The Italian Studies program at UMass Amherst offers a wide range of courses, from introductory language to advanced literature and culture to university-wide general education requirements. Students with no prior experience in the Italian language can begin at the elementary level, and students who have studied Italian in the past or who have received credit from prior courses or AP exams can enter the program at a higher level.

To take a placement exam, please contact Melina Masterson, Undergraduate Program Director.

The Language Sequence 

Introductory-level Italian language courses at UMass Amherst aim to familiarize students with Italian language and culture, as well as to help them develop a critical awareness of their own culture and belief systems. In our courses, students not only learn to speak, read, listen, and write in Italian, but they also acquire the socio-cultural competence that they will need to successfully navigate the target culture.

The Italian Studies program at UMass Amherst offers students a number of different options for completing one hundred and two hundred level courses. The language sequence is made up of four courses (Elementary Italian I and II, and Intermediate Italian I and II) which are offered every semester. The department also offers the four courses in the language sequence (Italian 110, 120, 230, and 240) online over the summer through University+ Session

For introductory language classes, UMass uses an Open Educational Resource textbook, created by faculty members Stacy Giufre and Melina Masterson. For their work, Drs. Giufre and Masterson have been named Master Creators by the COERLL Language OER network. This e-book is available at no-cost to the students, other Italian programs, and the public at Tutt* a tavola! Volume 1 and Tutt* a tavola! Volume 2. A guide on how to reuse and adapt Tutt* a tavola! is available here

Intermediate level courses (Italian 230 and 240) also utilize an OER. Torniamo a tavola! is available at Torniamo a tavola! Volume 1 and Torniamo a tavola! Volume 2

For more information on the Italian Language Program, please contact the Director, Dr. Stacy Giufre.

Advanced Literature and Culture Courses

In addition to the language sequence, the Italian Studies program also offers courses in advanced grammar and composition, as well as in literature, film, and culture. Topics range from Dante and Boccaccio to gastronomy to Calvino to Fellini and beyond. Courses at the 200 level and above may be offered in both English or Italian depending on the class.

General Education Requirements

Students may also complete university-wide general education requirements through the Italian Studies program. Courses covering topics such as Italian comics, hip-hop, cinema, and the Italian-American experience can count as AT, AL, DG, and DU GenEds.