Catholic University has developed a curriculum that makes the most of the city. Classes look at Rome from different perspectives and combine the study of ideas and texts with the study of the city itself. Students learn about Rome's contributions through visiting the places where events happened, studying the art and buildings of history, and walking the streets in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, St. Peter and St. Paul, Plotinus, Constantine, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, and many, many other thinkers, artists, politicians, emperors, kings, popes, and saints. Students play an active role in exploring the city, studying the sites, and reflecting on their significance.

Semester Courses

Students spending a semester at the Rome Center participate in a liberal-arts intensive curriculum that focuses on the history and culture of Rome.
Standard course load:
  • 4 Liberal Arts courses (3 credits each).
  • 1 Italian Language course (3 or 4 credits)

Regular semester courses

Ancient Rome

  • CLAS 318R/ART 318 Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome

Christian Rome

  • TRS 345 Liturgical Art and Architecture
  • TRS 362R Theology of the Church in Rome
  • TRS 363R Christology in the City of Rome

Modern and Contemporary Rome

  • PHIL 310 Philosophy of Art
  • ENG 378 Italy in American and British Literature
  • Italian language courses

Specialized Tracks

The Catholic University in Rome program has three tracks: architecture, liberal arts, and honors. In each track, students enroll in 12-16 credits of courses taught by Catholic University faculty, either based in Rome or visiting faculty from Washington, D.C.  A course in Italian language is required unless the student has completed ITAL 104, placed out of Italian language, or has a language substitution accommodation. Students should review the available course offerings.  Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in day trips around Italy and in cultural field trips, which have in the past included seeing an Opera, having an Italian cooking class, and attending a Papal Mass.

Architecture Track

The Architecture Track is offered during the fall semester only. Students participating in the architecture track enroll in a 3-credit field study, meeting frequently around the city to observe, sketch, and learn from the city under the guidance of an experienced architecture instructor.  In addition, studio space on the 5th floor of the Rome Center makes it possible for students to attend a 6-credit architectural design studio. The remaining 3-6 credits consist of a required Italian language class and an optional elective from the Liberal Arts Track.

Liberal Arts Track

This liberal arts intensive program focuses on the history and culture of Rome. Participants should expect to study the city in depth from the perspective of different disciplines, as site visits are an essential component of most courses. Typical course offerings include philosophy, theology, classics, and literature, and may be used to fulfill liberal arts curriculum requirements. 

Honors Track

The Honors Track is offered during the fall semester only for students who have been accepted to an honors program at their home university.  Participants in the Honors Track enroll in one to two honors courses taught by senior-level faculty at the Rome Center. These courses emphasize sharing ideas and presenting original arguments in a rigorous but supportive seminar-style setting.  Students may also select two to four courses from the Liberal Arts Track. Additional lectures, programming, and activities are offered for academic and cultural enrichment.

Nursing Track

A specialized curriculum allows nursing students to study abroad in Rome during the spring of the sophomore year.  Courses in nursing introduce students to key healthcare concepts situated within the comparative contexts of Italy and the United States. Theology courses taught by local faculty explain the teachings of the Church, which is such a vital part of the city around them. A course in conversational Italian gives students the tools they need to communicate as they navigate Rome on a daily basis.
*Minimum GPA: 3.2*

Short courses

  • Nursing courses: January
  • HIST207R / ITAL221 First-Year Experience in Rome: May-June
  • ARPL515R Graduate Theory Elective: May-June
  • PHIL310 Philosophy of Art: May-June
  • ITAL280 / HIST207B Urban space as a stage for memory: May-June
  • TRS282 Theology and Faith in the Art of Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Bernini: June-July
  • NURS403 Nursing Research in Rome: June-July
  • ARPL503R Field Study: June-July
  • International Human Rights, Columbus School of Law: May-June
  • Visions of Italy, Library Science Graduate Course: May-June