1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Italian Program

Italian has been taught at the University without interruption since its founding. In 1986 the Virginia Council for Higher Education approved the reinstatement of a B.A. degree and the establishment of a graduate course of studies leading to the M. A. degree in Italian. Since 1986, enrollment in Italian basic language courses has increased severalfold, as has the number of majors and minors.

Today, the Department offers three kinds of specialization in Italian Studies: A minor concentration of courses; a major program leading to the B.A. or B.A. with distinction; and a graduate course of studies leading to the M.A. in Italian language and literature.

Our Faculty

The Italian faculty’s expertise encompasses a broad range spanning literary and cultural studies from the medieval to the modern periods, Italian cinema, comparative and interdisciplinary studies, women’s studies, and the use of technology in the humanities.

Italian Tutoring

The Italian tutor list is maintained by the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese. The department does not offer free tutoring services. Individuals from this list are contracted independent of any participation by the department. They establish their own scheduling and fee rates for tutoring services. If you are interested in tutoring, you may contact one of the tutors in our department.

Click here for the list of tutors who are currently available.

Student Life

Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese is one of the more active departments within the University, and we encourage students to strengthen their knowledge and love of Italian culture by participating in our many activities. These activities are meant to facilitate interaction between faculty and students, and to promote appreciation and understanding of Italian culture, art, and lifestyle. To receive updated information on Italian activities please join our e-mail list.

Shea House

The Italian section in the new, state of the art Shea House provides a small, strictly selected number of students of Italian at UVA the unique opportunity to live for an academic year in an environment of total language and culture immersion. The Language House, together with the UVA Italian Department is the epicenter of Italian culture on campus. In close collaboration with the Department and the reorganizing ‘Circolo italiano’, it hosts and plans a variety of events and activities conceived by the students and supervised by the resident graduate language assistant and by the Italian faculty: an Italian film series, guest lectures, a weekly conversation table, food fests, and Italian prizes. These prizes reflect special achievements in Italian and are awarded every Spring semester at the Festa in Giardino, hosted in the beautiful garden of Pavilion VIII.


October 8, 2015 – application opens for students  (both new and returning)

  November 4– application deadline for all language houses and residential colleges

  November 5 – applications will be sent to language houses and residential colleges

  (November 9 —returnees bed assignments due to housing)

  November 16 – ranked applicants spreadsheet due to housing

  November 20 – process complete



Grants & Awards

Each year, the Department rewards excellence in Undergraduate and Graduate studies by awarding the following fellowships and awards (see Department Chair for details):


Lola Pelliccia Prize: This prize is awarded by the Italian program thanks to the generous and continuing sponsorship of the Lola Pelliccia family for outstanding essays written in Italian (separate prizes for 1000/2000 level and 3000/4000 level)

Marie M. Giuliano Award: This award is given to a fourth-year graduating student on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence in Spanish or Italian language study and a contribution to the growth and nurturing of Spanish or Italian at the University.


Tibor Wlassics Dante Research Fellowship: Funded by Luciana Wlassics, the Tibor Wlassics Dante Research Fellowship is awarded annually to a Graduate Student pursuing research on Dante. All Graduate Students in the humanities are eligible to apply. The award is approximately $5000. For more information, please contact Deborah Parker.