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Italian Undergraduate Studies


UNC-CH has a rich tradition of Italian studies, including courses on language, literature, film, food, politics, history, philosophy, and theater. The field of Italian is growing, with increasing course offerings and an increasing number of enrolled students and majors.

Students may obtain a major or minor in Italian, and many combine Italian with their other areas of specialization. This degree is a popular choice for those interested in careers in journalism, diplomacy, international business or education, or for those seeking a well-rounded education in preparation for medical or law school after College. Students who major in Italian may take up to 3 courses in related departments such as Classics, History, Art History, Music, Political Science, Global Studies, Communication, and Women’s Studies.

All students of Italian have the opportunity to spend a summer, semester or academic year in Italy, participating in several distinguished study-abroad programs there. While at UNC, students can participate in extracurricular activities, including the Italian Club, guest-speaker events, a graduate conference on Romance Studies, literary contests, reading groups, and weekly conversation hours. Undergraduates interested in research in our field are encouraged to pursue an Honor’s Thesis with one of our faculty members or to work on an original research project to present at UNC’s annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research.


prerequisite for entering the major is knowledge of the Italian language demonstrated by successfully completing ITAL 204 Intermediate Italian II, or ITAL 402 Intermediate Accelerated Italian, or the equivalent.

The requirements for the major consist of eight courses:

  • ITAL 300 Communicating in Italian: Media, Culture and Society
  • Seven additional ITAL courses (excluding 101-204, 401, 402, and 691H)

NOTE: Up to three of the seven additional courses may be taken in related fields such as Classics, History, Political Science, Art, Music, Global Studies, Geography, Comparative Literature, and Economics, with approval of the Undergraduate Advisor in Italian.


The minor in Italian consists of a minimum of five courses selected from major courses, excluding 101-204, 401, 402, and 691H. One of the five courses must be ITAL 300 Communicating in Italian: Media, Culture and Society.

Among the remaining four electives, one can be taken in a related field such as Classics, History, Political Science, Art, Music, Global Studies, Geography, Comparative Literature, and Economics.

All Courses

For more information, visit UNC’s catalog page.

Italian Undergraduate Support

Amy Chambless
Director Undergraduate Studies, Undergraduate Advisor of Italian, Director of Italian Language Instruction
Sheena Melton
Undergraduate Student Services Specialist

What Our Students Are Saying

Abby Seitz

Undergraduate Alum

“The Italian Department goes above and beyond in their dedication to teaching and supporting students. Dr. Chambless pours her all into teaching. She brings an unmatched energy, passion, and dedication with her to class every day. Despite struggling at times, I always felt supported and encouraged. When I felt my progress was lagging, she would make time to help me outside of the classroom. This type of support carried on throughout my journey with Italian, as my professors continued to spend hours of their time working with me and supporting me. The dedication and willingness of the Italian professors to help me learn is what motivated me to pursue a major in Italian.“

Laura Wilder

Undergraduate Alum

“Upon entering UNC, I had no idea how ROMS, particularly Italian, would shape my college career and where I am today. A semester is all it took for me to fall in love with the Italian language and culture and to decide to study abroad twice in Florence and Bologna, pick up the Italian major, and earn the UNC Robinson Honors Fellowship to research lace in Burano. The experiences I had through ROMS helped me reach my full potential and led me to pursue work in the study abroad field with the goal of one day working in Italy as a program coordinator. I just started a job as the Resident Director of the University of Portland’s Salzburg Center and love helping other students dream big abroad!“

Be sure to explore opportunities for:

Study Abroad

The Department of Romance Studies strongly encourages all of its students, and especially its majors and minors, to participate in a study abroad experience. Study abroad opportunities are available in a variety of locations for a summer term, a semester, or a full year.


The Department of Romance Studies offers a gateway for research in the Humanities, including the various fields that make up Romance Studies. Research activities include the Honors Thesis, summer research fellowships, or engaging in mentoring projects with professors which lead to opportunities to present papers at conferences or for publication in the University’s undergraduate research journal.

Independent Studies

Independent studies courses (FREN 395, ITAL 395, PORT 396, or SPAN 395) allow students to undertake research on topics that are not available through normal course offerings. Independent studies courses may not be offered simply because a student cannot get into a class or due to difficulties a student may have in their scheduling of classes.

Awards & Honors Societies

Romance Studies has multiple awards and maintains three chapters of National Honor Societies for its students.