Major in Italian Studies

About the Major

The Italian language is spoken by more than 60 million people residing all over the world. In this hemisphere there are more than 10 million descendants of immigrants from Italy living in countries from Canada to Argentina, with the United States second only to Italy itself in number of Italian-speaking residents. Italy is also the  fourth most populous EU member state, with the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth largest economy in the world. It is also home to the most World Heritage Sites in the world (51), and is the birthplace to some of the most significant figures in Italian and world history, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Marco Polo.

The Italian Studies Major is for students who are not necessarily interested in advanced language proficiency, but all the same are interested in a comprehensive understanding of Italian literature, history, society and culture to enhance their understanding of global diversity. The Italian Studies Major includes courses in Italian and English from the Department of French and Italian, and a selection of courses from the departments, centers and schools of: Architecture, Classics, English, History, History of Art, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Music. The overlap of course requirements with Classics, English, History, History of Art facilitates double majoring and we encourage students to consider shortcuts to double majors. Learn more about double majoring in Double your major, double your value.



Italian 1101, 1102, and 1103, or 5101.

Core Requirements (30 hours)

Courses taught in Italian (12 credits)

  • Italian 2102 (3 credits)
  • Two 3000-level courses taught in Italian (6 credits)
  • One 4000-level or above course taught in Italian (3 credits)

Credits for content courses (not language courses) taught in Italy that have been pre-approved by an OSU advisor may replace these content courses in Italian from FRIT.

Courses taught in English in FRIT (9 credits)

  • Three courses taught in English with the Italian course listing in FRIT, of which one course will be at the 2000-level, one at the 3000-level or above, and one at the 4000-level or above.

Credits for content courses (not language courses) from any OSU-approved study abroad program in Italy that have been pre-approved by the advisor may replace content courses from the FRIT.

Courses taught in English outside of FRIT (9 credits)

  • Three courses from the approved list of Italian Studies topic courses taught outside of FRIT.

Students may petition to substitute a course that is not on this pre-approved list of courses on Italian Studies topics taught outside of FRIT.


    List of courses that count towards the major.

    Additional Notes

    • Students are strongly encouraged to do a research project at the end of their studies and graduate with research distinction. Those wishing to do so may substitute 4 credits of 4999 or 4999H: Undergraduate thesis for one course taught in English. If the research topic has substantial focus on History of Art, History, or Classics, the student will be advised to have one advisor from Italian and one from the department of the chosen focus.
    • Students must earn at least a C- in a course in order for the course to be included on the major. A 2.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) is required for all major course work.
    • Courses taken on a Pass/Non-Pass (PA/NP) basis cannot be used on the major.
    • No more than one half of the semester credit hours required on the major can be credit hours transferred to Ohio State from another institution and/or credit by examination. (In other words, at least one half of the major hours must be credit from completed OSU coursework.)
    • If a student has one major, no overlap is permitted with the GE except as expressly allowed by the rules of the GE. If a student has two majors each major must contain a minimum of 18 hours not contained in the other and overlap with the GE is permitted where appropriate.

    Ready to declare or have some questions?

    Reach out to the French major advisor Andy Spencer.

    Any variation from the program requires the approval of the major advisor.

    For general information regarding completing a major at the Department of French and Italian, visit Undergraduate Majors.