The Italian department ensures that its students gain a thorough understanding of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Italian. Using these tools, students go on to study culture and literature in their upper-division courses. Additionally, a second concentration was recently created: the multi-departmental Italian Studies major and minor. Its core is a year-long sophomore course on Italian culture in which faculty members bring their current, multidisciplinary research into the classroom. Italian Studies students continue with upper-division courses on Italian-related subjects in the six participating departments.