A minor in Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst gives students the opportunity to become fluent in the Italian language and to develop a critical awareness of the literary and cultural traditions that are central to the humanities. A minor in Italian Studies is a perfect complement to any major field, such as business, political science, art history, education, and many others. Courses focusing on Italian Studies offered in other departments or at other Five-College campuses may be included, with the approval of the undergraduate advisor. Once you've made up your mind to pursue a minor in Italian Studies, it is important that you declare it with the undergraduate advisor, so you can more easily track your progress.


The prerequisite to the Italian Studies minor is proficiency in Italian at the elementary level: Elementary Italian I and II (ITAL 110 and 120) or Intensive Elementary Italian (ITAL 126).

Minors must then complete 21 credits above the 100 level, including:

  • Preparatory Grammar (6 credits): Intermediate Italian I and II (ITAL 230 and 240) or Intensive Intermediate Italian (ITAL 246).
  • Two core courses (6 credits): 371 Advanced Grammar and Composition; and one literary survey course (324 Introduction to Italian Literary Studies I OR 325 Introduction to Italian Literary Studies II).
  • Three area courses (9 credits). No more than one may be conducted in English or at another 5-College institution without special permission.

To declare an Italian Studies minor or for more information, contact: Dr. Melina Masterson, Undergraduate Program Director.

Further Considerations

Study Abroad 

Students minoring in Italian are encouraged to participate in one of the many study abroad programs that the university has to offer. There are several options in particular that benefit our majors. Advanced students are encouraged to participate in the program's exchange with the Università di Bologna - Forlì. In addition, CIS Abroad on the Italian Coast (Sorrento) and USAC in Viterbo have many course offerings that satisfy both requirements and electives for the major. Courses taken abroad may apply to areas of emphasis in the minor, but under normal circumstances, no more than nine credits received during a study abroad semester may be applied to the minor. Visit the International Programs Office for other study abroad options.

Thatcher House

Minors are encouraged to enroll in the Italian language conversation course at Thatcher House. While students may re-enroll in the Thatcher course each semester, a maximum of two credits (or three, for students who add an additional honors credit) will count towards the minor.   

Five Colleges

A limited number of courses offered by other members of the Five-College community may be applied toward the minor, with the approval of the Undergraduate Advisor.

The Honors Program

Students enrolled in the Honors Program through Commonwealth College may pursue an honors track in Italian Studies. For further information, contact your Commonwealth College advisor or Dr. Andrea Malaguti.