The Graduate Certificate in Italian Studies

August 13, 2016

Application: Apply Online


The graduate certificate in Italian Studies provides an opportunity for students to complement their doctoral studies with a coordinated multidisciplinary training in the Program in Italian Studies, and take part in an intellectually stimulating interdisciplinary community. Students entering the program may come from any department in the Humanities and Social Sciences in which interdisciplinary training in Italian history, culture, and language is desirable, including the Departments of Art and Archaeology, Architecture, Comparative Literature, Classics, History, History of Science, Music, Religion, and Politics and Programs such as Judaic Studies, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, and Women and Gender.

Course of Study

The course of study is determined by students’ home department advisors in consultation with the director of the Program in Italian Studies. Certificate requirements include (a) Italian language proficiency sufficient to conduct original research using Italian as a research tool; (b) participation in 2-3 graduate courses that deal with Italian Studies OR Independent research on an Italian topic(could be a portion of a dissertation, conference papers, or published articles) (c) regular participation in the Italian Studies Conferences or Workshops (d) at least one extended period of research and non-language study in Italy.

Entrance into the Program

Ideally, students should confer with the Program Director during their first year of study to allow adequate time to plan an appropriate course of study. Second-year students and post-generals students may be admitted, depending upon their background, experience, and area of concentration. All students interested in the program should contact the director of the Program in Italian Studies for further information.

Entrance Requirements and Language Requirements

Students are expected to demonstrate competence in Italian speaking, writing, and reading for admission, at which point a recommendation will be made for further Italian study as necessary.

Fellowship funds may be available to support additional language studies in Italy during the summer. Students may also be advised to participate in advanced undergraduate courses in Italian to supplement their language training.

General Examination

The general exam will be taken in the home department, in consultation with the Director of the Program in Italian Studies. Full doctoral candidacy in the program will be conferred only when the student has passed generals and demonstrated further competence in one or more areas relevant to Italian studies, either through a section of their general exam, a seminar paper or presentation in the Italian Studies Symposium or professional conference.


Normally, the dissertation should center on a topic of significance in Italian language and culture. The dissertation proposal must be approved by the home department and the Italian Studies Committee, according to the timetable and requirements of the home department. A faculty member from the student’s home department will normally advise the dissertation, with at least one reader from the Italian Studies Committee.

An Italian Studies certificate may also be awarded to students whose dissertations, though outside Italian Studies, show exceptional knowledge and expertise in Italian Studies, as demonstrated in seminars, conference papers, or publications.

Funding and Teaching

Students are supported by graduate fellowships from their own department, with occasional additional funding available from Italian Studies to fund intensive or remedial language preparation and summer research in Italian archives and libraries. In addition, graduate students with sufficient language skills may have the opportunity to precept language courses in the Department of French and Italian (as available) during their regular period of enrollment, and teaching may also provide additional financial support in years six and seven for DCE students.

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