Italian Graduate Studies

The Department of Italian provides two streams in its Master's program, the thesis option, and the non-thesis option. The course work, the thesis and/or research papers must demonstrate that the student possesses a sound knowledge of the language, is familiar with all periods of Italian literature and has developed the background and skills necessary to carry out scholarly research. The regulations concerning the M.A. degree, as stated in the General Information section of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar, apply.

Program Information

Master of Arts - Italian Studies (Thesis)

Master of Arts (M.A.) Italian (Thesis) (45 Credits)


Master of Arts - Italian Studies (Non-Thesis)

Master of Arts (M.A.) Italian (Non-Thesis) (45 Credits)

Description and Requirements

Students wishing to pursue doctoral studies may apply for admission to the ad hoc program, provided that they have a clear research agenda which fits into one of the areas of strength of the Department. The ad hoc PhD offers the flexibility of a personalized program, with course work designed to address the specific needs of the student and to provide the background necessary for the successful completion of the research project. Only a select number of outstanding students are admitted to the ad hoc PhD. They are followed closely throughout their studies, to help them develop the skills and competencies necessary to enter the North American or international job market. A mentorship culture facilitates a smooth and natural transition from student to scholar. Where appropriate, students are encouraged and helped to participate in conferences and to publish the results of their ongoing research. Teaching opportunities are also available when candidates are deemed to have acquired the necessary levels of maturity and preparation.

Typically, the doctoral program comprises a minimum of fifteen course credits, including individual tutorials and and/or courses from other departments or with associate members of the department, as determined by the research project; participation in a one-term Student-Staff Seminar (ITAL 780, 3 credits); Comprehensive Examinations in two distinct areas of specialization; and a publishable dissertation (average length: 200 pages). Reading knowledge of a third language (other than English and Italian) is also required.

Areas of Concentration

The Department's current areas of expertise and methodological orientations are broadly indicated below. Prospective applicants should also consult individual faculty members' research profiles on the departmental website for more detailed information. They are also invited to send research inquiries to individual professors.

A) Nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century narrative;

B) Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture; and

C) Italian cinema from post-World War 2 neorealism to the present.

These areas are approached from the perspective of:

  1. relations with the historical, social and political contexts;
  2. intertextual relations with contemporary and antecedent works and movements in other European literatures and cultures, with a special attention to questions of identity construction
  3. gender issues; and
  4. cultural studies.


Application Information

Preparing to Apply 

In order to be admitted to the program, applicants should have completed a B.A. with Honours in Italian or its equivalent. Students who do not fulfill this requirement may be admitted to a qualifying year or, in some cases, to a qualifying term.

 For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see


Deadlines for Receipt of Completed Applications:

Please note that incomplete applications (including letters of recommendation, testing scores (TOEFL, IELTS), transcripts, sample(s) of written work) by the application deadline will not be considered.

Note: Ph.D. students are only considered for Fall admission

For Fall Admission:  January 6 (Canadian/Permanent Resident/International).

For Winter Admission:  September 15 (Canadian/Permanent Resident);

For Winter Admission:  August 1 (International). 

Special/Exchange/Visiting:  As above.

Application and Required Documents

Should you decide to formally apply, all supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system.

Complete instructions

  • Online application form.

  • Application fee.  You must pay a non-refundable fee or your application will not be processed.

  • All university transcripts. Those transcripts not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator).

  • Research proposal. Applicants are requested to send a brief statement of their interests and the areas they wish to study within the Department (1 to 3 pages).

  • Two letters of recommendation. Those letters not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator). On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the Department. Therefore you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.

  • One or two samples of written work (in PDF format). This can be in the form of a graded paper, a chapter from a thesis, or an academic article.

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores for non-native English applicants. This is a requirement of all students applying whose native language is other than English. Results must be on file by application deadline – Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies no longer process applications without official results. Minimum score of 575 or 231 computer based scale. Please note that permanent residents may be required to submit a TOEFL score. IELTS scores are also acceptable: a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module).

  • For those applying for the Ad Hoc Ph.D.:  a one to two page research proposal in English.

Contact Information

Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
McGill University
680 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2M7

info.llcu [at] (Email)
Phone : (514) 398-3650






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