Fields of Study

AIA specializes in Honors Programs, STEM, Architecture, and Heritage Management programs, but our academic activities have included classes, workshops and conferences in many diverse fields of study, from photography to sociology. We can customize a study program to fit your academic discipline. Select a topic below to start exploring just a few possibilities.

Archaeology / Cultural Heritage & Art Management

AIA, not only introduces students to millennia of living art, but we also provide access to the curators, directors and restoration experts that manage this cultural patrimony, from prints, to books, painting, sculpture, architecture and archeology. Our advisors and experts have worked with the world-class museums and cultural sites to protect and share cultural treasures. We can help your students develop the professional skills to succeed in a career in conservation and heritage management. Contact us about our planned program in Cultural Heritage Management and Archeological field school planned for 2018.

Architecture, Landscape, Urban Design, Planning

The design disciplines lie at the heart of AIA’s active curriculum, and our faculty have introduced hundreds of students to the principles of innovative, humane and site-conscious environmental design. Course material includes design studios, history, theory, analysis, building methods and drawing. Our design studios are rigorous and address contemporary, real-world problems in challenging, dynamic contexts.

STEM - Contemporary Science / History of Science

Italy is a fascinating place for STEM studies, and AIA specializes in science and technology studies. We have planned and organized technical instruction and extraordinary site visits in disciplines as diverse as astronomy and astrophysics, geology, anatomy and biology, chemistry, climate change, mathematics, engineering, etc.. And we have organized visits to high-tech factories and world-class laboratories such as a particle accelerator, radio telescopes, a gravitational wave detector and communication satellite factories, to name just a few sites. We organize both cutting—edge, contemporary science and historical science content from ancient engineering, to Galileo, to Enrico Fermi.

Civil & Structural Engineering

For thousands of years Italy has as been a center for engineering innovation from the magnificent structures and infrastructures of the ancients to the remarkable bridge and tunnel constructions of the past century. The expressive concrete structures of Pierre Luigi Nervi stand beside the domes of Brunelleschi and Michelangelo, AIA students regularly visit the contemporary works of Renzo Piano, Santiago Calatrava, Zaha Hadid and Massimiliano Fuksas. Programs in civil engineering can include many site visits and case study projects and practical courses with practicing engineers.

Commercial, Industrial & Fashion Design

Italy is a world center of commercial, industrial and fashion design. It provides a rich historical and vibrant contemporary landscape of design fields and industrial production, from textiles and clothing, to eyewear, and from furniture and lighting to automobiles. AIA can help student work with local experts, tour design and production studios and factories, and interview professionals in the field. Commercial/Industrial Design programs can include field-study throughout Italy and beyond.

History / Social Sciences / Philosophy / Comparative Religion

Drawing on a rich source of local experts, AIA can organize major-specific and interdisciplinary courses, focusing on a wealth of historical material and contemporary case studies. Students can study history or philosophy in the shadows of ancient ruins, in mediaeval cloisters, renaissance libraries and modern academies. For social scientists, Italy now represents a dynamic mix of diverse native cultures and recent arrivals from Africa, Eastern Europe and the Near and Far East that invites study and immersive experience. For students of comparative religion, Rome hosts, not only the Vatican City, but a 2000 year old Jewish community and the largest mosque in the western world.

Community Development

AIA is dedicated to the goal of planning prosperous communities around sustainable, shared cultural heritage, with a focus on areas of economic and social challenges. We can organize multi-disciplinary community development courses and activities based on direct contact with local residents, city/regional managers and designers, agronomists, environmental experts, cultural heritage managers and regional planners. Target disciplines included art, architecture, engineering, environmental science, anthropology, sociology, political sciences, business and community development.

Environmental Science / Conservation Biology

Europe demonstrates both an extremely varied ecosystem and a long history of human impact on it. Italy alone hosts such diverse ecologies as Alpine regions, continental forests, Mediterranean zones and a rich diversity of marine biology. Programs in environmental science can provide students with an understanding of European and global conservation challenges and policies. Students can also gain detailed insight on management activities, like reintroduction programs, conflict management, and restoration of small endangered populations.

Food and Agriculture

This section is under construction. Contact AIA for more information.

International Business

Business students and faculty deserve an international experience that addresses their interests, and AIA can provide it. We have organized academic business seminars, lectures and site visits that include business journalism, marketing, banking, labor law and trade union practices, industry and export, as well as tours of trade fairs, cutting-edge manufacturing and R&D facilities. In addition to business education, we also provide the cultural experiences and local contacts that enrich each student’s global experience.

Art History / Studio Art & Photography

The depth and breadth of Italy’s artistic legacy make it an inexhaustible archive and laboratory for art students, and AIA’s Rome Center serves as a great starting point for a tour of art-historical sites throughout the country, or the continent. Studying studio art and photography at the AIA means more than an unlimited resource of subjects, colors, landscapes and natural lighting situations. It also means the chance to studying with local professionals who can share their first-hand knowledge in the classroom and on site.

International Affairs / Political Science

Study public policy and foreign relations in the city where the 1957 Treaty of Rome founded modern Europe. This capital city hosts UN and EU agencies, the worlds embassies and consulates, international banks and exchanges, as well as universities, policy institutes and think-tanks. Rome, and Italy are strategically positioned to study inter-European, trans-Atlantic and Mediterranean relations, and immigration issues.

Music Industry / Performing Arts

This section is under construction. Contact AIA for more information.

Modern Languages / ESL

AIA can organize Italian language and culture courses for Italian majors and non-majors alike, with language training at fluency levels from introductory to advanced. Courses expose students to authentic Italian culture, through classic and contemporary cinema and music, site visits, small group cooking lesson, interaction with local peers and conversational Italian Tables.

Music / Theater / Film & Video

This section is under construction. Contact AIA for more information.

Service Learning

More information coming soon.

Independent Thesis / Senior Project

AIA Italy offers independent studies scholars a rich cultural base of study and body of academics to advise them. In addition to advising independent work and facilitating research visits, Academic Initiatives Abroad can organize special visits and field study tours throughout Italy.