Italian Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The graduate program offers in-depth training in the field of Italian Studies, leading to the PhD degree. The program begins with a strong foundation in the critical analysis and historical understanding of Italian literature and encourages exploration of a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. These include (but are not limited to) film studies; comparative literature; literary, rhetorical, and cultural theory; gender studies; history; anthropology; history of art and music; architecture; classics; political science; medieval and early modern studies; and Romance languages and literature.

The Department of Italian Studies offers an integrated MA/PhD program, in which the MA constitutes the first phase in a trajectory leading to the PhD. Applications are not accepted for the MA degree alone. Students holding a master’s degree or the equivalent in Italian Studies and related fields from other institutions may be admitted directly to the second phase of the program.

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Admission to the University

Applying for Graduate Admission

Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Graduate Division hosts a complete list of graduate academic programs, departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application and steps to take to apply can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Admission Requirements

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;

  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and

  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.

Where to apply?

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.

Admission to the Program

We select our graduate students on the basis of their record of academic achievement in the past, and their promise of future success in scholarship and teaching. A bachelor's degree in Italian is preferred but not absolutely required for admission; however, applicants with degrees in other fields must have already undertaken significant coursework in Italian studies.

We accept applications from students holding a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley or elsewhere, and from those who hold a master’s degree or Italian Laurea.  Applicants from Italy should also be aware of the significant differences between the PhD degree and the dottorato di ricerca. 

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

Total Normative Time

Total normative time is six years.


ITALIAN 205Proseminar I: Italian Literary Studies2,4
Graduate Colloquium in Italian Studies
and Graduate Colloquium in Italian Studies
Select three ITALIAN graduate courses from the following historical periods:
13th-14th Centuries
15th-16th Centuries
17th-18th Centuries
19th-20th Centuries
ITALIAN 282Prospectus Tutorial4
ITALIAN 302Practicum in College Teaching of Italian2-4
ITALIAN 303Practicum in the Teaching of Italian Literature, History, and Culture2-4
ITALIAN 375Seminar in Language Pedagogy4


Italian Studies

Contact Information

Department of Italian Studies

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Berkeley, CA 94720-2620

Phone: 510-642-2979

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Department Chair

Mia Fuller

6315 Dwinelle

Graduate Admission

Seth Arnopole

Graduate Student Services Advisor

Seth Arnopole

6313 Dwinelle

Head Graduate Advisor

Akash Kumar

6325 Dwinelle

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