Italian is a Romance language spoken by more than 85 million people around the world. It is widely used in the arts, business, and technology. Whether you want to work overseas, study art in the land of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, research your family roots, read Dante’s Divine Comedy in the original, or simply learn to order dinner in an Italian restaurant, the study of Italian will start you on your journey.

Why Iowa?

Iowa’s Italian program is part of the Department of French and Italian in the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and includes faculty and instructors with a wide range of interests and expertise. The small size of the program ensures that you will receive personal attention from each instructor.

With the breadth of programming at Iowa, a degree in Italian can be combined with a second major in an area such as international studies, political science, finance, art history, journalism, communication studies, or another world language. The undergraduate major provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in Italian or in other fields requiring knowledge of a world language.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


  Teaching Licensure
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our  Pomerantz Career Center  offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

A background in Italian is advantageous for students planning careers in international business, tourism, and teaching, as well as for opera singers, musicians, art and art history majors, and for those who study architecture, fashion, and design. A surprising number of our Italian majors go on to law school. With more than a thousand Italian companies doing business in the United States, the major or minor in Italian combines well with career options in a wide variety of fields.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500  student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100  study abroad  programs and multiple  undergraduate research opportunities

There are numerous study abroad programs in Italy. On campus there is a weekly "Italian Table" (Tavola Italiana) get-together where students, faculty, and other Italophiles can practice their spoken Italian in a relaxed environment during the academic year.


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the  Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.


Students learn about the language, literature and culture of Italy, preparing them to thrive in today’s global community, as well as providing a critical appreciation of the historical and contemporary importance of Italy. Required courses include:

  • Intermediate Italian (two courses)
  • Advanced Italian (two courses)
  • Modern Italian fiction, poetry, and drama (two courses)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature (two courses)
  • One additional advanced course taught in Italian

In addition to course work for the major, students must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core requirements. 

See Italian in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the course requirements for the major or minor and graduating with honors.

Teaching Licensure

If you're interested in teaching Italian at the secondary school level, you'll need to complete the College of Education's world language Teacher Education Program.