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Italian Courses in Penn State's Regular Curriculum

For course descriptions of Italian courses at Penn State visit University Bulletin: Italian Course Descriptions.


Basic Italian Language Courses

  • IT 001. Elementary Italian (4 credits). For students with no previous knowledge of Italian. Grammar, with reading and writing of simple Italian; oral and aural work stressed. Usually offered every semester.
  • IT 002. Elementary Italian 2 (4 credits). Continuation of Italian 1. Grammar and reading; oral and aural phrases progressively increased; composition. Prerequisite: IT 001. Usually offered every semester.
  • IT 003. Intermediate Italian (4 credits). Rapid review of elementary grammar; practice advanced grammar points; oral and written composition; short readings on Italian life. Prerequisite: IT 002. Usually offered every semester.
  • IT 010. Intensive Elementary Italian (6 credits). Intensive basic Italian grammar (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) for students with no previous Italian language skills. Lab. Equivalent to IT 001 and half of IT 002. Usually offered fall semester.
  • IT 020. Intensive Intermediate Italian (6 credits). Continuation of intensive elementary Italian, building grammar and communication skills. Equivalent to second half of IT 002 and all of IT 003. Prerequisite: IT 010. Usually offered spring semester.
  • IT 050. Italian Conversation Tutorial (1-3 credits). Optional roundtable conversation practicum for students concurrently enrolled in another basic Italian language course. May be repeated up to 3 times for credit. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in IT 001, 002, 003, 010, or 020. Usually offered every semester.

First-Year Seminar in Italian Literature, Film, And Culture (IT 083S)

  • IT 083S First-Year Seminar in Italian Literature, Film, and Culture (GH, IL, 3 credits). Introduction to the study of Italian literature, film, and culture in English translation. Topic varies each time the seminar is offered. Course is restricted to 20 first-year students. Usually offered once every 3­–4 semesters.

Topics in Italian Conversation (IT 110)

  • IT 110 Topics in Italian Conversation (3 credits). Focus on intensive oral communication practice, especially aimed at preparation for study or work abroad and tourism. Topics can vary. Prerequisite: IT 003 or IT 020. Usually offered once every 2–3 semesters.

Italian and Italian-American Culture and Civilization (IT 130 AND 131)

  • IT 130 Italian Culture and Civilization (GH, IL, 3 credits). Italian life from antiquity to the present; literature, film, the arts, and contemporary problems in historical perspective. Usually offered every semester.
  • IT 131 Italian-American Culture and Civilization (GH, US, 3 credits). Italian-American experience from the late nineteenth century to the present. Socio-political issues seen through cinema and through literary and other readings. Usually offered once every 2-3 semesters.

Italian Literature in Translation (IT 230)

  • IT 230 Masterpieces of Italian Literature in English Translation (GH, 3 credits). Emphasis on works and authors of international importance. Lectures, readings, and written work in English. Focus of course varies each time it is offered. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.

Advanced Italian Courses Taught Ii Italian (IT 301, 320, 325, 330W, 412, 415, 422, 430, 450, AND 460)

  • IT 301 Pathways to Fluency (3 credits). For majors, minors, and others with adequate preparation; deepening of grammatical skills, integrated conversation, composition, and reading. Prerequisite: IT 003. Usually offered every semester.
  • IT 320 Introduction to Italian Culture: Food, Fashion, Family (3 credits). Focus on the social, historical, and socio-political issues of Italian in the last two centuries. Prerequisite: IT 003. Usually offered once every 2-3 semesters.
  • IT 325 Introduction to Italy’s Genius (3 credits) Focus on the art, literature, and philosophy of Italy from the Renaissance to present. Prerequisite: IT 003. Usually offered once every 2-3 semesters.
  • IT 330W Great Books of Italian Literature (3 credits). Survey of Italy’s literary works that have had the greatest impact on western civilization with focus on improved critical writing skills in Italian. Prerequisite: IT 003. Usually offered once every 2-3 semesters.
  • IT 412 Theory and Practice of Translation (3 credits). Advanced practicum in Italian explores the technical, artistic, and practical applications of translation between Italian and American cultures. Prerequisite: any 300-level Italian course. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 415 Dante (3 credits). Close reading of The Divine Comedy with comparisons of ethical treatments to today’s world. Prerequisite: any 300-level Italian course. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 422 Topics in the Italian Renaissance (3 credits). Topics vary each semester and may include “Theories of Love,” “Magic, Witchcraft, Alchemy, and the Emergence of Modern Science,” etc. Check for current offering. Prerequisite: any 300-level Italian course. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 430 Italian Children's Literature (3) This course examines Italian children's books from the post-unification period (1880s) to the present day.
  • IT 450 Topics in Nineteenth-Century Italian Literature (3 credits). Topics can vary on Italian romanticism, Verismo and neoclassicism, their origin and development in the novel, poetry, and drama. Prerequisite: any 300-level Italian course. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 460 Topics in Twentieth-Century Italian Literature (3 credits). Topics can vary on modern and contemporary Italian prose, drama, and poetry. Prerequisite: any 300-level Italian course. Usually offered once every 3-4 semesters.

Advanced Italian Courses Taught in English (IT 475, 480, 485, AND 490)

  • IT 475 Modern Italian Literature and Cinema (3 credits). Introduction to Italian silent films, works during Fascism. Focus on Neorealism and reactions against Neorealism in film and literature. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 480 Italian Women Writers through the Centuries (3 credits). Analysis of the works of women authors in their historical and literary contexts. Occasionally taught in Italian. Check for prerequisites. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 485 Italian-American Cultural Studies (3 credits). In-depth exploration of Italian-American cultural contributions. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. Usually offered once every 3–4 semesters.
  • IT 490 Dante in Translation (3 credits). The reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy, along with selected minor works. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. Usually offered once per year.

Other Italian Courses at PSU and Abroad

Foreign Studies (IT 099, 199, 299, AND 399)

  • IT 099 Foreign Studies (IL, 1-12 credits). Coursework completed in Italy. Can include elementary language skills, cultural orientation programs, etc.
  • IT 199 Foreign Studies (IL, 1-12 credits). Coursework completed in Italy. Can include intermediate language skills, topics in culture and civilization, etc.
  • IT 299 Foreign Studies (IL, 1-12 credits). Coursework completed in Italy. Can include intermediate language skills reviews, topics in Italian literature or culture in English translation, etc.
  • IT 399 Foreign Studies (IL, 1-12 credits). Coursework completed in Italy. Can include advanced language skills, contemporary Italian culture courses and surveys of Italian literature usually taught in Italian, etc. Prerequisite: IT 003 or IT 020.

Please note: Students should discuss any plans to study abroad in Italy with an Italian adviser to assure that Italian credits transfer back to PSU as students anticipate. See the section on Study Abroad.

Special Topics Courses (IT 197, 297, AND 497)

  • IT 197 Special Topics (1–9 credits). Course content varies, but typically encompasses broad introduction to culture or basic language skills. Check for prerequisites. Offered infrequently. May be repeated for credit as long as the topic differs each time.
  • IT 297 Special Topics (1–9 credits). Course content varies, but typically focuses on an aspect of Italian literature or culture in English translation. Offered infrequently. May be repeated for credit as long as the topic differs each time.
  • IT 497 Special Topics (1–9 credits). Course content varies, but typically offers advanced work on single author, movement, or genre of Italian literature or culture. May be offered in either English or Italian. Check for prerequisites. Offered infrequently. May be repeated for credit as long as the topic differs each time.

Research Projects, Internships, And Independent Studies (IT 294, 296, 395, 494, AND 496)

  • IT 294 Research Project (1–12 credits). Student-initiated research projects, usually completed abroad. Special permission is required. See Italian adviser.
  • IT 296 Independent Studies (1–18 credits). Student-initiated, lower-division independent study with approved faculty member supervision, usually abroad. Special permission is required. See Italian adviser.
  • IT 395 Internship (1–18 credits). Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required. Special permission is required. See Italian adviser.
  • IT 494 Research Project (1–12 credits). Student-initiated research projects, usually completed as part of a Schreyers Honors College thesis in Italian. Special permission is required. See Italian adviser.
  • IT 496 Independent Studies (1–18 credits). Student-initiated, upper-division independent study with approved faculty member supervision. Special permission is required. See Italian adviser.

Please note that these 200-level courses are most often taken in conjunction with study in foreign programs; these 400-level courses are rarely approved and usually only for graduating Italian majors who have taken 4 or more other advanced Italian courses at Penn State.