Bachelor of Arts in Italian

Preparation for the Major

The Italian major consists of 30 units of upper-division coursework. Up to 14 units of lower-division coursework or demonstrated language proficiency is required for the major.

Proficiency can be demonstrated by completing the necessary lower-division courses, having taken the equivalent coursework elsewhere, or testing out. For advising about placement, contact the Italian program coordinator at

Most upper-division courses with the ITAL prefix are conducted in Italian, and students are expected to use Italian in their speaking, reading, and writing.

Writing in the Major

Students must complete the University’s GWAR requirement by taking MLL 400GW, CWL 400GW, or ITAL 600GW.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Italian:

  1. Language - Students will read, listen, speak and write in Italian at an intermediate to an advanced-intermediate level.
  2. Linguistics - Students will identify the basic grammatical structures and elements of Italian.
  3. Culture - Students will be familiar with Italian historical and cultural developments in relation to an international context.
  4. Literature - Students will be familiar with Italian literary production in relation to an international context.

Italian (B.A.) — 30-44 units

Lower-Division Core (0-14 units)

ITAL 101First Semester Italian 14
ITAL 102Second Semester Italian 14
Select Two:6
Third Semester Italian 1
ITAL 104
Italian Conversation

May be fulfilled by AP test credit.

Upper-Division Core (15 units)

ITAL 305
ITAL 401Italian Culture and Civilization3
Select One:3
ITAL 510
ITAL 511
MLL 325Linguistics for Foreign Languages3
Select One:3
Approaches to Comparative and World Literature - GWAR
Reading and Analysis of Cultural Texts - GWAR

Electives (15 units total)

Lower-Division Elective (3 units)

One lower-division course in Italian (e.g., ITAL 250) or a related area upon advising.

Upper-Division Electives (12 units)

Any upper-division course in Italian (ITAL 300+) or related area upon advising.

Note: A minimum of 30 upper-division units must be completed for the degree (including upper-division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper-division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper-division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Complementary Studies

Required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian are 12 units of Complementary Studies, which must come from courses bearing a prefix other than ITAL, and not cross-listed with ITAL. Complementary Studies for the Italian major can be satisfied via four possible routes:

  1. 12 units in any foreign language other than Italian (may include up to three units of MLL prefix courses);
  2. 12 units of coursework taken in an approved study abroad program (including CSU Study Abroad and SF State Bilateral);
  3. 12 units of coursework taken as partial completion of a second major, a minor or a certificate;
  4. 12 units of coursework in related disciplines with the approval of an Italian Program advisor.

Related disciplines typically include classics, linguistics, literature, humanities, philosophy, history, music, art history, education, Jewish studies, apparel design and merchandising, industrial design, and any aspect of greater Italy, Mediterranean, Italian-American or European studies.

Where a course with a non-ITAL prefix, (and not cross-listed with ITAL), is taken as a core requirement or elective for the Italian major, the said course may also (double) count towards Complementary Studies only via the Study Abroad option or the second Major/Minor/Certificate option listed above. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Foreign Language option are allowed a maximum of three units of overlap of MLL-prefix courses between Italian major and Complementary Studies units. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Related Subjects option are not allowed to double-count major and Complementary Studies units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.