Master of Arts in Italian

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The Master of Arts in Italian program stresses the study of literature and culture. We emphasize Italianistica (Italian Studies), and individual authors from the Middle Ages to the present. The history of Italian literature is taught through linguistic and thematic development in relation to larger European and extra-European contexts. Close textual analysis that includes the study of stylistics, rhetoric, semantics and syntax are a part of graduate seminars, but courses naturally provide useful background knowledge related to topics in art, history, music and philosophy. The M.A. program requires students to deepen their knowledge of genres and literary periods, which they undertake in courses taught in Italian. This fact enables them to reach superior language competency in spoken and written Italian. Many of our graduates teach in secondary schools and community colleges or continue their studies for the Ph.D.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a B.A. in Italian or its equivalent. Those without this degree may be admitted conditionally and asked to complete additional units in consultation with the graduate advisor.

The following documents must be sent to the graduate advisor:

  1. two letters of recommendation;
  2. an analytical Statement of Purpose in English of approximately 500 words, which should be accompanied by
  3. a second version written in Italian; (the two Statements of Purpose are required for admission in order to show proficiency in writing at the graduate level); official proof of the applicant’s score on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination).

Italian (M.A.) — Minimum 30 units

Graduate Seminars in Italian (15 units)

with course number 880

Graduate Seminars or Paired Graduate Courses (6 units)

in Italian Literature from the following

ITAL 800Italian Literature on Film in English - GWAR3
ITAL 850The Italian Theater3
ITAL 870Italian Women Writers--13th to 20th Centuries3
ITAL 881Divina Commedia3

Upper Division Undergraduate Courses (9 units)

paired courses or graduate courses in Italian or related disciplines with approval of graduate major advisor.

and Master's Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations1

A maximum of 6 units may be taken in English.

A maximum of 9 units transferred from CSU approved study-abroad programs may count toward the M.A. if taken as upper-division undergraduate units or graduate-level units.


Students are admitted to the oral examination upon passing the written examination. Both examinations may be attempted not more than twice.

In order to meet the University’s exit requirement for written English, M.A. students will be asked to enroll in MLL 701 before taking their Master’s Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations.