The goal of the Italian concentration is to develop educated speakers and readers of Italian with significant cultural competence in Italy’s present and past.
Why an Italian concentration?
Italy is one of the top ten economies, but more importantly, its cultural importance spans from antiquity through the present, from the Roman empire to the Renaissance to the worlds of fashion, design, and culinary arts. The natural and artistic beauty of Italy are alone sufficient to fill a lifetime of exploration. In any context, having studied Italian language, literature, and culture gives you a solid vantage point on the history of Western culture, the origins of the modern world, and the position of Europe in a global context.
What are the employment options for an Italian concentration?
Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields. An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices there, such as Adobe Systems, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Apple Computer, AT&T, Avon Cosmetics, Bank of America, Bausch & Lomb, Berlitz Language Centers, Bristol-Myers, Estée Lauder, Federal Express, Foot Locker, General Motors, Honeywell, Proctor & Gamble, Qualcomm, Sears, Sheraton Firenze Hotel & Conference Center, Sunrise Medical, Tiffany & Co, Twentieth Century Fox, and Xerox. There are also numerous Italian companies with operations within the U.S., many right here in the Metro Detroit area.
Learning Italian is not just about being able to communicate in a foreign language; it is about being conversant with the story of civilization. And that is always something that will make you stand out.
Graduates with a degree in Italian have gone on to work in any number of fields such as art and design, business and finance, education, telecommunication, travel and tourism, and government.
When trying to choose a career path for their degree, students are encouraged to take advantage of the academic and career co-advising appointments that are available throughout the year. Students unable to take advantage of co-advising are encouraged to contact the University of Michigan Career Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of possible career options for students, click here for the Career Guide.
La Nostra Voce Vol. V (pdf link)
Newsletter for UM students of Italian written and produced by students of Italian.
La Nostra Voce Vol. IV (pdf link)
Robin Griffin (2nd yr UM student)
Ashley Mulcahy (3rd yr UM student)
Jessica Pacholski (4th yr UM student)
Michelle West (4th yr UM student)
Interested in writing for La Nostra? Contact Amaryllis Rodriguez, email@example.com.
- Italy is one of the top five economies in the world, and many employers are seeking people who speak both Italian and English. An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices in Italy, including IBM, General Electric, Motorola, Citibank, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Many Italian firms have offices in the U.S., especially in the Detroit metropolitan area.
- Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields. Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment.
- Italy's cultural importance spans from antiquity through the present, of which the Roman period and the Renaissance are perhaps the two most influential moments.
- According to UNESCO, over 60% of the world's art treasures are found in Italy. Some of the most famous Western artists, from Giotto to Michelangelo, were Italian. Knowledge of Italian is vital to understand the contexts of this art.
- Italian literature boasts some of the world's most famous writers and thinkers, from Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch and Machiavelli, to Verga, Svevo, Pirandello, and Gramsci, to name a few.
- Since Roman times, Italy has exported its literature and culture to other parts of Europe and beyond, in the areas of Latin literature, Romanitas, humanism, opera, film, science, political thought, fashion, design, and cuisine. Knowing Italian allows you to understand, appreciate, and analyze this treasury of human expression.
- Italy has the cultures, landscapes, and histories to fill a lifetime of investigation. Knowing Italian places you in a position to explore Italy's past and present from the most fulfilling vantage point.
- Italian 230, 232 or 233; or the equivalent.
- A minimum of 30 credits in Italian courses numbered 235 and above.
- 18 credits must be conducted in Italian.
- At least one course must be at the 200-level beyond 233.
- At least one course must be at the 300 level.
- At least two courses must be at the 400 level.
- Of these, at least two courses (six credits) must come from courses focused on Italian literature and/or periods prior to 1900.
- Three credits may be accepted from courses in a cognate field, selected in consultation with and approved by the concentration advisor.
A minimum of 15 credits of the required 30 credits must be taken at U-M or a study-abroad program affiliated with U-M.
Students wishing to pursue an academic concentration must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with an Italian advisor. Appointments may be scheduled at 4108 Modern Languages Building,(734) 764-5344.
The objective of the academic minor in Italian are to develop some facility in the use of Italian, to recognize major monuments of Italian literature, to gain insight in to the history and present of Italian culture.
This academic minor offers students an opportunity to complement the knowledge gained in their principal field while focusing on linguistic competence and a grounding in one of the world's most historically influential, currently vibrant literatures & cultures.
- Italian 230, 232, or 233; or the equivalent
- Minimum of 18 credits of courses in ITALIAN numbered ITALIAN 235 or higher
- 12 credits (four courses) must be conducted in the Italian language
- At least one 200-level course, 235 or above
- At least one 300-level course
- At least one 400 level course
A minimum of 9 of the 18 required credits must be taken at U-M or a study-abroad program affiliated with U-M.
Students wishing to pursue an academic minor must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with an Italian advisor. Appointments may be scheduled at 4108 Modern Languages Building, (734) 764-5344.
Italian culture without language prerequisite
You can study Italian culture even before you finish the language track. These courses are taught by are faculty in English, are open without prerequisite, and will count toward the Italian concentration.
- 250 First-Year Seminar in Italian Studies
- 310 Italian Cities
- 311 Making Difference
- 312 Genius and Geography
- 313 Italian Families
- 314 Italy: 1815-Present
- 315 Cinema & Society
- 317 The Renaissance
- 333 Dante’s Divine Comedy
Once you finish the elementary language track, all upper-division courses taught in Italian are open to you. You can choose from a multi-media overview of the regions of Italy, an introduction to Italian literature, or a class where you learn an opera, act out a play, read short stories and novels, analyze films, television and new media, learn to read and appreciate the great writers of the Renaissance, investigate postwar and contemporary politics -- all while improving your comprehension, speaking, and writing skills.
Intermediate-Advanced Classes (after 232 or equivalent)
- 235 Advanced Practice in Italian
- 236 Reading and Composition
- 270 Italian Literature and Culture
- 271 Language in Action
- 275-276 Italian in Multi-media
- 280 Italian Phonetics
- 300 Advanced Composition and Conversation
- 305 Introduction to the Study of Literature in Italian
- 320 Modern Italian Literature
- 325 Novels and Film
- 340 Contemporary Italian Culture
- 361 Advanced Comprehension
- 374 Advanced Topics
- 422 Politics and Literature
- 425 Romanticism
- 430 20th c. Italian Literature
- 450 Medieval Italian Literature
- 461 Italian Through Opera
- 467 Screening Italian Fascism
- 468 Italian New Media
- 471 Italian Theater
- 475 Petrarch
- 481 The Novella
- 4xx Fascism and the cult of Mussolini
Students interested in completing teaching certificates may either apply to the School of Education, as a cross-campus transfer or remain in LSA and apply to the School of Education just for certification. In the first case, the School of Education will grant the degree, and in the second, the student will receive the degree from LSA. For more information, visit the School of Education's website.
- Advising Appointments
- Concentrations and Minors
- Language Placement
- Language Clubs
- RLL Honors and Awards
- Study Abroad
- Summer Language Institute