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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: Catharine Cusack
    Italian minor student

    "When I was in sixth grade, I began studying Italian at school and it instantly became one of my favorite subjects. Throughout high school I was thoroughly involved in Italian Club and Italian Honor Society, so the Italian language and culture grew to be something that I am greatly passionate about. When it came time to begin my journey at Manhattan College, I knew that I would love to have an Italian minor to further my understanding of the language. Dr. Sardu has helped me tremendously to develop as a speaker of Italian through her courses as well as the offered cultural events. I would say my favorite Italian course I have taken so far was about immigration and the Italian Diaspora. As an Italian minor, I was also given the opportunity to teach as an Italian Lab Assistant, where I have facilitated review and instruction of various topics for Italian 101 and 102 students. Being involved in the Italian minor program has been an extremely rewarding experience, especially as an Italian American because it has taught me so much about my heritage. Since most of my family members no longer are able to speak Italian, it was important to me to be able to embrace this part of my heritage. Learning a new language truly expands your horizons and allows you to communicate with so many more people. As I also study to become a teacher, in the future I look forward to incorporating the Italian language and culture in my own classroom!"


  • Meet an Italian Minor: Gabrielle Panassol
    Italian minor student

    "When I got into Manhattan College, I always knew I wanted to minor in a modern language. I already knew Spanish so Italian was the primary and obvious choice. In 2019 I was able to take my first Italian class ever with Prof. Sardu and I immediately fell even more in love with the language. A piece of Italian culture has always been in my family since my grandmother’s mother was an immigrant from Italy. My grandmother and I would cook together and she would teach me some basic Italian words related to Italian cuisine and I found myself always wanting to learn and eventually be fluent in it.

    The Italian program has offered me more opportunities to learn about my Italian heritage, and to understand how connected I am to Italy! In my senior year, I was able to do an Independent Study with Prof. Sardu about Italian art during the Fascist period which gave me art interpretation skills, as well as how much art can influence not only people, but whole governments! Through the Italian program I found out how Italian culture has always been a part of me and my family!"

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.