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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering 

Enrolling directly in the university, you can choose courses taught in Italian from a wide range of disciplines to accommodate your UC major. If you’re new to Italian language, you can also access a more limited selection of courses taught in English. 

Unique Study Opportunities

  • Learn alongside local and international students.
  • Develop a research project with an Italian professor for academic credit.
  • Access exclusive art courses at the Academy of Fine Arts during the spring or year term.
  • Participate in class excursions and trips throughout Bologna and Italy.

Language

Language of Instruction: Italian, English

Italian Language Study: Required during ILP and optional during term

Courses are available in English and Italian. If you have completed two years of university-level Italian before departure, or equivalent, you can take some or all of your courses in Italian. On-site language study plus immersion in daily life in Italy accelerates your language skills and makes taking courses taught in Italian both feasible and rewarding.

Intensive Language Program

The program begins with a mandatory four-week Italian intensive language program (ILP) to help prepare you for your time at the University of Bologna. The ILP is a lively and fast-moving course taught by experienced instructors at inlingua, an international language training organization, and supervised by the UCEAP Bologna study center.

If you have little to no previous Italian language experience, the ILP will teach you survival Italian and will help you build a basic vocabulary for daily needs, as well as provide a virtual introduction to the city of Bologna. If you have previous Italian language experience, the ILP will advance your Italian language skills and prepare you for the academic culture of Italian universities. The course aims to introduce you to life at a major Italian university and to the history and culture of the city of Bologna.

Fall and Spring Semesters

Throughout the term, you may be able to continue Italian language study by enrolling in an Italian course run by the University of Bologna. Italian language courses are typically available in the advanced beginning to intermediate Italian language levels, and are graded pass/no pass only.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study:
    • One course during the mandatory ILP for 6 quarter/4 semester UC units.
    • Fall semester package: Three to four courses for a total of 18 quarter/12 semester UC units.
    • Spring semester package: Four to five courses for a total of 22 quarter/14.7 semester UC units.
    • Year package: Four to five courses for a total of 22 quarter/14.7 semester UC units per semester.
  • You can take one course per semester pass/no pass.

Current Program Courses

Local staff in Bologna will help you choose your classes upon arrival. The study center provides course evaluations and professor recommendations from past students for your reference. One course in the fall is taught at the UCEAP study center by a UC faculty member on a topic in Italian culture, but you’ll take all other program courses at the University of Bologna. Most courses on this program are catalogued as upper-division, however, some introductory courses may be catalogued as lower-division.

University of Bologna

In English, the choice of courses is more limited than the choice of courses taught in Italian. Courses in English are not available in psychology, and are very limited in biology and communication. Courses in English are available in literature, international relations and political science, history, Italian studies, legal studies, digital humanities, economics, business, statistics, selected areas in engineering and science, and other fields. Most courses taught in English are at the advanced level so you should have a strong academic background in the fields you wish to study in Bologna. Advanced Laura Magistrale courses in economics and engineering are especially difficult and require careful course selection. Review the Previous Courses Offered in English documents under the Catalogs and Resources section below for an overview of the types of courses that are offered in English.

In Italian, the University of Bologna offers courses in most UC academic majors and has excellent opportunities for students in art history, communication, Italian, global studies, film studies, history, literature, philosophy, and political science. 

Early exit exams may be required if you participate in the fall program. The fall semester at the University of Bologna extends into January, and many fall courses will only have their exams in January. If instruction also extends into January, early exams are not an option. If you are attending the fall term, you’ll need to coordinate with the UCEAP study center to determine the availability of courses in your field of study that will allow early exams. Leaving at the end of December means taking an exam outside of the official exam period, and not all faculty members may be willing to arrange this. Address this issue with the UCEAP study center at the very beginning of the semester.

Academy of Fine Arts Courses

In English, the Bologna Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna) offers an Introduction to Mosaics course each fall and spring semester. This popular course is open to all students, even if you don't have a background in Italian language or art.

In Italian and English, Art Studio majors with one year of university-level Italian language study participating in the year or spring options can access courses at the Academy of Fine Arts that include digital photography, engraving, drawing, decorative design, computer graphics, fashion design, sculpture, installation art, and mosaics. You must have a strong background in art to be accepted into courses at the Academy. Advanced level students may qualify for specific courses in the Biennio specialistico program.

Independent Research

Independent study projects for academic credit are available and typically take place in the form of a research paper supervised by a University of Bologna faculty member in a field related to their area of expertise. The staff and the UC faculty director at the UCEAP Bologna study center will be available to assist you with the process.

Internships

Internships for academic credit enable you to become better integrated in Italian society while developing Italian language skills in practical settings. Internships are graded on a pass/no pass basis only. The staff at the UCEAP Bologna study center will be available for advice on internship opportunities.

Previous UCEAP students have interned with the city's world-renowned film archive, the Cineteca di Bologna; the Human Rights Nights Film Festival; the Bologna LGBT archive and resource center (Il Cassero); Casa Morandi (former home of the Bolognese painter Giorgio Morandi, now a museum); the Design Management Center; small businesses, including publishers and tourism companies); philanthropic organizations; public junior and high schools (ESL teaching); radio stations; women's rights groups; and the City of Bologna's tourist bureau.

Service Learning

You also have the option of participating in a Service Learning Project, where you volunteer in the community and receive lower-division academic credit. This course can only be added to a full study load and cannot replace a course at the University of Bologna. Service Learning Projects are graded on a pass/no pass basis only. Consult with the UCEAP study center regarding options and placement.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Italian bachelor's degree programs are split into a three-year introductory program (Laurea Triennale) followed by an optional and more specialized two-year program (Laurea Magistrale). Depending on the level of the courses you take, expectations, prerequisites, and course arrangements can vary widely. Introductory (first- and second-year) courses, especially in popular subjects, tend to have larger enrollments than those in the third and later years. Many advanced degree program (Laurea Magistrale) courses are structured on a small scale or as seminars.

To be successful in academics at the University of Bologna, you must be dedicated, independent, and resourceful. Professors will expect the same from you as they do of their Italian students. Although very few courses have structured study groups or discussion sections, classmates will often get together to review course material – especially before exams! Make friends with fellow students, share notes, and study together just as you would at home. You will find that, however different the university systems, students in Italy and the US have a great deal in common.

Individual instructors may or may not require attendance at their classes. However, all UCEAP students are required to attend class by policy.

Exams

Since most classes do not have written assignments throughout the semester, your performance is normally graded solely on a final oral exam. Maintain self-discipline and work regularly, pacing yourself throughout the term. It is impossible to read all the material in the last few weeks of class and cram successfully for the final. Oral exams involve in-person meetings and discussions with your professors. To excel in oral exams in Italian-taught courses, practice organizing your ideas and expressing yourself clearly and concisely in Italian. Work on this throughout your time in Bologna, and consider sitting in on an oral exam session before your own to get an idea of what professors are asking and to see how the Italian students respond. Many Italian students practice this as well.  It is also sometimes possible to arrange to take oral exams in a separate room rather than in a public lecture room in front of others.

A growing number of professors require a final paper, usually of some 10 to 15 pages, in their courses. For papers written in Italian, help with reviewing such papers is available at the UCEAP study center.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. In the Italian university system, grades are assigned on a scale from 10 to 30. An 18 is a pass. Italian numerical grades are converted into the American letter-based equivalents for transmission to UC.

The fall semester exam period ends in late January and the spring semester exam period ends in mid-July. Your grades must first be processed by UCEAP before being sent on to your campus. Therefore, grades for this program are reported to the UC campus registrar later than is typical for a UC quarter/semester. Grades for the fall semester are typically available by late March and grades for the spring semester are typically available by mid-September.

Tip: If you intend to put yourself on your campus degree list for graduation while on UCEAP, consult your campus advisors before departure about possible delays in the degree verification process.