PhD in Italian: Degree Program Overview

PhD programs in Italian combine the study of Italian literature with an examination of the linguistic elements of the language. Explore program details, common courses and job options.

Essential Information

Doctoral degree programs in Italian focus primarily on the intensive study of Italian literature. Fiction and poetry from various time periods are analyzed, with students choosing an era of specialization for elective coursework. Students typically are encouraged to investigate literature with an interdisciplinary eye, exploring how factors such as gender, socioeconomics and class influenced the works they're studying. Most programs incorporate detailed study of phonetics and language, giving graduates the tools to excel as instructors and interpreters.

Most programs will require applicants to have a master's degree and writing and speaking samples in Italian. Some schools accept students into combined master's-Ph.D. programs, in which case a bachelor's degree is required for admission. In either case, if the student's degree was in a major other than Italian, the student must complete additional prerequisite coursework before applying. Once accepted, students can expect a doctoral degree to take about three years to complete, while the combined master's and Ph.D. program could take up to five years. Most programs require a final dissertation for graduation.

PhD in Italian

While heavy emphasis is placed on Italian literature, coursework is also balanced with studies in linguistics and Italian culture. Course topics could include:

  • Medieval literature
  • Renaissance drama
  • Phonology
  • Dialectology
  • Gender and Italian culture
  • Folkloric influence

Popular Career Options

A Ph.D. in Italian program gives the graduate a strong liberal arts foundation and qualifies him or her for a variety of careers in academia, government and private organizations. Possible job titles could include:

  • Professor of Italian
  • Literary historian
  • Translator
  • Director of international relations
  • Foreign diplomat

A Ph.D. in Italian covers the literature, language and culture of Italy to prepare students for work as professors, translators, historians and more.

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