Info for First Year Students
The Italian major and minor are open to all undergraduates at Northwestern. The following information should be of help to you, but if you have more questions, please contact the Italian Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies and advisor for First Year Students, Professor Thomas Simpson, 847-467-1987.
What is it about Italy?
Italian language and culture open a door on over two thousand years of history, thought, and art. A crossroads between East and West, North and South, Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world, and Italian thinkers and doers have daily global impact in fields as diverse as finance and philosophy, engineering and Public Health, and every possible area of artistic endeavor. Italy is home to more World Heritage Sites, as designated by the United Nations, than any other country in the world, and contemporary Italy is a vibrant meeting place between past and future, local and global.
Why study Italian?
Proficiency in language and knowledge of culture are keys to careers in communication, media, business, the arts and academia. Perhaps because it is somewhat less widely spoken than other romance languages, expertise in Italian and knowledge of its culture distinguishes its speakers and can provide access to circles of influence in many fields, in many cities. Recent Italian majors and minors have gone on to jobs, further study and/or Fulbrights in journalism, music, film, economics, medical research, economics, and public relations.
The WCAS Language Requirement in Italian
To fulfill the WCAS Language Requirement in Italian, you need to take two years of Italian with a minimum grade of C-, or obtain an equivalent score on our on-line Placement Exam or on the Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in Italian.
If you have never studied Italian before, register in the Fall Quarter for Italian 101-1 or Intensive Italian (133-1/134-1). Note that all beginner and intermediate language courses begin in the Fall Quarter!
Intensive Italian: We are one of the few Northwestern languages to offer a special limited-enrollment double course for beginners that covers the entire WCAS Language Requirement in one academic year. Find out more here by watching the short video about Intensive Italian
If you have some experience with Italian language but have no AP score, take the on-line placement test before July 15th or contact Director of the Italian Language Program Paola Morgavi (847-491-8271).
If you have taken the AP Italian language test, follow these guidelines (link to the following table):
|a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Italian Exam||Bravissimi! You have satisfied the WCAS Language Proficiency Requirement in Italian. You are already eligible for upper level courses in Italian. Contact a faculty member for a brief oral interview to discuss your course options: Director Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Thomas Simpson, 847-467-1987 or Director of the Italian Language Program, Paola Morgavi 847-491-8271.|
|a score of 4 on the Advanced Placement Italian Examination:||Molto bravi! You have satisfied the WCAS Language Proficiency Requirement in Italian. You are already eligible for upper level courses in Italian. Contact a faculty member for a brief oral interview to discuss your course options: Director Undergraduate Studies, Thomas Simpson, 847-467-1987 or Director of the Italian Language Program, Paola Morgavi 847-491-8271.|
|a score of 3 on the Advanced Placement Italian Examination:||Bravi! Welcome to the Italian Language Program. You are exempt from the online placement test, but contact the department for an oral interview. You are eligible for a Fall Quarter 200-level course in Italian or Spring Quarter intermediate Italian, 102-3. Please contact: Director of the Italian Language Program Paola Morgavi 847-491-8271 or Director of Undergraduate Studies, Thomas Simpson, 847-467-1987.|
|a score of 1 or 2 on the Advanced Placement Italian Test:||Benvenuti! Welcome to the Italian Language Program. You must take the Italian Placement Test|
|No experience yet with Italian language||Benvenuti! Welcome to the Italian Language Program. You will need six courses to satisfy the WCAS Language Proficiency Requirement in Italian. You may start the beginning Italian course sequence in the Fall Quarter, with Italian 101-1 or Intensive Italian (133-1/134-1), a special limited-enrollment double course that covers the WCAS Language Requirement in one academic year. Note: Both of these courses begin in the Fall Quarter only!|
The College awards 2 credits of 200-level Italian to students who receive an AP score of 5, the equivalent of a 200-level course in Italian.
The college awards 1 credit of 200-level Italian to students who receive an AP score of 4, the equivalent of a 200-level course in Italian. See course descriptions http://www.frenchanditalian.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/italian/programs.html
While AP credits count toward graduation requirements, they do NOT count toward the major or minor. You simply start the major / minor at a higher level but you still have to take 14 units for the major and 7 units for the minor.
If you have posted an AP 2 or 3 score, SAT II score or IB score, you need to take the placement test.
What courses can I take?
To begin with, you can take our language courses, from absolute beginner to advanced. Specific courses are designed to facilitate the transition from language courses to advanced courses on Italian culture. Beyond that, and for those who wish to study Italian topics in English, the Italian Program has particular strength in the field of Visual Culture. Our curriculum in Italian and English centers especially on the tradition and problems of visual communication from the Renaissance to contemporary media. Courses in English allow undergraduate students to explore Dante, Michelangelo, cinema, art history, the avant garde and postmodern, and the representation of gender and sexuality from the Middle Ages to the present day. Courses in Italian offer seminar courses for advanced undergraduates on specific topics related to visual culture and representation, as well as literature and history. Please peruse the course list and refer to our faculty pages to discover the research interests and courses of the Italian faculty:
Prof. Alessia Ricciardi
Prof. Marco Ruffini
Prof. Domietta Torlasco
In addition every Winter and Spring Quarter the Italian Program hosts a Fulbright Scholar from an Italian university who offers two interdisciplinary courses to undergraduates. Our Fulbright scholars have taught courses in Medieval and Modern History, Cinema, Art History, and Comparative Literature.
Courses for First Year Students:
These are typical schedules for First Year Students, depending on your placement:
Courses in Italian language:
|Beginning Italian 101-1||Beginning Italian 101-2||Beginning Italian 101-3|
|Intensive Italian 133-1/134-1||Intensive Italian 133-2/134-2||Intensive Italian 133-3/134-3|
|Intermediate Italian 102-1||Intermediate Italian 102-2||Intermediate Italian 102-3|
|Italian for Musicians 103-1|
201-Italian Through Media
203- Creative Writing in Italian
202- Italian through Performance
204- Introducing Italian Literature
205- Reading Italian Cities
206- Business Italian
207- Conversation in Italian
|304- Modern Italian Cultural Studies||306-Borders & Margins 347- Visual & Literary Culture in Italy||349 - Topics in Culture & Literature|
Courses in English on Italian topics:
First Year Students may take introductory (distro) courses or advanced courses, depending on your experience. Classes include: Dante's Divine Comedy Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance Italian Cinema: Passion & Defiance Gender and Sexuality Avant Garde and Postmodern Catholic Italy 1450-1800 The Age of the Renaissance The Future of Tradition National Cinema Italy & The Southern Question The Mediterranean in the Dark Ages Further helpful links on general advising questions for First-year students
• Weinberg First Year Students page
• Weinberg College Advising Homepage
• University Advising Center
The Italian ProgramAt Northwestern you may take courses in Italian language from absolute beginner to advanced, or courses in English on many Italian topics, including introductory (distro) and advanced courses on subjects like literature, cinema, art, history, society and politics. We offer both a Major (14 courses) and a Minor (7 courses) and encourage all our students to study in Italy either during the summer or the academic year, on affiliated programs in Bologna, Padua, Milan, Lecce, and Florence. We also offer an active series of talks, film showings, field trips, and social get-togethers that are open to the entire campus community. Even if you aren't studying Italian this quarter, send us a note and we'll add you to our events listserve (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Major and Minor in Italian Studies
The Major and the Minor in Italian Studies are open to all students at Northwestern. They are flexible programs that allow you to begin language study as a First Year Student and integrate your interest in Italian with a second major. Take a look at the major and minor requirements on our website, and if you have questions about our major, minor, and courses, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Thomas Simpson, 847-467-1987.
-Requirements for the Major
-Requirements for the Minor
More Information on Italian Studies at NU
We encourage everyone to study in Italy, either during the summer or the academic year. Ask anyone who has done it: Studying in Italy is one of the most wonderful and rewarding lifetime experiences a student can have, hands down. You will be challenged and deepened no matter what your major is, no matter which program you choose. Northwestern is affiliated with prestigious summer and academic year study abroad programs in Bologna, Padua, Milan (Music and Economics), Lecce, and Florence. Courses taken count directly toward graduation and in most cases toward WCAS majors and minors. Visit NU's fantastic Study Abroad Office and come to one of our Open Houses!
The Italian Department organizes many cultural activities throughout the year, from trips to the opera and art galleries to visiting lectures and film showings. A recurring event is the Café Français-Italiano, wherein students of French and Italian gather and practice conversation over coffee in their respective languages. Please contact your SAB representative for more information.