Skip to main content

Home > Find Your Major > Italian and European Studies

Italian and European Studies

The Department of French and Italian offers majors in French, French and European Studies, and Italian and European Studies, and minors in French and Italian. The study of the French and Italian languages and cultures prepares students for a wide variety of careers and also leads to an appreciation of other cultures.

Senior faculty members teach courses at all levels, including some sections of first- and second-year courses. Many students participate in approved study abroad programs in France and Italy through the Global Education Office. Activities organized by the department include lectures by visiting professors, films, concerts by Francophone artists, and symposia.

Recently Offered Courses

The Department of French and Italian offers a wide variety of courses each semester from introductory language and literature, to special topics seminars. Recent examples include: Literature and Law; Medical French, French for Business; The Contemporary Press and Media; Francophone literature; French and Francophone Cinema; French Feminisms; Minority Issues & Immigration in France; Dangerous Bodies: Women in 19th Century Art and Literature; Made-in-Italy: Italianness in Italy and Abroad; Famous Women from Antiquity to the Renaissance; Contemporary Italian Cinema; Classic Italian Cinema; Dante’s Divine Comedy; City Fictions; and Italian Society and Culture.

Honors Program

Candidates for French Honors who meet college requirements must maintain a 3.5 grade point average in all French courses and complete 36 hours in French. They must complete a minimum of one semester at an approved program in a French-speaking country. During the second semester of the junior year, candidates submit an application to the departmental Honors Committee, indicating the topic of their thesis and the approval of their thesis advisor. During the senior year, candidates must complete one 7000-level course, which can be counted as part of the major. An oral examination on the thesis and its area is to be completed during the final semester of undergraduate study. Students may also be invited to apply to Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society or Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honor Society.

BA/MA (4+1) Program in French

Qualified French majors may apply for admission to the 4+1 program and complete the M.A. in French during a fifth year of study. This M.A. degree prepares students interested in pursuing related inter-cultural careers, such as international law, international relations, K12 teaching, or work with social or non-governmental organizations.


Students who take French 3111 (French for Business) or French 3112 (Medical French) are eligible to take the CCIP (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris) exam and earn an official French diploma in these fields.

Pi Delta Phi

Students may apply for membership in the French honor society, Pi Delta Phi which recognizes merit in the study of French language, literature and civilization.

Gamma Kappa Alpha

Students may apply for membership in the National Italian honor society, Gamma Kappa Alpha which recognizes merit in the study of Italian language, literature and civilization.

Other Special Opportunities

Vanderbilt In Italy - Students interested in Italian culture, art, and society may study during the spring, summer and fall semesters at one of the direct-credit programs administered by CET for Vanderbilt in Italy in Florence or in Siena. Students may select a variety of courses in English or in Italian. Independent and family housing arrangements are available.

McTyeire Hall - French and Italian are among the languages featured in McTyeire Hall, the international residence of approximately 100 students who eat together, speak foreign languages, and engage in a variety of cultural activities. Each year exchange students who are native speakers of French and Italian live in McTyeire to offer authentic linguistic and cultural experiences.

Café Français – An opportunity for francophone members of the Vanderbilt community to come together weekly for a social hour sponsored by the Center for Second Language Studies and the department.

Aperitivo Italiano - Weekly meetings with Italian faculty and Italian native speakers to practice your Italian and enjoy great Italian food and beverages.

Italian Film Festival - Weekly screenings of Italian movies (with English subtitles), briefly introduced by Italian faculty.


The Nashville chapter of the Alliance Francaise oversees annual applications for one-year internships in Normandy. In the past these internships have been offered in Caen and Deauville and have involved teaching English to elementary school children. Many of our graduates are also successful securing one-year teaching positions in France through the French consulate, TAPIF program, or the Fulbright programs.

After Vanderbilt

Alumni of Vanderbilt who have studied French and Italian can be found in all walks of life: physicians, diplomats, attorneys, interior designers, financiers, professors and teachers, translators, and editors are among our graduates.

  • Benjamin Farhi (2019) KPMG Operations and Compliance Risk group, New York
  • Selina He (2019) Investment Banking Analyst, Jefferies Financial Group, New York
  • Lachanda Reid (2018) JD Candidate, Cornell Law School
  • Anna Caruso (2018) Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs
  • Veronica Fulton (2016) JD Candidate, Harvard Law School
  • Stephen Zaksewicz (2016) Fulbright Teaching Assistant, Austria
  • Elisabeth Bloom. (2015) Ph.D. candidate, French, Princeton University
  • Ana Luquerna (2016) Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Perpignan, France. Master's in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at University of Oxford
  • Mallory Hope (2015) PhD Candidate in European History (Early Modern France), Yale
  • Rebecca Mvula (2016) M.D. Candidate, Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Emmett McKinney (2016) Research Associate at Environmental Law Institute, Washington D.C.
  • Carmen Hazim (2011) MPH (Emory University 2014), Epidemiology Fellow at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Monica Giuffrida (2015) MPH candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Tim Xu (2012) - Associate, McKinsey & Company; M.D., John Hopkins School of Medicine (2017); M.P.P, University of Cambridge (2014)


For information about faculty and their research, visit


Raisa Rexer
Assistant Professor of French
Director of Undergraduate Studies in French


Elsa Filosa
Assistant Professor of Italian
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Italian


Department of French and Italian
215 Furman Hall
Nashville, TN 37240
Phone: (615) 322-6900


Italian and European Studies Website