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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

French and Italian

Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
Advising Offices: Phelps Hall 4206
Administrative Offices: Phelps Hall 5206
Telephone: (805) 893-3111

Undergraduate Advisor: Megan Ashley
Undergraduate e-mail:

Graduate Program Coordinator: Jeremy Moore
Telephone: (805) 893-2131
Graduate e-mail: 

Department Chair: Jean Marie Schultz


The Department of French and Italian offers students a comprehensive course of study in the respective languages, literatures, and cultures of France and Italy. Students acquire a solid foundation in the grammatical, conversational, and compositional skills of the target language and receive training in rhetoric, effective communication, historical understanding, cultural analysis, and the study of institutions more broadly. Our faculty encourage students to situate their studies of France or Italy in the societies and economies of Europe, the North Atlantic, and the world at large. The department intends the study of French and Italian societies to open the door to careers in international relations, advertising, foreign service, government, journalism, medicine, education, science and technology, and the environment.

Degree Programs

The Department offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French and in Italian Studies. There are also minors in French and Italian. In addition, the department collaborates actively with the Comparative Literature Program, the Department of Film and Media Studies, the Department of Global and International Studies, the Medieval Studies Program, the Renaissance Studies Program, and the Department of Feminist Studies.

Study Abroad

The Department strongly encourages study abroad, which affords students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and study in France or Italy for up to a year. In most cases, this means attending a French or Italian university, living with a local family, and being fully immersed in the local culture and language. UC's Education Abroad Program (EAP) has programs for advanced students of French at the universities of Bordeaux and Lyon and at the UC Paris Study Center, as well as a partnership with the prestigious Sciences Po in Paris and the Sciences Po in Reims and internship programs in Strasbourg and Paris. Those who choose a year-long program in Italy are usually sent to the University of Bologna, although students may also apply to the prestigious Bocconi University in Milan (economics and international business). Semester- and quarter-long programs at the UC Study Centers in Florence (Italian language and culture) and Rome (“Rome through the Ages”) are also available. Our department also offers two summer programs in Italy, one in Siena and one on the island of Procida, in the Bay of Naples. Most Education Abroad Program participants pay the same fees that they would pay at UCSB, as well as room, board, books and personal travel and living expenses. Majors considering study abroad should keep in mind that they must complete at least 20 units of their upper-division courses in the major on the UCSB campus. Full details regarding EAP courses and regulations are available at the EAP Office, 2431 South Hall (telephone: 805-893-2958), or at

Extracurricular Opportunities

Le Club de Français, Cine Club, French Talent Night (every winter), and Club Italiano meet each quarter for food, films, conversation, and general fun, under the leadership of native French or Italian speakers. All levels of fluency are welcome. We also sponsor a multi-lingual literary journal called Vagabond. For details, contact the department, or visit

Awards and Honors

Pi Delta Phi is a nationwide French honor society. Juniors and seniors with a 3.5 GPA in French and a 3.5 grade-point average overall will be invited to join, as will qualifying graduate students. In addition, qualifying French and Italian Studies majors of senior standing are invited to participate in the Senior Honors Program. This entails writing a 20-page senior honors thesis as an independent study project (up to 4 units course credit). Those who successfully complete this project will graduate with departmental honors; their diplomas and transcripts will read “Distinction in the Major.” French senior honors students may submit their senior honors thesis for consideration for the Hermione Chevallier Prize, which is announced at the annual departmental awards ceremony, while Italian Studies senior honors students compete for the Honors Thesis Prize, a substantial cash award sponsored by the Italian Cultural Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara. Further details are available from the department office and website: