Learning Goals

The joint major in Italian & Linguistics provides an opportunity for students to combine the study of Italian language, literature, and culture with the study of linguistics. Students graduating with a major in Italian & Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research concerning formal structure, universals, acquisition, historical change, variation, and social dimensions of use, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistic theory
  • the ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns
  • proficiency in the Italian language at an advanced level, with respect to reading, writing, speaking, and understanding of spoken Italian
  • critical and analytical engagement with Italian cultural and literary traditions, practices, genres, and great works
  • systematic exposure to the earliest forms of written Italian from the 12th through the 17th century: Umbrian, Sicilian, Tuscan, and the emergence of literary Italian
Major Requirements

The major consists of 13 courses, including at least 6 in Italian, and at least 6 in Linguistics. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy general requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). An advisor can assist you in designing your program of study.

6 Italian Courses
  • 1 advanced Italian language course (300+ level)
  • 1 Medieval, Renaissance, or Baroque literature course (CAS LI 350 Italian Literature I: Medieval or CAS LI 351 Italian Literature II: Renaissance and Baroque)
  • 4 Italian literature courses (300+ level; e.g., CAS LI 350, 351, 352, 450, 452, 453, 459, 553, 555, 556, 590)
6 Linguistics Courses
  • CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
  • CAS LX 301 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
  • CAS LX 321 Syntax: Introductio to Sentential Structure
  • CAS LX 331 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
  • 2 advanced linguistics electives (300+ level)
1 Elective (Italian or Linguistics), e.g.
  • CAS LI courses in language, literature, and culture
  • CAS LX courses in general linguistics (300+ level)
  • other courses in Italian language, linguistics, literature, or culture, with advisor approval
Study Abroad

Students may also take courses to fulfill some of these requirements (with advance approval of their advisor) in the BU Study Abroad program in Padua, Italy. For further information, see BU Study Abroad’s website:

Honors Program

In addition to the standard joint major, we also have an Honors Program in Italian & Linguistics. For further information, see the Honors Program page:


Director of Undergraduate Studies