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Italy has one of the ten largest economies in the world, and mastering Italian can open up a world of professional and personal opportunities.

Italian has more than 67 million native speakers worldwide. Some 120 million people speak Italian as a second language. In addition to serving as the official language of Italy, Italian is common in 29 countries, such as Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, North Africa, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.

Learning Italian serves as a gateway to a wide variety of career opportunities, in finance, marketing, journalism, translation, and computer programming. Italy is also a leader in the fields of air and water quality control, transportation technology, food and beverage fields, robotics, interior design and fashion.

The courses in the Italian Program are designed to help students become fluent in both the language and culture of Italy. On the very first day of class, students begin speaking Italian, and gain valuable communication skills as they progress through the Intermediate and advanced courses. Students may choose from an array of Italian courses on various topics that enable them to understand key turning points in Italian history, society and politics, cultural trends, and movements in such arts as film and literature. For instance, popular offerings in Italian Food Studies or Multi-Racial Italy Today prepare students for careers in health, sustainability, urban agriculture as well as advocating for and implementing strategies for global competence and education. Italian courses contribute to such programs as Global Studies and International Studies. 

Students are also encouraged to participate in UWM’s study abroad program. Destinations are available in more than 70 sites around the world and vary in length from a few weeks immersion, to semester-long, to even a full year. Because of the complexities of planning a study abroad experience, students are encouraged to start planning early in sophomore year. Most students engage in study abroad during the second half of sophomore year or during their junior year.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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At least 9 credits must be taken at the 300 level or above in residence at UWM. The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

The Italian minor requires 18 credits distributed as follows:

ITALIAN 311Advanced Conversation and Composition: Contemporary Italian Usage3
ITALIAN 312Contemporary Italian Language and Culture3
Select 12 additional credits within the Italian curricular area, including courses in language (beyond the first year), literature, film, culture, and civilization12
Total Credits18

Minors will work directly with their faculty advisor to receive guidance on course selection. Declare your minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the website and a faculty advisor will contact you or email with questions.

Students whose major is also in the College of Letters & Science can discuss their minor with their college advisor as well. Students whose major is outside of the College of Letters & Science will not need a college advisor and can work solely with their Italian faculty advisor to address any questions related to the minor.


Prospective Students (not yet enrolled at UWM)

Prospective students, contact our admissions counselor at or 414-229-7711.

Current Students

General questions such as how to declare, how to change a major, general education requirements, etc. should be directed to the College advising office at or 414-229-4654.

Specific questions about French, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to Prof. Larry Kuiper.