The Italian Department offers a variety of courses in Italian language, literature, cinema, and general culture. The study of a language is central to a liberal arts education and to the intercultural understanding required in an increasingly globalized world.

In addition to achieving fluency in spoken and written Italian, students explore the debates that have shaped Italy over the centuries and its important contribution to humanistic culture. Most courses in the curriculum, from introductory language instruction to advanced seminars, are taught in Italian. 

Studying in Italy is an integral component of the Italian curriculum at Vassar. Students are encouraged to spend one or two semesters at our E.C.Co Program (Vassar-Wellesley-Wesleyan) in Bologna, where they can take classes at our Centro Studi or directly at the University of Bologna.

Students are encouraged to attend extra-curricular activities organized by the department and by the Italian Majors’ Committee, such as opera evenings at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Italian Cinema Club, card nights, cooking classes, and guest lectures by invited scholars.

To coordinate the different cultural activities, a native Italian Language Fellow is in residence.