Italian Undergraduate

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The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese offers a full range of courses in Italian language, literature and culture. ITAL courses numbered in the 1000’s and 2000’s are introductory and intermediate language courses; ITAL 3000’s and 4000’s offer advanced language instruction and introduction to literary and cultural studies; courses numbered in the 5000’s are open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Advanced courses in the Italian program often have an interdisciplinary focus (Italian and art history; Italian and history; cultural and women’s studies and the use of technology in the humanities). Small, seminar-style settings allow students to use their Italian to a greater extent and enhance student participation in class discussions.

Placement in Italian (1010-2020)

Placement Guidelines

It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with College of Arts & Sciences and Departmental policies on placement and enrollment in language courses.

In keeping with the College of Arts & Sciences Area Requirements, courses taken to fulfill the world language requirement:

  • Must be taken for credit and a grade.
  • Must be fulfilled only at UVA or at a UVA approved abroad program. (The College will NOT allow courses to transfer from other U.S. colleges/universities to fulfill the world language requirement.)

When selecting courses, please keep the following in mind:

  • You may not enroll in a course different from the one into which you’ve placed. You are not permitted to enroll in a level different from your placement.
  • If you place yourself incorrectly, you will receive an F for the course in which you enroll without permission.

If you have prior experience in Italian you must enroll based on your score on the SAT II Exam, AP Exam, IB (high level) Exam, or UVA Italian Placement Diagnostic (prior to May 1, 2022), or the PLACE Placement Diagnostic (May 2022 and after). If you have scores from more than one of these exams must enroll based on the higher placement. 

  • If you have prior experience in Italian, but have NOT taken any of the above exams, you must take the PLACE language placement diagnostic to enroll in a language course.
  • You will be required to show your instructor proof of placement on the first day of class.

Italian Course Sequence
ITAL 1010 is reserved exclusively for students who have never studied Italian before.

The sequence of courses, depending on the level at which the student begins, is as follows: ITAL 1010-1020-2010-2020; or ITAL 1020-2010-2020; or ITAL 2010 & 2020; or ITAL 2020. The sequence must be followed to complete the language requirement.

No course can be skipped once the student has begun the sequence of courses. Courses must be taken one after the other, not at the same time. Students cannot take the placement diagnostic to fulfill the World Language Requirement once they have begun the sequence of courses.


Placement Diagnostic Instructions

Beginning May 1, 2022: New language placement diagnostic (PLACE)

UVA has adopted a new PLACE language placement diagnostic for students seeking to determine their course placement in French, Italian, German, or Spanish. The new PLACE diagnostic will be used for all placement purposes for these languages beginning May 1, 2022. The PLACE diagnostic assesses writing, reading, speaking, and contextualized grammar knowledge and skills, and takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. PLACE should be completed at least 10 days in advance of course enrollment. Your score will appear in SIS under Academics > Test Scores when it is available.

Students who have completed an earlier placement exam at UVA should review these instructions.

Part 1: Taking the PLACE Placement Diagnostic

Who should take the PLACE placement diagnostic?
Students who studied Italian prior to entering UVA will need to have a placement score to enroll in an Italian course. Students who did not study Italian in high school or another college/university do not need to take the PLACE placement diagnostic or any other placement diagnostic but can start Italian in ITAL 1010.

When should I take the PLACE placement diagnostic?
All Students: Take the diagnostic at least 10 days before registration to ensure receipt of your score in time to enroll. Delays in taking this diagnostic may result in delayed registration for your language course.

New Students: The PLACE placement diagnostic should be completed before the date sent to new students in the May welcome letter.

Why do I need to take the placement diagnostic in advance?
The PLACE placement diagnostic includes writing and speaking questions that are reviewed by trained raters. This process can take several days. Take the diagnostic at least 10 days before registration to ensure receipt of your score in time to enroll.
How do I take the PLACE placement diagnostic?

  1. You will need:
  • At least one hour of focused time
  • Your UVA computing ID (for ex., mst3k)
  • A computer with microphone (your built-in microphone is usually sufficient)
  • A strong internet connection and Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge (view a list of supported browsers and devices and try a sample test in Italian before you begin).
  1. Take the diagnostic with your official email address only. Accessing the exam from another email address is an Honor violation.
  2. Please note: Diagnostics will only be scored if they include:
  • Your UVA computing ID (for example: mst3k) in the fields marked Login Name and Test Taker ID
  • Your UVA email address
  • Scores will only be available via UVA SIS
  1. Using outside resources of any kind is not permitted and will constitute an Honor violation.
  2. The diagnostic may be taken only once in any language.
  3. Begin the PLACE placement diagnostic at using the test code and password below (case sensitive).
  • Test Code: 25071-pl-it-4
  • Password: 5614
  • Please use your UVA Computing ID (example: mst3k) as the TEST TAKER ID and LOGIN ID. Use only your UVA email address in taking this diagnostic.
  1. Technical difficulties: if you experience technical difficulties, your diagnostic will not be lost. Use the Avant Assessment Technology Guide to assess the problem and resume the diagnostic where you left off by re-logging on with the same identifying information you provided previously. You must contact the Placement Coordinator if you would like to request a retake of the diagnostic.

What is the diagnostic like? Can I try a sample test?
You will be asked questions that evaluate your abilities in reading, writing, and speaking, as well as your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. All questions are completed online, asynchronously, and individually. You will not interact with a person while taking the diagnostic. On average, this diagnostic takes up to 60 minutes to complete. No time limit is in place, and you may take as much time as you need. You can explore a sample of the pre-diagnostic survey and diagnostic questions before you begin.

Can I use a dictionary or other resources?
Using outside resources of any kind is not permitted and will constitute an Honor violation. Submission of the diagnostic in your name means that the score honestly reflects your current language abilities without assistance from other people or any materials.

Part 2: PLACE Scores and Placement FAQ

How do I get my PLACE placement diagnostic score?
Your diagnostic is sent for evaluation by a trained test rater. This is why you need to take this diagnostic at least 10 days before you register for classes. When it becomes available, your score will be transferred to SIS, where you can access it at any time under Academics > Test Scores. What does my score mean? Access the Italian Placement Chart to see full placement levels.

Who else sees my score?
The placement coordinator and program director will be able to access your score and additional details of your performance on the diagnostic.

How do I enroll in a language course once I have my score?

1. Access your placement score in SIS (it will be available within a max of 10 days). Please plan accordingly by taking the diagnostic 10 days before registration.

2. Use the Italian Placement Chart to identify your appropriate course.
Note: if you have other test scores (AP, etc.) for this language, use the HIGHER of your scores to determine your placement.
3. Taking the placement diagnostic does not guarantee you a spot in a language course. Space is limited. If you are unable to secure a space, you can join the waitlist for course(s) for which you are eligible.
You must enroll in the course in which you have placed according to your diagnostic score.
Enrolling in a course level other than that indicated by your placement score will result in a grade of F or no credit.

Are there other ways to determine my language placement?
Yes, AP, SAT II, and IB (High Level) scores may be used to determine your placement and/or to satisfy the World Language Requirement. Refer to the Italian Placement Chart for further information or access the A&S World Language Placement FAQ page.

What if I have a score from the UVA Placement Diagnostic and a score from the AP Exam, IB Exam, or another placement test?
UVA uses the highest placement indicated by your scores. If your UVA placement diagnostic score placed you into the 2010 level and your AP or IB exam score placed you into the 2020 level, you must enroll in the higher level –in this case, the 2020 level.

Do I need to bring printed evidence of my score to class?
Students can take a screenshot of their score in SIS under Academics > Test Scores and upload it to Collab FileDrop, or print and bring it to class.

What if I ‘place out’ of the required 4-semester course sequence?
A score beyond the level of the required course sequence will be reported to the A&S Registrar by the end of the semester. No action is needed on the part of the student.

Can I retake the placement diagnostic?
No. Taking the diagnostic more than once is an Honor violation. If you feel that your circumstances warrant a re-take, you will need permission from the Language Program Director.

I took the diagnostic before May 2022. Do I need to take it again?
If you completed the UVA world language diagnostic in French, German, Italian, or Spanish prior to May 2022, you do not need to retake the diagnostic. Log in to the previous diagnostic portal (Emmersion) to access and screenshot or print your score. You will be able to reset your password if you have forgotten it. Determine your placement by consulting the Italian Placement Chart


Course Enrollment

Please note: Course enrollment in ITAL 1010-2020 closes earlier than the College of Arts & Sciences ADD Deadline

ADD Deadline for ITAL 1010 and 2010 Classes: Thursday, August 31, 


We do not course action students into ITAL 1010-2020 courses. Adding into these courses is done through the online wait list system. It is the student’s responsibility to understand how the wait list system works.

Course Policies (1010-2020)

Please note: Course enrollment in ITAL 1010-2020 closes earlier than the College of Arts & Sciences ADD Deadline

ADD Deadline for ITAL 1010 and 2010 Classes: Friday, January 27th, 2023


We do not course action students into ITAL 1010-2020 courses. Adding into these courses is done through the online wait list system. It is the student’s responsibility to understand how the wait list system works.

Please note that the wait list system will not add you into a course if:

  • You have a block on your registration.
  • You are currently enrolled in another class at the same meeting time.
  • Adding the class carries you over the credit maximum.


  • Students who self-place without departmental permission will receive a final grade of F for the course. Students must enroll according to their placement through the UVA Italian Placement Diagnostic, AP Exams, SAT II Exams, or IB (high level) Exam.
  • All students with prior experience in Italian must take the Placement Diagnostic. ITAL 1010 is reserved for students who have never studied the language before.
  • Students are permitted to take the Italian Placement Diagnostic only once. Taking the diagnostic multiple times without departmental permission is an honor offense. The Italian placement diagnostic is available online for you to take at any time.


  • Students enrolled in ITAL1010-2020 who fail to attend the first day of classes will be dropped from the course.
  • Attendance is obligatory for ITAL 1010-2020. In order for students to progress in their understanding and speaking of the language, they must be exposed to hearing and speaking it on a regular basis.
  • Students are allowed three (3) unexcused absences. Beyond that, for each additional absence, one percentage point will be deducted from your final grade.)
  • Students are expected to arrive to class on time. Being late to class (1-10 min.) counts as half an absence.
  • Total Absences:
    • ITAL 1010/1020:  An excess of eight (8) absences, for any reason, excused or unexcused, will result in a withdrawal from or failure in the course.
    • Classes meeting MWF:  An excess of six (6) absences, for any reason, excused or unexcused, will result in a withdrawal from or failure in the course.
    • Classes meeting TR:  An excess of four (4) absences, for any reason, excused or unexcused, will result in a withdrawal from or failure in the course.


ITAL 1010-2020 students are expected to comply with the UVA Honor Code. Any violations of the Code in or outside class will be brought to the attention of the Honor Council. All work is to be pledged and completed by the student without assistance from classmates, advanced Italian students, native speakers, online translators or any online resource, unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. If you have doubts about what resources are permissible, you must contact your instructor. Tutors may help only after the student has completed his/her work independently. Tutors may not revise student work. Events for the Cultural Project and topics for the Video Project cannot be repeated from prior language courses.

Majoring in Italian

The Italian Studies Major is designed to develop a student’s proficiency in the Italian language, while assuring that he or she receives a strong background in a variety of disciplines anchored in Italian culture.  It requires 30 credits beyond the 2020 level, and includes the possibility of completing the Distinguished Major program. For more information about the major, please visit our page for Italian majors.

Minoring in Italian

The Italian Studies Minor consists of 18 credits beyond the 2020 level, and allows students to develop essential listening, speaking, reading and writing skills while introducing them to more advanced literary and cultural studies in Italian. 

Study abroad in Italy can greatly enhance the pursuit of the major or minor -- for more details see the Study Abroad section of this page, and visit the UVa Study Abroad website.

For additional information about the minor, please click here.

Study Abroad

For information on our programs in Florence and Siena, please see our study abroad page.


The Italian tutor list is maintained by the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese. The department does not offer free tutoring services. Individuals from this list are contracted independent of any participation by the department. They establish their own scheduling and fee rates for tutoring services. If you are interested in tutoring, you may contact one of the tutors in our department.

View a list of tutors who are currently available.