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Information for Prospective Students


For the most current course requirements, please refer to the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Studies Department's program requirements listed below. Please contact the Language Program Advisors (Brett Wells for French, James Coleman for Italian) regarding requirements for students with enrollment dates prior to recent course registration policy revisions (the revision date is noted on the program sheet).

Enrichment opportunities


Undergraduate applicants are encouraged to apply online through the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions.

For more information about undergraduate admissions, contact the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences recruitment team.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens applying to the undergraduate program must inquire and apply through the Office of International Service.

Careers and Graduate Study

Competition in an ever more multicultural and multilingual world means that proficiency in two or more languages is now essential to high-level career success.  The study of French and/or Italian thus opens up multiple career paths in business, government, language industry, and teaching, in addition to preparing students for advanced study in law and international affairs, or graduate work in the humanities and social sciences.  Learn more about our programs' graduates and their post-graduate professional pursuits.


Each incoming student is assigned an academic advisor within the Dietrich School’s Academic Advising Center. Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once per term before they can enroll in classes for the next term. Students are encouraged to schedule additional appointments as necessary. Students will remain with their assigned advisor until they declare a major; once a major is declared, students will transition to a new advisor within their major department.

Faculty members in the Department of French and Italian work closely with our undergraduate majors and minors not only on their coursework and other academic pursuits, but on helping them identify how a major or minor fits into their overall program of study at the university. We advise students on study abroad opportunities, on post-graduation academic trajectories, and on future career goals. We regularly consult with prospective and incoming students interested in our fields, and provide whatever information we can to assist them in their decisions and transitions.  More information on advising is available here.

French Program Highlights

  • Diverse and varied study aboard opportunities, including two current summer programs (Nantes and Lille)
  • Internships/service-learning experiences (local translation companies, local high school assistantships, etc.)
  • Regular Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships with faculty in various domains
  • Individual focus through advising by full-time faculty and close personalized mentoring
  • An annual paper prize for a paper written in French, with faculty support to help students revise their papers for submission
  • Opportunities to engage in departmental research networks as undergraduates
  • Cutting-edge curriculum on important topics of our day (environmentalism, migration, globalization, the nation, gender/sexuality)
  • Undergraduate lectures by external scholars who come to campus (recent topics: Simone de Beauvoir today, Quebec and language politics, Indian Ocean Francophonie)
  • Creative expression courses (theatre performance and creative writing) 
  • Close relationship between faculty and French Club, where tendency is to integrate activities and events into the French curriculum:
  • Professionalization (resume/cover letter workshop in Written French course); 
  • Francophone cultures in today's world (a welcome event in the fall with French food; our annual day of Francophonie event in the spring featuring a filmmaker, to coincide with our bi-annual undergraduate conference)
  • A model UN-type event in which students will organize a mock Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • French Theatre Workshop: students put on a French play that they practice and study over the semester
  • Advanced course "The Idea of France" which includes work in the French Nationality Room archives

Meet Award-Winning Faculty Member Lorraine Denman

“I studied in Rome with Professor Lorraine Denman. She took our lessons outside of the classroom and into the streets. We not only studies facts and engaged in meaningful discussion, but we were able to travel to landmarks to incite our curiosity. We presented in class what we saw in the city, and gained the confidence to share conversations with Italian citizens because of Professor Denman’s dedication to her students. Her generosity as an instructor is so important in making her students intrigued, engaged, alert and eager. She inspired me. I went into the class wanting to minor in Italian Language, but her patience and knowledge motivated me to pursue a major in Italian Language and Literature on top of my French major.”

–Emily Bonavoglia (French and Italian Languages and Literature majors)

Italian Program Highlights

  • Individualized advising that goes beyond undergraduate experience to support and guidance in graduate applications, professionalization, alumni contacts, etc.
  • Small classes, individualized faculty relationships and mentoring
  • A broad range of study abroad opportunities, including summer programs in Italy and a very successful spring-term Florence semester program
  • Close relationship between ITAL faculty and Italian Club; coordinated activities such as conversation hours; poetry readings; etc.
  • Internships we offer and supervise
  • Opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research in close collaboration with faculty
  • A broad range of activities and events that link students to contemporary Italy (the Italian Film Festival USA; workshops on Italian culture, food, and more)
  • Regular cultural activities, including student attendance at the Pittsburgh Opera and close working relationships with cultural and historical institutions such as the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Lina Insana’s Introduction to Holocaust Literature course takes a one-day visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. every time the course is offered.

Take the Next Step in Your FRIT Journey

For more information about our department, or to schedule a visit or tour, please email the Dietrich School's Recruitment Team

If you are interested in graduate programs at the Dietrich School, please email The Dietrich School's Department of Graduate Studies for more information.