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

  • Robin Pickering-Iazzi on the Italian Radio Hour
    On May 4, Prof. Robin Pickering-Iazzi participated in a video interview about her published translation of the non-fiction novel Tina, Mafia Soldier on The Italian Radio Hour of the Istituto Mondo Italiano, now available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other platforms.
  • 414 for UWM Giving Day
    On April 14, UWM celebrates “414 Day.” This year the 414 for UWM Giving Day campaign runs from noon on Thursday, April 13 through noon on Friday, April 14. Please consider supporting UWM and the students of Comparative Literature, French, … Read more
  • Career Closet
    The UWM language departments and programs are holding a professional clothing drive. This will take place from April 3rd- 21st. The items we are looking to be donated include dress shirts, blouses, dress pants, blazers, belts, suits, shoes, skirts, ties, … Read more
  • Pickering-Iazzi’s book launch of Tina, Mafia Soldier
    An enthusiastic crowd engaged in a fascinating and engaging discussion with Prof. Robin Pickering-Iazzi at Boswell Book Company on March 9, at the launch of Tina, Mafia Soldier, her translation of Maria Rosa Cutrufelli's Canto al deserto: Storia di Tina, soldato di mafia.
  • Italian Film Festival USA
    In-person return of the Italian Film Festival USA, from April 28-30. All the films are free and open to the public at the UWM Union Cinema, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., (2nd floor). Check out listings here to find out what movies … Read more

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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