Welcome to the Department of French and Italian at the University of California at Santa Barbara. With faculty renowned for their cutting-edge research and teaching, our department’s aim is to advance new understandings of the French- and Italian-speaking worlds. Our work has illuminated fresh perspectives on France, Italy, and beyond with pioneering scholarship in a range of fields, from Mediterranean Studies to medieval literature to critical theory. As a department, we uphold interdisciplinarity as a core value that we center in our scholarship and our teaching. 

Undergraduate Programs

We offer majors and minors in French and Italian, as well as a major in Transnational Italian Studies, the only one of its kind in the U.S. 

In French, students have many course options in French and Francophone literature and culture that equip them with valuable language proficiency and critical thinking skills. In addition to rigorous preparation in the French language, students also have the opportunity to explore their professional interests with courses that connect French to biology and bioethics, business, international relations, law, among others. 

In Italian, our courses focus on the culture and history of Italy as seen from a global perspective. Students who major or minor in Italian gain communicative competency in the language as well as a broad familiarity with literary and cultural traditions of the Italian-speaking world. The Italian program also offers the Transnational Italian Studies major, which is taught in English and highlights how Italy and Italian culture developed in relation with other languages, histories, and cultures, including its longstanding relationship with France.

Our department also emphasizes the importance of translation in our curriculum. We offer specialized courses on translation in French and Italian, and undergraduates also have the opportunity to complete a minor in translation studies

Graduate Programs

Students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in French and/or Italian may do so through the Comparative Literature Program, which offers MA and PhD programs. Graduate students find close mentorship with our faculty in French and Italian, who offer seminars in literary theory and other specialized topics as well as serve on qualifying exam and dissertation committees. Students can also take advantage of several interdisciplinary emphases (i.e., Applied Linguistics, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, Translation Studies, etc.) approved by the UCSB Graduate Division, which supplement the major discipline by adding a portfolio of marketable skills.

Study Abroad

With the goal of a global education in mind, our department strongly encourages students to study abroad in Italy or in a French-speaking country with any UC-approved program or with the many UC-affiliated programs in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Bologna, Milan, Rome, and Florence. There are 11 UC programs offered in France and 13 in Italy, including summer programs in both countries as well as on campus.

We invite you to navigate our website to learn more about us, and to contact us if you have any questions. Bienvenue! Benvenuti!