How quickly could you learn if you had a teacher nearby and ready to help you—all day, every day?
The Italian School offers a teacher-to-student ratio that is one of the lowest in academia, presenting you with a unique opportunity to acquire and expand your skills under the constant guidance of some of the world’s most experienced and dedicated instructors.
Daily contact with your teachers extends beyond the classroom to include drop-in office hours, discussion groups, and lectures. Between times, you'll join them in organized cocurricular activities—including Italian dance, games, cooking, and bocce—each designed to help you build new vocabulary while developing cultural fluency.
Summer after summer, the Italian School continues to deliver on its reputation for combining rigorous expectations with unmatched support. That’s why many of our students—from researchers and scholars to teachers and travelers—return to the School again and again.
All students who enroll in the Italian School for the summer 2016 session will study at our West Coast site at Mills College, in Oakland, California. Application and financial aid processes are identical to those for the Middlebury campus. For more information on Middlebury at Mills, please click here.
The Italian School
Graduate and undergraduate courses in Italian are offered during the summer on the Mills campus. During the academic year, graduate and junior year programs are offered at the Middlebury School in Florence. Juniors also have the option of studying at the University of Ferrara or Sapienza- University of Rome. All programs of study emphasize both the development of language skills and the understanding of Italian culture. Classes from beginning courses through the doctoral level are taught in Italian, and all summer programs are intensive. We determine placement by language proficiency rather than by length of previous exposure to the language.
A summer at the Language Schools is intensive by design. In first and second level intensive courses, students can expect to spend four to five hours per day in class in addition to other activities. The demanding pace of the program is sustained through the low student-teacher ratio.
A normal load for graduate students is three courses per summer, to be selected in consultation with the director and the associate director. First-year graduate students are placed in the courses most appropriate to their linguistic proficiency as determined by the results of placement tests taken prior to registration. Some students may be required to take one or more courses at a lower level without graduate credit before beginning a full load of graduate work.
*Only in exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the director may students be allowed to register for more than three courses during a summer session.
Master of Arts:
Receipt of the BA degree or the equivalent from a regionally accredited institution is a prerequisite for admission to the MA program. Applicants must have completed course work equivalent to a major in Italian or be able to demonstrate the equivalent level of linguistic proficiency. The M.A. degree in Italian consists of four streams or areas of concentration. Students must select one stream as a major. The M.A. degree is comprised of twelve courses to be taken over a series of summers on the Mills campus or in a combination of a summer at Mills and an academic year in Florence. Students who complete degree requirements in Florence must present an independent research project worth two units of credit.
Students must successfully complete a preliminary summer of study (summer of application) on the Mills campus before being officially accepted to degree candidacy. During this summer, students take three courses, one of which must be a literature course at the 600 level or above, and one of which must be a civilization course.
Admission to the School in Italy is based on performance in the summer courses and on faculty recommendations.
A highly qualified undergraduate student may accumulate a maximum of six graduate units toward a Middlebury M.A. degree before receipt of the B.A. degree or equivalent, but these units may not count toward both degrees.