Romance Languages

About the Major

Department/Program Description.

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RL&L) is a cornerstone of the humanities at Wesleyan and the University’s gateway to the French-, Italian-, and Spanish-speaking worlds. We represent literary and cultural traditions that extend from the Middle Ages to the present. We teach languages, literatures, and cultures that span Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Our students develop and apply their knowledge and skills through the extracurricular activities and study-abroad opportunities that we promote. Through a network of collaborations across departments and divisions, we support a wide array of majors, academic programs, and initiatives.

Additional Information.

Students interested in enrolling in French, Italian, or Spanish at the elementary or intermediate levels are urged to do so during their first and sophomore years.

Department policy gives priority to first-year and sophomore students in our language classes (numbered 101-112) to allow students to study abroad and to meet the requirements of those programs requiring language study. Juniors and seniors who wish to take elementary and intermediate language courses should submit an online enrollment request and attend the first class. They may be accepted during the drop/add period if seats become available. Should a junior or senior enroll in the first course of an ampersand sequence (such as 101-102), he or she will have priority for the second course, just like first-year and sophomore students.

Major Description.

Italian Studies

The study of Italian language, literature, and culture brings into proximity humanistic tradition and global concerns. The excellent language training Wesleyan students receive serves as the base from which to explore Italian history, culture, and society from the Middle Ages to the present. The rich and renewing curriculum enables students to develop and refine capabilities Wesleyan has defined as essential. Those capabilities that Italian studies fosters and increases include writing, speaking, interpretation, intercultural literacy, and effective citizenship, skills that are in service to a variety of professions and courses of study. The small classes, typically conducted through the medium of Italian, a characteristic of Wesleyan’s Italian curriculum, allow professors and students to work closely on a variety of critical topics. The cross-disciplinary composition of the major allows students to explore their interests in an array of different departments (history, the College of Letters, art history, classics).

Major Requirements.
  • Nine courses above the level of 102 (i.e., 111 and higher). Sophomores who are satisfactorily completing ITAL102 and intend to pursue Italian will be admitted to the major even though that course does not itself count for the major.
  • At least one course taken in Italian at Wesleyan after study abroad.
  • All courses that count toward the major must be taken for a grade.

Allowance: One course of these nine may be taken through the medium of English.  

The major at a glance

  • One course in Italian post study-abroad required.
  • Students are highly encouraged to satisfy the post study-abroad requirement in the semester they return to campus.
  • Four credits from Bologna accepted.
    • Only one of these may be on a topic that is not Italian in nature (i.e., economy of Russia taken at the UniBo).
  • Lecce credit accepted only for students who have completed through 102 only before study abroad.
  • If a student attends a study-abroad program other than ECCO, a review of the number of credits that will be accepted into the major will be required.
  • Students placing into ITAL221 or higher are required to complete nine courses, three of which may be in English.
  • All students are required to take at least one course in their senior year.
Sample transcripts

YR

SEM

Student 1

Student 2

Student 3

Student 4

Student 5

FR

F

ITAL101

ITAL101

 

 

ITAL221

S

ITAL102

ITAL102

 

 

ITAL2++

SO

F

ITAL111

ITAL111

ITAL101

ITAL101

ITST**

S

ITAL112

ITAL112

ITAL102

ITAL102

ITAL2++

JU

F

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ITAL221

ITAL111

Lecce (=ITAL111)

ECCO (=ITAL112)

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

S

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ITAL2++

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST** (or 0)

SE

***

 

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL221 and

ITAL2++

ITAL2++

and ITST* or ITAL

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ (or 0)***

ITAL2++ (or 0)

NOTES:
  • * 1 ITST course permitted for the major.
  • ** Up to 3 ITST permitted for the major for students placing into 221 or higher.
  • *** One ITAL must be taken in the student’s senior year.
Key: Courses in bold: accepted as courses for ITST major
  • F = Fall / S = Spring
  • ITAL = courses taken through the medium of Italian at Wesleyan (in RLL)
  • ITST = courses on Italian literature/culture taken through the medium of English at Wesleyan
  • ECCO = courses taken on the ECCO Program in Bologna
Study Abroad.

Program in Bologna, Italy. Wesleyan University cosponsors with Vassar College and Wellesley College a program in Italy for up to 15 students from each of the three schools without regard to their choice of major. ITAL102 or the equivalent of one year of college-level Italian is the prerequisite for participation. Students may choose to participate in either the fall or spring semesters, or (optimally) both. For fall or full-year participants, the program begins with a seven-week (two credits) intensive language and culture course that consists of three weeks in Siena in the month of August, followed by a short break, and then four more weeks in Bologna before the beginning of the academic year; spring-only participants will have a similar three-week (one credit) course in Bologna in January. A full complement of courses taught in Italian dealing with Italian literature, history, government, art history, and other areas is offered at the program’s center, taught by faculty from the Universita’ di Bologna and by the program director.

Qualified students are strongly encouraged to enroll in courses at the Universita’, and, thus, students with good language skills will have a wide range of fields from which to choose, including economics, government, and the natural sciences. All courses carry one Wesleyan credit.  Since the Italian studies major emphasizes linguistic and cultural competency, all courses taken at the University of Bologna in Italian--regardless of discipline--will normally count for the major.

Cost of the program is approximately equivalent to that of staying on the home campus for the same period, and it includes round-trip air transportation between New York and Italy. Applications for the fall semester are due by March 1, for the spring semester, by October 1, and must be submitted to the Office of International Studies.

Students participating in Wesleyan’s Program in Bologna for any duration may receive credit for four courses. Students attending study-abroad programs other than ECCO are required to have those credits reviewed by their advisor before they will be accepted for the major.

Honors.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Advanced Placement.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Transfer Credit.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Additional Information.

Course assistantships in Italian. Majors and other accomplished students returning from overseas may apply to serve as a course assistant for elementary Italian. Students may not receive academic credit for this exercise; rather, they will receive a stipend for their work. Students should express their interest to the faculty advisor in the spring for the following fall semester and in the early fall for consideration for the spring semester. Please note that students may serve as course assistant for only one course in the University per semester.