with Italian 270 and 271 (Introduction to the Study of Italian Literature and Culture). Stu-dents then complete the required Italian 312 (Dante and the Divine Comedy) and 5 additional Italian courses at the 300-level among courses including engaged learning Ital 395 Internship courses offered both in Chicago and at the JFRC Rome center. Students are required to complete a major E-Portfolio.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Show intermediate to advanced proficiency in speaking, understanding, reading and writing
  • Demonstrate literary knowledge of both Italian historical contexts and Italian poetry and prose literary forms
  • Show knowledge of contemporary Italian society (in Italy) and Italian cultural life (in Italy and elsewhere) including knowledge of how the films of leading Italian and Italian American directors reflect changing concepts of italianita’ (Italian-ness)
  • Understand the principle characteristics which define Italian culture
  • Examine, describe and analyze numerous cultural expressions in order analyze key elements of Italian cultural identity and make cross-cultural, intercultural comparisons
  • Establish connections between literature, film, and society in Italian culture
  • Foster a lifelong interest and enthusiasm for the study of Italian language, literature and culture

Professional use

  • Government and non-profit organizations
  • Foreign service
  • International business
  • International law
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Tourism and hospitality industry
  • Study abroad careers 
  • Translation

Italian 300-Level Course Descriptions

Required 200-level Courses

  • 250 & 251: Composition & Conversation I & II. Courses designed to develop greater fluency in speech and writing
  • 270 & 271: Main Currents of Italian Literature I & II. Courses designed to acquaint the student with the main currents of Italian literature through the study of selected representative works

Note: 200-level courses are prerequisites for 300-level courses.

Required 300-level Course

  • 312: Dante: The Divine Comedy

Five additional 300-level courses may be chosen from among the following:

  • 300: Tutorial for Credit
  • 301: Stylistics
  • 308: Literary Criticism
  • 314: Survey of Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century Literature
  • 315: Italian Renaissance Literature
  • 316: The Renaissance Chivalric Poems
  • 317: Early Nineteenth Century Literature
  • 318: Late Nineteenth Century Literature
  • 319: Twentieth Century Novel
  • 320: Twentieth Century Poetry
  • 331: Italian Theater
  • 340: The Short Story in Italian Literature
  • 390: Culture and Civilization
  • 398: Senior Seminar
  • 399: Honors Tutorial

Current Loyola students: 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.

Students with prior knowledge of Italian: Please contact a full-time Italian faculty member before registering for a class.

Departmental Honors

Students graduating with Departmental Honors take one Honors Tutorial (Italian 399) in addition to the above requirements.