The Department of Italian Studies at New York University is recognized as one of the finest Italian programs in the country. It offers programs leading to the Master of Arts degree in Italian, the Master of Arts degree in Italian Studies, and the Ph.D. degree in Italian. Courses are taught by an outstanding faculty with specialization in key areas of Italian literature and cultural history. Specific strengths of the faculty lie in the fields of medieval and Renaissance studies, 20th-century literature, film, and culture; postmodern Italy; the application of new technologies to the humanities; and cultural theory. In addition to courses taught by faculty members, the program offers courses taught by eminent visiting professors from Italy and the United States. The recently established Tiro a Segno fellowship in Italian-American culture allows the department to appoint prominent visiting professors to teach courses concerning the experience and contribution of Italian immigrants and Italian Americans to American culture and society.
The Italian program attracts full-time graduate students of superior quality from all parts of the world. In addition to training capable and creative scholars, one of the program's objectives is to promote the effective teaching of Italian at all levels. To this end, students teach several Italian language and literature courses, normally during the second and third years. The Italian program also welcomes qualified part-time students who wish to obtain a master’s degree. An interdisciplinary approach is recommended: students are encouraged to enroll in additional courses outside of the department, e.g., courses in history, cinema, comparative literature, and the fine arts.
NYU offers graduate students in Italian a number of unique resources. Students may take courses, pursue dissertation research, and do independent work at magnificent Villa La Pietra, NYU’s center for study abroad in Florence, and at the Università di Firenze. Graduate students may also take advantage of the resources of Casa Italiana, one of the most active Italian cultural centers in New York. Casa Italiana hosts colloquia, lectures, film series, concerts, and art exhibits throughout the year, as well as organizing, in conjunction with the Department of Italian Studies, the annual Zerilli-Marimò Prize for Italian Fiction, awarded to the author of a new Italian novel.. In addition, two conference series are now hosted by the Department: an annual graduate spring conference and a biennial joint conference organized by the Department in conjunction with the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM), intended to bring together Italian and US scholars within the disciplines of history and literature.