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Cultural studies refer to the study of cultural issues and policy at varying levels from local to regional, national, and international. The benefit of undertaking cultural studies at FUA in Florence, Italy, derives from the rich diversity found in the regional differences of the Italian landscape positioned within a European framework along with Italy's cultural contributions to the international context. The studies of this program are rooted in the analysis and interpretation of culture supported by the liberal arts. Students will examine the human understanding, organization, interpretation and communication of the world. Coursework will present topics related to philosophy, literature, creative expression, society, and belief systems throughout history and how they have impacted societal issues of ethics, gender, class, and race. The aim of the program is to provide students with a solid foundation of cultural knowledge and practices, supported by skills in writing, research, and critical thinking through interdisciplinary perspectives. Coursework is supported by experiential learning methodologies that directly involve students in diverse cultural contexts and the local community.



Program objectives:

  • Apply curriculum to a deeper understanding of cultural stratification and the co-existence, co-dependence, as well as the differences in world cultures.
  • Expand theory-based knowledge of cultural development and issues through its application to real-world experiences and contexts as required by comprehensive projects that employ critical research and creative expression.
  • Foster the development of academic identity in terms of research approaches and creative expressivity as applied to curriculum requirements.
  • Acquire a specialized knowledge of the complex relationships between culture and society in Italy and Europe, including a focus on the issue of cultural heritage.
  • Gain the ability to assess culture and multicultural societies through critical thinking.
  • Sharpen knowledge of how culture operates and permeates varying levels of society from a local community to a region, nation, and worldwide.
  • Develop awareness of the history, politics, philosophy, and sociological factors that drive and shape culture.
  • Develop the ability to trace and interpret cultural changes and shifts influenced by globalization, technological advances, and world politics.
  • Increase competency related to cultural mediation and analysis.


  • Identification and analysis of culture and cultural issues through critical, well-structured, and creatively compelling forms of expression.
  • Application of cultural knowledge and competency in diverse theoretical and practical sites of learning and research.
  • Development and execution of a variety of projects from concept to outcome, which effectively explore and express cultural issues and debate. Projects should be able to engage different audiences and critical perspectives.
  • Exposure, as required by the curriculum, to diverse operators in cultural sectors including researchers, educators, artists, activists, and representatives of local organizations and institutions.


Career opportunities:

The program prepares students to consider career opportunities in multiple fields such as:

  • Education
  • International relations and government
  • Journalism
  • Library and archival sciences
  • Cultural institutions and organizations

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to further pursue studies at the graduate level.




General Education Requirements (48 credits)


Sample view of courses that fulfill gen ed requirements:


English Composition

  • CPJLNN180 Introduction to Journalism
  • ISILDF340 Dante Alighieri's Florence: Readings and Cultural Walks 


  • SMMAFM150 Finite Math 
  • SMMAIC190 Introduction to Calculus

Physical & Biological Science

  • FWDNIN200 Introduction to Nutrition
  • HPFBSF250 The Italian Food Industry: From Farm to Table

Social & Behavioral Sciences

  • LAHSMF230 The Medici Family: A Florentine Dynasty
  • and one of the following courses: 

CPMCSM250 Social Media 

LAPYCS190 Culture Shock: Cross-Cultural Psychology 

FWFSIF180 Cultural Introduction to the Italian Family 

ISISIA225 The Italian-American Experience

FWFCFC240 Food, Culture, and Society in Italy

Diversity & Intercultural Studies      

  • CPMCCM190 Intercultural Communication
  • LARSWR280 World Religions

Italian Language

  • 2 Italian language courses required


  • LAPLPS215 Philosophy and Science in Early Modern Italy
  • FAPDFS225 Florence Sketchbook
  • LARSSS330 Saints and Sinners
  • And a course from one of the following disciplines:

English Composition and Creative Writing

History, Italian Studies and Linguistics

Comparative Literature


Religious Studies

Fine Arts

Music and Performing Arts


Core Curriculum for 4-Year Program (21 credits):

LAAHAH210 Introduction to Art History

LAHSWC230 History of Western Civilization from Antiquity to 1500 

LACWCW200 Creative Writing

LACSAH325 The Age of Heroes: Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid 

LAHSGR340 Galileo and the Scientific Renaissance

LAHSIR330 History of the Italian Renaissance

LACLPC355 Literature of Migration


Capstone Project – In the area of Program Concentration (3 credits)
LAAHCS400 Cultural Studies Capstone 


Concentration Coursework (24 credits) 

In addition to the required core courses, students must complete the designated credit hours in one of the following areas of concentration.


Fine Arts Concentration 

Examples of approved courses:

FAPDFD120 Foundation Drawing

FAPDFP120 Foundation Painting
FACECE200 Ceramics (Beginner)

FAAEAT300 Art Therapy 
FASCFS310 Foundation Sculpture
FAPDID220 Intermediate Drawing
FAPDIP220 Intermediate Painting
FAPDWC330 Watercolor and Tempera/Gouache Techniques


Art History Concentration

Examples of approved courses:

LAAHSS250 Symbols and Symbolism in Western Art

LAAHRA320 Renaissance Art in Florence 

LAAHAR340 Italian Renaissance Architecture

LAAHHB350 Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini

LAAHCI360 Contemporary Italian Art

LAAHTC370 Art Theory and Criticism 

LAAHFY320 Secret Gardens of Italy

IDRHMA360 Masters of Architecture 


Free Electives (24 credits)


Fine Arts Free Electives

Examples of approved courses:

GSANCA300 Cultural Anthropology

CPJLCS335 Art, Fashion, Food, and Wine Journalism 

LARSRS150 Introduction to Religious Studies

DIVCAD330 Art Direction

FAAEGE350 Gallery and Exhibition Curating Experiential Learning 6cr

FAMMMM300 Mixed Media

FAAEAT400 Advanced Art Therapy


Art History Free Electives

Examples of approved courses:

GSANCA300 Cultural Anthropology

CPJLCS335 Art, Fashion, Food, and Wine Journalism 

LARSRS150 Introduction to Religious Studies

DIVCAD330 Art Direction

LAAHSF300 Sacred Florence Walks

FAAEAP325 Art and Places: From Renaissance Florence to the Contemporary Metropolis

LACLGT340 Literature of the Grand Tour of Italy

LAHSSR350 Love, Sex, and Marriage in Renaissance Italy


Total Program Credits: 120










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