French and Italian

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate majors: French (BA); Italian (BA)

Undergraduate minors: Arabic studies; French; Italian

Graduate degrees: MA in French and Francophone world studies; PhD in French and Francophone world studies

Faculty: https://french-italian.uiowa.edu/people

Website: https://french-italian.uiowa.edu/

The Department of French and Italian introduces students to the cultures of France, the Francophone world, Italy, and parts of the Middle East and Africa, providing an understanding of those countries' historical and contemporary importance. It also facilitates development of proficiency in the French, Italian, Arabic, and Swahili languages and fosters critical appreciation of French, Francophone, Italian, and Arabic literatures and cultures.

Faculty expertise enables the department to offer courses in the traditionally recognized historical periods of French literature, various literary genres, and critical theories as well as the Francophone literatures of Canada, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean. The department has particular strengths in interdisciplinary studies, notably in the areas of comparative arts, film studies, history, and second language acquisition.

Undergraduate students in all majors may satisfy the World Languages requirement of the GE CLAS Core with courses in Arabic, French, Italian, or Swahili; see "Language for GE CLAS Core" below. The department offers other GE CLAS Core courses, and entering students may take the department's First-Year Seminars.

The Department of French and Italian is one of the academic units in the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Colorful outdoor market overseas.

Language for GE CLAS Core

The Department of French and Italian provides course sequences in four languages—Arabic, French, Italian, and Swahili—that students in all majors may use to fulfill the World Languages requirement of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core. For more information regarding pathways to fulfill the World Language GE CLAS Core requirement, including options to take four levels of one world language, two levels each of two different languages, or three levels of a world language plus a World Language and Cultural Exploration course, see GE CLAS Core in the catalog. The Department of French and Italian also offers a variety of language courses that nonmajors may take to satisfy their own educational goals and interests. 

Arabic

The department is the administrative home for Arabic language and culture courses. It offers elementary, intermediate, and advanced Arabic as well as conversational Arabic, for which ARAB:1002 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II is a prerequisite. Students without a background in Arabic should begin with ARAB:1001 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I. Students who have a background in Arabic should contact the general education coordinator to determine the level at which they should begin Arabic language study at the University of Iowa. See Courses in this section of the catalog for a list of departmental courses.

Students who wish to fulfill the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement with four levels of Arabic should complete the following course sequence.

Course # Title Hours
ARAB:1001Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I5
ARAB:1002Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II5
ARAB:2001Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I5
ARAB:2002Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II5

French

Students who have a background in French should take the online placement test, which helps determine the level at which a student could begin French language study at the University of Iowa. Students without a background in French should begin with FREN:1001 Elementary French I.

Students who wish to fulfill the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement with four levels of French should complete the following sequence.

Course # Title Hours
FREN:1001Elementary French I5
FREN:1002Elementary French II5
FREN:2001Intermediate French I5
FREN:2002Intermediate French II5

Those with previous knowledge of French may be able to reach and complete the fourth level of French with this sequence.

Course # Title Hours
FREN:1010First-Year French Review5
FREN:2001Intermediate French I5
FREN:2002Intermediate French II5

Italian

Students who have a background in Italian should take the online placement test. Placement cutoff scores are advisory. Students should also consult with the general education coordinator to determine the level at which they should begin Italian language study at the University of Iowa. Students without a background in Italian should begin with ITAL:1101 Elementary Italian I.

Students who wish to fulfill the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement with four levels of Italian should complete the following course sequence.

Course # Title Hours
ITAL:1101Elementary Italian I5
ITAL:1102Elementary Italian II5
ITAL:2203Intermediate Italian I4
ITAL:2204Intermediate Italian II4

Those with strong language-learning abilities or background in another Romance language may be able to substitute ITAL:1103 Intensive Elementary Italian for ITAL:1101 Elementary Italian I and ITAL:1102 Elementary Italian II and move on to intermediate study sooner.

Course # Title Hours
ITAL:1103Intensive Elementary Italian4,6
ITAL:2203Intermediate Italian I4
ITAL:2204Intermediate Italian II4

Swahili

The department is the administrative home for Swahili courses. The following four-semester sequence is one way to meet the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement. Students who have a background in Swahili should contact the general education coordinator to determine the level at which they should begin Swahili language study at the University of Iowa.

Course # Title Hours
SWAH:1001Elementary Swahili I4
SWAH:1002Elementary Swahili II4
SWAH:2001Intermediate Swahili I4
SWAH:2002Intermediate Swahili II4

Study Abroad

The department participates in several study abroad programs. Some of them are the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) French Studies in Pau and Lyon; the University of Minnesota/Paul Valery University Study Abroad in Montpellier; and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Summer French Program in Quebec at the Université Laval. For information about these and other programs abroad, contact International Programs Study Abroad and use its programs search; or see Study Abroad (University College) in the catalog.