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. Italian courses contribute to such programs as Global Studies and the certificate program in Food 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 week 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.


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

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact