Italian Studies

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Why Italian Studies at Notre Dame?

Grad Students At Vatican Library

The Graduate Program in Italian at the University of Notre Dame is extremely strong and has established expertise in nearly every aspect of Italian literature and culture, including medieval literature; Renaissance studies; Enlightenment literature and culture; Romanticism studies; twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture; and Italian cinema.

The faculty, all of whom have significant international standing, are generally considered among the best in the country. Individual attention, small classes, and a dynamic faculty prepare you for a promising future in research and teaching.

Program Highlights

A Research Hub

The Graduate Program at Notre Dame is a hub for Italian Studies in the United States, bringing invited speakers from different areas of Italian Studies to campus each semester for the Italian Research Seminar and hosting international conferences on a variety of interdisciplinary topics. 

International Research Network

Notre Dame maintains diverse formal and informal collaborative relationships with other institutions, including the Universities of Verona and Roma Tre in Italy, Cambridge and Leeds in the UK, and the Opera del Vocabolario Italiano. As a student, you will be regularly involved in research collaborations and training in partnership with these institutions. The program also has strong links with the University’s campus in Rome, the Rome Global Gateway, which hosts specialized seminars and conferences.

Resources for Research at Notre Dame

The Italian Graduate Programs offer several opportunities for funded research and specialized graduate experiences, working together with the Center for Italian Studies, the Devers Program in Dante Studies, and other research centers and institutes at Notre Dame, such as the Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Medieval Institute, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. The University’s Hesburgh Libraries offer rich collections in all areas of Italian Studies, especially Dante Studies and modern Italian literature and film.


Studying Caravaggio Paintings In Rome

The program offers a flexible curriculum tailored to your interests and background. While focusing mainly on Italian topics, you will enrich your area of specialization by taking courses in fields close to your primary research interests, such as history, film studies, cultural anthropology, medieval studies, philosophy, theology, Romance philology, critical theory, art history, etc.


Through individual mentoring and thanks to courses such as Introduction to Advanced Studies and Foreign Language Acquisition and Instruction, you will receive advanced training in various areas of the academic profession: in pedagogy, in research methods, in writing for publication, in developing and applying for funding, in oral presentation, and in preparing for and performing in job interviews. You will also be given the opportunity to develop and teach language, literature, and culture courses.

5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Ph.D. students in Italian who finish their degree within 5 years are guaranteed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship in the College of Arts and Letters’ innovative 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This provides you with the time and resources to publish your research, develop and teach literature and culture courses, or pursue an internship in the College. 

Programs Offered

Ph.D. in Italian

A five-year program offering a flexible curriculum tailored to each student’s interests and background that leads to a dissertation-oriented course of study designed to achieve both a high degree of specialization and a broad understanding of Italian literature and culture.

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M.A. in Italian Studies

A two-year program whose primary focus is to train students intending to continue to a Ph.D. in the general area of Italian Studies. 

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