Ph.D. Program in Italian Studies

The doctoral program in the Department of Italian Studies at Yale offers paths of study and research in all periods of Italophone literary and cultural studies, at the crossroads of disciplines and academic traditions. Our goal is to form Italianists able to critically understand the foundations of our field while challenging their limits through innovative, rigorous scholarship.

Director of Graduate Studies: Alessandro Giammei

Graduate Registrar: Ann DeLauro

Scroll down for information on how to apply

an interdisciplinary community

 views from the Humanities QuadrangleSupported by extraordinary resources in archives, libraries, galleries,  and a number of institutional connections with other Departments and Programs, interdisciplinary work is encouraged.

We welcome candidates interested in exploring how Italian Studies interacts with fields such as Modern and Classical Literatures, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Art History, Musicology, Women and Gender Studies, Film and Media, and History. 

We strive to foster community. Our graduate students fully participate in the Department’s life through initiatives such as graduate conferences, a Diversity in Italian Studies lecture series, an annual Italian Film Festival, and informal gatherings organized by the Italian Society at Yale.

combined degree programs

 a page from a Divine Comedy manuscript held at beinecke and a page from Pablo Echaurren's papers held at BeineckeIn addition to the Ph.D. in Italian Studies, the program offers two options for combined degrees: one in Italian & Early Modern Studies (in which students can  enroll after being accepted in the program), and one in Italian & Film and Media Studies (to which prospective students can apply directly).

After admission, students can also enroll in numerous graduate certificates outside of the Department, and sometimes apply for an ad hoc combined degree path with allied disciplines such as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or Ethnicity, Race, and Migration.

unique resources for research and pedagogical training
 a tarot card from the visconti deck held at Beinecke and a manuscript from the Marinetti papers held at BeineckeAt Yale, graduate students have full access to world-class collections, including those hosted at the Beinecke Library (from Medieval and Early Modern manuscripts and prints to Futurist manifestoes, 1970s counter-culture documents, Queer Italian movements ephemera, and more) and the Yale Art Gallery.
From their third year on, our students get teaching experience through language teaching (at Yale and in our Summer Program in Siena), assistantships, and competitive fellowships to design and co-teach their own courses.
funding and exchange programs
 the hallway of the department of Italian Studies at Yale and a photograph of the Sterling Library areaOur graduate students are fully funded for at least 5 years, with a 12-month stipend, a fellowship that covers tuition, and healthcare.  They are also encouraged to apply for internal competitive funds to organize conferences and symposia, travel to speak at conferences or conduct research, and participating in workshops, language courses, and other professionalizing experiences during breaks.
On their 5th year, students who completed their coursework and passed their exams and prospectus defense get a University Dissertation Fellowship and funds to complete their research where they wish. Many take advantage of our exchange program with the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa or the IvyPlus network, which allows them to work at sister institutions in the US (Berkeley, Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Penn, Princeton, Stanford).
campus tour video

How to Apply

Prospective students can apply through the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences portal. The deadline for applications is usually at the very beginning of January. For general information about the application process, please visit the GSAS website.

application material
A complete application includes:
  • A statement of academic purpose (500-1,000 words explaining why you are applying to Yale for graduate study. Describe your research interests and preparation for your intended field(s) of study, including prior research and other relevant experiences. Explain how the faculty, research, and resources at Yale would contribute to your future goals).
  • A Curriculum Vitae and unofficial transcripts (i.e. courses taken and grades) from previous undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Three letters of recommendation by faculty mentors who know the candidate.
  • A writing sample, either in Italian or English, that reflects the candidate’s research and argumentative skills.
  • An application fee or fee waiver (we encourage candidates to waive the fee if at all eligible to do so)
No standardized test (such as the GRE, which is optional) are required. A useful list of Frequently Asked Questions is available here.
admission requirements

At the moment of the application, candidates are expected to demonstrate excellent command of Italian and English. In the course of their studies, admitted students in Italian Studies at Yale will also show reading competence of two additional languages (besides Italian and English) that are relevant for their research goals.

Useful Links and Information

Click HERE for a campus tour video.

Information for New Grad Students

Yale Graduate Housing

Academic Calendar

What is the GSA?

Yale Slang: A Users Guide

The Compass: a guide to life at Yale and in New Haven