close up of Mona Lisa

Study Italian.

You’ll know why she’s smiling.

Italian is a Romance language that is the most direct descendent to Latin. It is a language of global communication, business, technology, and the arts. 

Global Communication 

In addition to being the language of Italy, San Marino, Vatican City and southern Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Italian is widely spoken in the United Kingdom, along the Eastern Adriatic coast and in North Africa. It is spoken by millions of people in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, and Chile. 

Business & Technology 

With over 1,000 Italian companies operating in the U.S. and 7,000+ American companies in Italy, knowing Italian can open the door to careers in business, finance, marketing, public relations, computer technology, and robotics.  

The Arts 

In literature, painting, architecture, music, and cinema, countless masterpieces have been produced by Italians, from Dante and Giotto to Verdi and Fellini. Understanding Italian culture and language is a key to a career in the arts and entertainment.  

Studying a second language has been demonstrated to improve a person’s overall reading and listening abilities, critical thinking skills, reasoning and logic which are important and skills across fields of study and careers. 

At UWM, different language programs are offered through different departments. Through the Department of Global Studies, we offer Italian and French. Other available languages can be browsed via our World Languages web page. And, we offer retroactive credits to students who are able to begin their college study of Italian in second-semester Italian or higher based on the results of a placement test. Up to 14 retroactive credits are available if a student takes a higher level class and completes it with a grade of B or better.

Non-degree and auditors are also welcome!

Italian Contacts

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 Italian, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to Simonetta Milli Konewko.

Major or Minor in Italian

Ready to Declare?

Select the declaration that’s right for you, and you will find more instructions on how to declare and what to expect.

Recommended Student Resources for Italian Majors and Minors

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Understand who your advisors are and the ways they help you successfully navigate college life.
View Advising
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See all the options for electives and upcoming courses.
View Courses
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Understand how to create a scholarship application and sources of funding.
View Scholarships & Awards
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There are additional programs at UWM outside of the Department of Global Studies that cover global topics.
View Related Programs
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Tutoring, accommodations, mentor programs, and more.
View Help
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See what our alumni have done with their Global Studies degrees.
View Resources & Outcomes
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Find friends with similar interests through career-oriented organizations, social clubs, and community activities.
View Organizations
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Earn honors in the major or join the UWM Honors College.
View Honors
Opportunities abound around the world for students to live and study outside of the U.S. for a few weeks, a semester or a full year.
View Study Abroad
Experience matters just as much as a degree. Learn about international internships and domestic internships with international companies for students in Global Studies.
View Internships
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Students who place beyond the first-semester of a language can earn up to 16 retroactive credits, depending on the language.
View Retro Credits

It pays to know Italian. And study it at UWM.

The Italian major or minor pair well with almost any other area of study — from computer science to theater to history and everything in between. Double majors are common! Non-degree and auditors are welcome!

Job Opportunities

Italian affiliated companies are found in the environmental protection, air and water quality control, transportation, culinary arts, fashion, interior design and graphic design industries. Italy holds a strategic position geographically in the Mediterranean and in the political world. A degree in Italian is excellent preparation for a career in international affairs, international trade, or foreign service. 

Small Class Size

The average student to teacher ratio in UWM’s Italian courses is 9:1. Students receive personalized attention and form tight bonds with their fellow students and the instructors and faculty.

Student Organization

Circolo Italiano is the Italian Student Association that works to increase Italian cultural awareness on campus through different activities. They host presentations and events, watch and discuss Italian movies, and take field trips.

Study Abroad 

Traveling to Rome is a dream for many and UWM’s exchange program is popular. While in country, students often travel to Florence, Venice, Palermo, and the Mediterranean Islands to further explore. Some scholarships are available for study abroad.

Italian News

  • Congratulations to our 2024 scholarship recipients!
    The Department of Global Studies wishes to extend our warmest congratulations to this year's scholarship winners in Comparative Literature, French, Global Studies, and Italian! Well done! Darren Jurmé Allumier: Roy Arthur Swanson Merit Scholarship in Comparative Literature Emily Barnard: Giovanni Carini …
  • Daniela Chiappetta selected for 2024 Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program
    Congratulations to UWM Italian major Daniela Chiappetta, who has been selected by the National Italian American Foundation for the 2024 Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program. This highly competitive program selects 48 U.S. College students each summer for …
  • Spring 2024 Language Tables and Informal Conversation Opportunities
    UWM's language programs offer many opportunities to speak in languages other than English outside of the classroom. Explore all your Spring 2024 language table options here.
  • Apply now for 2024-2025 scholarships in all of our programs!
    Applications for all scholarships within the Department of Global Studies  are due within the UWM Panther Scholarship Portal are on Friday, March 1. Please make sure to complete the general application and upload a transcript showing your grades for Fall 2023 …
  • Exciting Summer Study Abroad Opportunities Await! 
    Are you ready for an enriching experience? Discover the world and earn credit in French, Global Studies, or Italian through our faculty-led study abroad programs. Check out the details of each program below: BLM/Brazil: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture …

Italian Events

There are no upcoming events.

Campus Resources

UWM offers a wide range of on-campus resources, such as academic support and mental health resources. Students also find community within our student centers.

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