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Italian (minor only)

Known as la bella lingua (the beautiful language), Italian is an enchanting language from a cherished culture. From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Italian culture has been a powerful force in global affairs throughout history.

Why Choose Italian?

Although Italian is the official language in only five countries, it has a broad cultural reach throughout the world. From Renaissance art to classical music and opera, an understanding of Italian will broaden your horizons, especially in the liberal arts.

The Classroom Experience

In addition to courses focusing on grammar, composition and conversation, Italian classes examine topics including:

  • Italian through film
  • Aspects of Italian culture
  • Italian civilization: Medieval, Renaissance and Contemporary
  • Masterpieces of Italian literature

And our small class sizes allow you to develop language competency as well as establish a close relationship with your professor.

Little Italy in Our Backyard

New York City has a deep Italian culture that manifests in many ways throughout the region. As an Italian minor at Manhattan College, you’ll have a variety of opportunities that take you out of the classroom and into the world including:

  • Proximity to Italian enclaves such as Arthur Avenue and Little Italy
  • Trips to museums and restaurants in New York City
  • Plays, concerts and lectures, both on campus and throughout New York City
  • International study abroad programs
  • Language conversation tables
  • Meet an Italian Minor: Mary Elizabeth Pizzimenti
    Photo of student Mary Elizabeth Pizzimenti

    The Italian minor has given me plenty of opportunities. There are many benefits to knowing a different language in the workforce today. All courses consisted of classic literature and films which can be beneficial to understanding historical impacts on daily lives. Learning a new language allows us to augment analytical skills and helps us to communicate with others, such as our families. The Italian minor has opened new doors for me. Professor Sardu encourages you to apply for Italian scholarships and fellowships that can benefit students. I applied for a fellowship and won! I am going to Washington D.C. for a conference and being honored at a Gala. What makes Italian at Manhattan College special is the personal attention. Students are able to take an independent study course where the professors make connections with the students in order to focus on their strengths and interests. It is this relationship that convinced me that a minor in Italian would be fun and expand my horizons. Speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehension are enhanced through all courses offered.

    The Italian minor also gave me a part-time job at school, allowing me to be a lab assistant to help other students. The lab allows students to work on individual and group communication which allows for more practice. There is an on-campus Tavola Italiana where students sit around the coffee shop to chat and play games. The Italian club is also one of the biggest clubs at the school. They have events that include going to the MET Opera, the Feast of San Gennaro, Arthur Avenue, and more. There is a big Italian culture on campus, and it’s so much fun to be a part of it all. I encourage declaring an Italian minor, no experience necessary.

  • Meet an Italian Minor: Louis Costanzo
    Photo of student Louis Costanzo

    My journey of studying, loving the Italian language and culture began in middle school and continued to grow in high school. My Italian teacher in high school was wonderful and made me comfortable with the language and after years of studying it I wanted to continue for many reasons. It is important for me to understand my family’s culture as well as to communicate with them, especially the ones in Calabria, Naples and Milan, and the Italian language provides this. Additionally, by understanding another language, it opens opportunities for jobs and experiences in the future, and it would be very cool to have a job opportunity in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

    While an Italian minor is not very common for my major, Mechanical Engineering, it can make you stand out more. Balancing the two is enjoyable, because Italian class is an escape from numbers and equations into the world of literature and culture. I have been fortunate to have Professor Sardu as my only Italian instructor at Manhattan College and she has taught me so much about the greatest authors from Italy (and there are a lot), the history of Italy and of course, the beautiful language. Every class is completely in Italian, but it is the best way to learn. She brings the best of the Italian people and culture into class every day. Learning a language will stay with you forever, it will open opportunities and give you a much greater appreciation of your own culture as well as others.

What Will You Learn?

The Italian minor combines practical language skills with cultural studies. As an Italian minor, you will:

  • Become proficient in speaking Italian
  • Understand how this language works in comparison to English
  • Gain a critical understanding of and appreciation for the culture of the people who speak the language

See minor requirements

What Will You Do?

There is a high demand for employees who speak in more than one language. Regardless of your intended career path, multilingual proficiency makes you a stronger job candidate. A Italian minor is an excellent complement to just about any career whether in the liberal arts and sciences or in business, engineering, education or the health professions.

See the Spanish major or French major page for further information about careers specific to modern languages.