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The study of French and Italian language and culture is more important than ever. Italy and France are core members of the European Union and important players in the global economy. French is spoken daily by an estimated 220 million native speakers worldwide and is an official language in 29 countries across five continents. Italian ranks sixth among all languages studied in the US, while French ranks second. Both languages open up many doors to students interested in international careers.

To prepare our students to become leaders in an increasingly diverse society by providing them with French and Italian cultural literacy in dialogue with global contexts, and professionally relevant linguistic, research, interpretive, and expressive skills and tools. Students learn to understand their multilingual, multicultural world in historical perspective, to convincingly convey this understanding to others in both English and one or both of our target languages, and to articulate and implement the career transferability of their skills.
  • Education
    College Organizations
    Cultural Exchanges
  • Language
    Language Classes

French has been taught at the University of Washington since soon after its founding, at least since the late 1870s. Italian has been taught since 1904. Offered under the College of Liberal Arts at that time, French and Italian a decade later became part of a department of “Romanic Languages.” That department evolved into “Romance Languages and Literature” in the 1940s. A proposal made in 1995 eventually led to splitting Romance Languages and Literature into two departments and the Board of Regents created the Department of French and Italian Studies effective December 16, 2014.