Every spring, the School of Art offers its students in all areas the opportunity to study in Italy for the semester. The required, discipline-specific, coursework for the BFA and BA degrees (studio art, graphic design, art education, and art history) can make it difficult for our undergraduates to participate in study abroad programs. In response, the School of Art created study abroad semester in Italy almost twenty years ago.

This program provides an intensive and engaging studio and art history experience by immersing participants in the culture of Italy, with coursework led by their own professors and created to be integrated into their graduation schedule (most participants are in their junior year). The students present research projects on-site, work alongside Italian artists in studios and workshops created specifically for them, and then stage a group exhibition at MSU on their return. The art history courses at different places along the timeline depending on the professor, with the range including ancient Roman, Greek and Etruscan, Baroque, Neoclassical and Contemporary topics.

As part of our study abroad opportunity, We are pleased to announce our association with the M.A.D.E Accademia di Belle Arti Rosario Gagliardi, an officially accredited international-level academy of fine arts and design, which hosts our students and professors for studio/design courses in Siracusa, Sicily, as we work together at “the intersection of design, art, craft, and local cultural traditions.”

Italy students group photo

Dates for Spring 2025:

Students check-in for orientation at the housing in Rome on Sunday, February 23, by 2:00 PM.

MSU Spring Break is Sunday, March 16 – Sunday, March 23. Students are released from housing in Certaldo/Florence on Saturday, March 15th. After spring break, students are due in Rome housing on Sunday, March 23 by 4:00 PM.

The last day of class is Friday, May 9.

Students travel as a group to the Catania airport and fly to Rome to prepare for departure Saturday, May 10. Housing in Rome in provided for Saturday, May 10.

Students are released from the semester Sunday, May 11.

Professors and Coursework: 

(Dates for individual courses may be subject to small adjustments before November 1, 2025)

The 2025 semester abroad consists of five courses, two design/studio, two art history and one field study course. The courses total 18 credits for the semester. All Italy semester coursework is designed (and evaluated for) students from different majors and levels of proficiency.  It is intended for third-year SOA students. Participation in the Italy semester allows Studio and Graphic Design to remain on track for graduation in the spring of 2026.


ARTZ332 Intermediate Ceramics, Working from History

February 23 – March 15

Professor Josh DeWeese


Italian home with garden student looking into the kiln


The semester begins in Rome with Professor Josh DeWeese, who will teach Ceramics, Working from History. This class will begin in the heart of Rome at the C.R.E.T.A. studio, where students will visit museums and sites to develop Ideas based on the historical work of the Etruscans, Romans, Greeks, and others from the Mediterranean region. Ideas will be translated in the studio for a two- week intensive working with clay before traveling to La Meridiana in Tuscany to fire the work in a wood kiln. There students will learn about kiln design and the firing of ceramic objects. Topics of study include form and surface development, function and utility, ceramic history, criticism, professional practices, and other issues of contemporary ceramics.


ARTH491 Ancient Roman Imperial Monuments, 3 credits

March 24 – April 18

Professors Regina Gee and Dani Huvaere


Students in Italy Student Studying in a museum


After spring break, students meet in Rome to start the art history component of the semester abroad program with Professors Regina Gee and Dani Huvaere. The first art history course, titled Imperial Monuments of Ancient Rome: Dynasty, Spectacle, and Propaganda is an experience-driven topographical history of the Rome and its most famous sites and monuments from the imperial period, including the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, and the Pantheon. On-site study combined with student group and individual research projects will shape the work, which is designed to be highly interactive with surviving archaeological record of the ancient city.


ARTH 375 Etruscan, Greek, and Roman foundations 3 credits

March 24 – April 18

Professors Regina Gee and Dani Huvaere


Statuary in a museum Italy students peaking behind a stone structure


The second art history course Pompeii, an Urban and Cultural History is a survey of the archaeology, art, and architecture of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii and the surrounding Bay of Naples. For this course, students travel to Naples for museum study and then on to Pompeii, where they will spend extensive time engaging with the surviving material record of the site, famously buried in AD 79 by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In between the two courses, there is a three-day visit to Venice as part of the cultural field study course. After Pompeii, the Regina Gee and Dani Huvaere will accompany the students to Sicily for orientation and settling into the housing in the city of Siracusa.


ARTZ491 Interdisciplinary Storytelling in Italy, 5 credits

Instructors Bruce Barnhart and Victoria Burchill: April 21 – May 9


Students working in italy Italy student working on a sculpture


For the second studio component, students will be working out of MADE The Rosario Gagliardi Academy of Fine Arts in the ancient city of Siracusa on the island of Sicily. Utilizing the facilities at

MADE, students will engage with instructors Bruce Barnhart and Tori Burchill for a course titled Interdisciplinary Storytelling, which explores ideas around art and design working in service to society. This study explores different strategies for using the power and diversity of art and visual communication to share compelling information and ideas with specific places and audiences, with an interest in the community, culture, and history of Siracusa and the island of Sicily.


ARTH 485 Field Study, all faculty, 2 credits


Students enjoying an Italian meal Students at a resturant in italy
Student in italy Student works on a mural


Note: Students do not have to be a graphic design or a sculpture major to take these courses. The Italy semester coursework is designed (and evaluated for) students from different majors and levels of proficiency.  


Ortigia, Sicily

Ortigia, Sicily


Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from Italy and also for any travel they wish do during MSU’s Spring Break. Travel costs within Italy related to the course of study are paid for by MSU under the study abroad program fee.



Study Abroad Program fee: 8000.00

What it includes:

All lodging, ground and air transportation in Italy related to student participation in coursework, all museum and site admissions related to coursework, and some meals

MSU-required international travel medical health insurance (Geoblue) for the entire semester, which we will sign you up for as a group.


What it does not include:

Regular tuition (resident or non-resident) and fees (Registration, Computer, Distributed Learning, Art Program)

Your round-trip airfare to Italy, any travel you do on your own including Spring Break, optional group excursions, and meals besides those belonging to pre-arranged boarding agreements.


Tuition and Scholarships

Regular tuition, calculated as usual (in-state, out-of-state, scholarships, GI bill)

Financial Aid is also available and you apply with the same application and timeline you do when you are here. We have an example of how to fill out this form for the Study Abroad in Italy Program. Apply early!

There are two $1000.00 scholarships for Italy, and details for application will be discussed at the first orientation meeting, held in the fall.

Student throws paper confetti in Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) in Venice Italy on Carnival Student Admires "Men in the City" painting by Fernand Légerstudent creates a rubbing of an interesting grate pattern in Turin ItalyStudents in their accommodations in Florence Italy  View of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore from the hotel Students preparing for first day of classes in RomeThree students dressed in horizontal striped shirts and woven gondolier hats with a red ribbonStudent painting with watercolors on a train

Click on an image to view as a slideshow.

For more information, contact Regina Gee, Faculty Program Coordinator at: rgee@montana.edu 

To apply please fill out our application found here - Italy Application

Click here to view Study Abroad Italy brochure.