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 let-sci@uwm.edu 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 ls-advising@uwm.edu 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

instructor helping student
Understand who your advisors are and the ways they help you successfully navigate college life.
View Advising
rows in lecture hall
See all the options for electives and upcoming courses.
View Courses
hand holding piggy bank with graduation cap on top
Understand how to create a scholarship application and sources of funding.
View Scholarships & Awards
students looking at sticky notes
There are additional programs at UWM outside of the Department of Global Studies that cover global topics.
View Related Programs
open book in library
Tutoring, accommodations, mentor programs, and more.
View Help
corporately dressed people in chairs
See what our alumni have done with their Global Studies degrees.
View Resources & Outcomes
students walking and laughing
Find friends with similar interests through career-oriented organizations, social clubs, and community activities.
View Organizations
student at whiteboard; instructor watching
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
tiles spelling out Language
Students who place beyond the first-semester of a language can earn up to 14 retroactive credits.
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 Dominique Vitulli Hamilton!
    Congratulations to Dominique Vitulli Hamilton, who has been selected to participate in the prestigious 2022 Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program offered by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). The NIAF selection committee gave special congratulations to this … Read more
  • Study Abroad in Rome, Summer 2022!
    The Italian program is pleased to announce the return of its popular study abroad course in Summer 2022: Summer in Rome (June 3-July 2). Study with both local instructors and UWM instructors; earn 6 credits in one month (3 language … Read more

Italian 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.

Aerial of UWM main campus with Milwaukee in the background