Italian Literature and Language

Education programs in Italian literature and language teach students about the history, culture and literature of Italy, along with how to speak and read Italian. Read on for more information about the Italian courses and degree programs that can lead to a career in academia and business.

Is Studying Italian Literature and Language for Me?

Programs of Study

As an Italian literature and language student, you'll gain a solid foundation in the Italian language while pursuing studies in literary analysis and traditions. Areas of emphasis will include reading, writing, speaking and comprehension. You'll also have the opportunity to study art history, cinema, cultural traditions and linguistics. Training in advanced grammar might be included, along with literary texts in the original Italian language. Depending on the school, you might also combine your studies with a second major in business, education or public relations.

Employment and Salary Information

Through a bachelor's degree program, you'll gain skills that potential employers desire, like those in critical thinking and effective communication. You might obtain an entry-level career in international studies, business, management or the arts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, the mean annual wage of management analysts was $89,990, while public relation specialists earned $63,020 (

Information for Scholars

Instead of entering the workforce immediately, you might pursue advanced studies in your area of special interest. Once enrolled in a graduate program, you'll have the chance to make a contribution to the field through original research and the writing of a thesis or dissertation. As a scholar of Italian linguistics and literature, you could pursue an academic position, teaching classes and conducting and publishing research. As reported by the BLS in May 2013, postsecondary teachers of foreign languages earned a mean annual wage of $66,300 (

How Can I Work in Italian Literature and Language?

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies program can provide you with an introduction to Italian history from the Middle Ages to the present day, which can include information about literary genres, famous authors or key time periods, like the Italian Renaissance. At the beginning of the program, you'll study basic Italian and work on acquiring vocabulary. Interdisciplinary activities in reading and analysis, speaking and creative writing will also help you develop your communication skills. Early proficiency in the language is important, since most upper-level courses are taught entirely in Italian.

Master's Degree Programs

As a student in a Master of Arts in Italian Studies program, you'll pursue topics in semantics and rhetoric and broaden your understanding of Italian language and culture through courses in music, philosophy or theatre, among other subject areas. You'll also research and write a thesis on a topic of special interest, such as the significance of women writers or Italy's role in European history. Study abroad is recommended, which will further enhance your understanding of Italian culture and language. Completing a master's degree program might qualify you for a teaching position in a community college.

Doctoral Degree Programs

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is usually required to teach at the postsecondary level, and you can begin acquiring classroom experience through assistantships. As a doctoral student, you'll investigate a unique aspect of Italian language and literature, such as the effects of wars on writing or the social importance of Dante's works, which may serve as the theme for your dissertation and oral review. In conducting your inquiries, you may draw from a variety of fields, such as anthropology, comparative literature and media studies. Additional requirements may include proficiency in a language other than Italian and English.

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