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Italian Studies

Photo of Jane Koch.



In addition to majoring in Italian Studies and French, Jane Koch participates in the Army ROTC program at Purdue. Read more here.

Majoring in Italian Studies

Italian Studies brings together courses in Italian Language and Culture, History, Design, Art, and Performance to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the impact of Italian culture and history on the world today. Our degree program builds student proficiency in every aspect of Italian Studies: language and communication, culture and intercultural competence, literature, film, and media.

Italian Studies offers individualized attention and mentoring by our approachable faculty. It fosters an intimate liberal art college experience and a sense of community within a large university setting. Students have access to immersive study abroad opportunities, as well as scholarships, internships, and research opportunities. In collaboration with Purdue CILMAR (Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research), Italian Studies offers students a systematic training in Intercultural Competence, providing them with tools for success both during and after their collegiate career. Thanks to this innovative approach, the Italian Studies student is an intercultural communicator, able to bridge cultural differences in a variety of professional contexts.

Upon completion of the program, students majoring in Italian Studies may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly-related to their studies. Possible careers include:

  • Government/NGO/Non-Profit Employment
  • International Business / Communication
  • Technology Industry
  • Study Abroad Liaison
  • Translator / Interpreter
  • Art Curator / Museum Director
  • Business/Management Position
  • Diplomat
  • Italian Language Teaching Professional
  • Information Technology Position
  • Journalism
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

After completing an Italian Studies Major, students will have acquired:

  • An advanced level of literacy skills in Italian, including the ability to speak, read, write, and understand Italian in a variety of media- and information-rich environments.
  • An in-depth understanding of the development of Italian literature and culture.
  • The capability to think critically and express themselves coherently on topics regarding Italian culture, including economy, politics, social issues, science, art, history, and cinema.
  • The ability to translate messages simultaneously from and into Italian language, maintaining message, content, context, and style as much as possible.

Italian Studies majors also develop transferable skills that are valued by employers and applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Global cultural awareness of the social and political relationships that shape the world.
  • Intercultural competence (knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes) to bridge cultural differences in a variety of global contexts.
  • Capacity to lead and to collaborate well with groups of people with diverse personal, professional, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to think critically and analytically, and to examine ideas from a philosophical, literary, and intercultural perspective.
  • Ability to plan, execute, and disseminate research findings from different vantage points.

Cultural Studies majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Google
  • Autodesk
  • Fiat Chrysler
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Marriott International

Graduate School

  • UCLA
  • University of Iowa
  • U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
  • Northeastern University
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center

CLA Career Center