Italian Program

The Italian Program offers a selection of undergraduate and graduate courses in Italian language, literature and culture as well as providing the following degree options: Master of Arts in Italian, Bachelor of Arts in Italian (major) and minor in Italian.

If you are interested in studying Italian, you should definitely consider enrolling at San Francisco State University. We offer the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts in Italian. For a student who wishes to combine language study with another discipline, there is also a minor to consider. All courses beyond the first year are taught by experienced professors who hold either a Ph.D. or an Italian doctorate. Even first-year courses are conducted by them, with the assistance of qualified teaching assistants.

The number of students in our classes is such that each student receives individual attention. Instructors are always ready to help.

The Italian program offers a comprehensive background in literature, linguistics, culture and civilization. These aspects, combined with constant practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, give students broad educational experience, while a degree in Italian also prepares one for a specialized career.

Many people study Italian in order to become teachers, but those enrolled in other disciplines have found Italian useful as well. It is particularly pertinent to studies in Music, Art, Cinema, Archeology, International Relations, History, Business and Comparative Literature. At the same time, many are interested in Italian because of the cultural enrichment it offers. The study of Italian can be especially rewarding for those of Italian heritage.

All regularly enrolled, full-time students of the San Francisco Consortium may register in a course offered by our program if the desired course is not offered at their home institutions. Applications for cross registration are available at the SF State Registrar's Office.

All regularly enrolled students may spend a year at the California International Programs’ Center in Florence or at University of Pavia, where they can pursue their studies in Italian or other fields, receive credit and enjoy some free time to travel.

A number of scholarships are offered only for undergraduate and graduate students through either the Italian program or the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Teaching assistantships are also available for graduate students to teach lower-division classes. A maximum of two courses per semester may be taught.

Declare a Major/Minor in Italian

To declare a major or minor, complete a Declaration of Major/Minor form, then make an appointment to see the program advisor. Bring a copy of your most recent university transcript to the meeting.

Hello written in Italian

Program Contacts

Program Coordinator:
Frederik Green,

Undergraduate Advisor:
Frederik Green,

Graduate Advisor:
Frederik Green,

Prospective Undergraduates

The Italian major consists of 30 units of upper-division coursework. Up to 14 units of lower division coursework or demonstrated language proficiency is required for the major.

Proficiency can be demonstrated by completing the necessary lower-division courses or testing out of them.
Most upper-division courses are conducted in Italian, and students are expected to use Italian in their speaking, reading, and writing.



Lower division language classes (14 units)

  • ITAL 101 First-Semester Italian (4)
  • ITAL 102 Second-Semester Italian (4)
  • ITAL 103 Third-Semester Italian (3)
  • ITAL 104 Fourth-Semester Italian (3)

Core requirements (15 units)

  • ITAL 305 Advanced Grammar and Composition (3)
  • MLL 325 Linguistics and Foreign Language (3)
  • ITAL 401 Italian Culture and Civilization (3)
  • ITAL 510 Italian Literature: Early Period (3)
  • ITAL 511 Italian Literature: Late Period (3)

Five upper-division electives on advisement from the following (15 units):

  • ITAL 350 Advanced Oral and Reading Practice (3)
  • ITAL 525 Literature and the Risorgimento (3)
  • ITAL 530 Italian Renaissance Literature (3)
  • ITAL 550 The Italian Theatre (3)
  • ITAL 560 The Italian Novel (3)
  • ITAL 570 Italian Women Writers (3)
  • ITAL 580 Great Figures in Italian Literature (3)
  • ITAL 581 Divina Commedia (3)
  • ITAL 600 Italian Literature on Film (3)
  • ITAL 699 Special Study (1-3)

Total units required for Major: 44


Writing in the Major

Students must complete the University’s GWAR requirement by taking MLL 400GW, CWL 400GW or ITAL 600GW.


Complementary Studies

Required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian are 12 units of Complementary Studies, which must come from courses bearing a prefix other than ITAL, and not cross-listed with ITAL. Complementary Studies for the Italian major can be satisfied via four possible routes: (1) 12 units in any foreign language other than Italian (which may include up to 3 units of FL prefix courses); (2) 12 units of coursework taken in an approved study abroad program (including the CSU Study Abroad and the SF State Bilateral Program); (3) 12 units of coursework taken as partial completion of a second major, a minor or a certificate; (4) 12 units of coursework in related disciplines with the approval of an Italian Program advisor. Related disciplines typically include classics, linguistics, literature, humanities, philosophy, history, music,art history, education, Jewish studies, apparel design and merchandising, industrial design, and any aspect of greater Italy, Mediterranean, Italian-American or European studies.

Where a course with a non-ITAL prefix, (and not cross-listed with ITAL), is taken as a core requirement or elective for the Italian major, the said course may also (doubly) count towards Complementary Studies only via the Study Abroad option or the 2nd Major/Minor/Certificate option listed above. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Foreign Language option are allowed a maximum of 3 units of overlap of FL-prefix courses between Italian major and Complementary Studies units. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Related Subjects option are not allowed to double-count major and Complementary Studies units.

The Italian minor consists of up to 14 units of lower-division and from 6 to 12 units of upper-division coursework.

Lower-Division Core (0-14 units)

Course List
Code Title Units
ITAL 101 First Semester Italian 1 4
ITAL 102 Second Semester Italian 1 4
Select Two:   6

    ITAL 103

Third Semester Italian 1  

    ITAL 104

Fourth Semester Italian 1  

    ITAL 206

Italian Conversation  
These courses can be fulfilled through AP test credit.

Electives (6-12 units)

Electives can include any upper-division course in Italian (ITAL prefix) or a related area selected upon advisement.