Minor in Italian Studies

Minor in Italian Studies at Mason

**First Appearing in the 2013-2014 Catalogue (August 2013)**

The Minor in Italian Studies is the perfect minor to complement a wide variety of major programs, from Global Affairs to Art History.  It enables students to become linguistically and culturally proficient in the language, cultures, and artistic productions from the Italian peninsula as well as throughout the Italian-speaking world.  With courses in Italian language at the advanced level and others in English from within the department and across the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, students refine their ability to speak Italian at a high level of ability while developing the knowledge and critical analysis necessary to discuss the ways in which Italian language and culture manifests itself in Europe and around the world.

Our minor program is complemented by the activities of the Italian Club at GMU, a student-run organization that holds regular conversation hours and organizes group trips to events in the surrounding area, participating in the offerings of such institutions as the Italian Embassy and social organizations like Italians in DC.  Through GMU’s Center of Global Education, students can complete coursework towards the minor in such cities as Florence, Milan, and Rome.

The faculty in Italian is committed to providing quality instruction to our students in content-based language, culture and literature courses, and to serving our student population with attentive advising and support for their years studying Italian at Mason.  We look forward to welcoming students to this new and exciting minor! 

Please contact Professor Kristina Olson at kolson4@gmu.edu for more information.  The Minor will first appear in the 2013-14 catalogue; students may begin to declare a Minor in Italian Studies as of August 2013.


The Intermediate-Low proficiency level for all four modalities on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. This means that students must have completed Elementary, Intermediate and Gateway to Advanced Italian (ITAL 110, 210 and 250) or possess the level of proficiency equivalent to the completion of Gateway to Advanced Italian (ITAL 250).  The Minor in Italian Studies focuses primarily on the acquisition of the Italian language, but also approaches Italian studies from an interdisciplinary prospective.  Students must complete nine credits in Italian language and culture at the 300 and 400 levels in Italian.

They also must complete an additional three credits in Italian culture in English (either ITAL 320 or 325). The remaining six credits may be taken outside of the department from the courses listed below.

Minimum credits required: 18 credits

Courses Offered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Students must earn a minimum of 12 credits from these options, though they can elect to take all of them to satisfy the minor requirements.

Language and Culture (in Italian). Both of these courses are required for the minor:

• ITAL 330: Advanced Italian: Language and Culture (offered Fall 2013)

• ITAL 331: Advanced Italian: Language and Culture (offered Spring 2014)


Culture and Cinema (in Italian). One of these courses must be taken for the minor:

• ITAL 340: Italian through Film (offered Spring 2013)

• ITAL 420: Global and Local Italy (offered Spring 2014)


Literature and Culture (in English). One of these courses must be taken for the minor:

• ITAL 320: Italian Film and Literature (offered Fall 2013)

• ITAL 325: Major Italian Writers (offered Spring 2014)

Courses Offered Outside of Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Students may earn a maximum of six credits from these options.

Art History:

• ARTH 340: Renaissance in Italy

• ARTH 342: High Renaissance in Italy


• HIST 304: Western Europe in the Middle Ages

• HIST 305: The Renaissance

• HIST 308: Nineteenth-Century Europe

• HIST 309: Europe in Crisis: 1914-1918

• HIST 388: Topics in European History (with permission)

Public and International Affairs:

• GOVT 324: Modern Contemporary Thinkers

• GOVT 520: Political Theory (with permission)

Religious Studies:

• RELI 235: Religion and Literature (with permission)

• RELI 363: Catholicism