About the Program

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, c. 1482, Florence Galleria Uffizi

Italian Studies at UC Santa Cruz allows students to focus on language, history, literature, art, cinema, politics, and other dimensions of  Italian culture. The foundation of the program is the Italian language: for both the major and the minor, the learning objective is advanced proficiency, which may be achieved in two full years of study followed by upper-division courses in literature that are taught "immersion style," with readings, discussion, and writing in Italian. A high percentage of Italian Studies students participates in the University of California's Education Abroad Programs (http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/italy/Pages/default.aspx) , living and learning in Italy for periods ranging from a semester to a year. The major allows a generous number of these courses to satisfy requirements for the Italian Studies degree.

Students in Italian Studies at UCSC enjoy the best of two worlds. They experience classes in English, where complex ideas may be expressed and examined critically in a setting that includes students from a variety of disciplines; and small classes, where they work collaboratively with faculty and fellow students of Italian and develop a close-knit learning community. Graduates in Italian Studies have gone on to pursue Masters and PhD degrees in Italian Studies, as well as careers in teaching, fashion, tourism, agriculture, culinary arts, and more.

Many students who major in Italian Studies at UC Santa Cruz are also pursuing an additional major. Graduates from the combined majors have entered advanced programs and careers in linguistics, the arts, medicine, computer engineering, economics, law, and other fields. The Italian Studies faculty is dedicated to helping students imagine and achieve their own paths from college to career.