Rome, Antiquity to the Baroque

The Bernard J. DelGiorno Civilization Program in Rome
A line of students, in silhouette, walk through a public square in Rome.

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Participants in the University of Chicago’s Autumn quarter Program in Rome study the history of a city central to the ancient and early-modern eras of western civilization.

    The centerpiece of the program is the three-course sequence studying Rome from antiquity to the baroque, taught in compressed form during the quarter. The first course in the sequence focuses on ancient Rome during the eras of the Republic and early Empire, the second on early Christian Rome and the waning Empire, the third on renaissance and baroque Rome, now the resplendent center of the Christian world. Students also take a course in Italian language designed to facilitate their connection with their surroundings. Classes are held in a large palazzo in the vicinity of the Colosseum. Apart from classroom work the program features a series of excursions to sites of historic or artistic importance. Chief among these is the weekend excursion to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

    Housing abroad can vary from year to year, and precise details will be confirmed during the pre-departure process. Rome program students have historically resided in shared apartments in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city. It is important to recognize the cultural context of housing in Italy and understand that the size and location of housing may vary. Although some of these differences may take some getting used to, remember that cultural differences extend to all aspects of your experience abroad. Having realistic expectations for your term in Rome will help you approach the study abroad experience with a positive attitude.

    Participants in the Rome program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They take and receive credit for four courses: the three-course civilization sequence and the Italian in Rome course. The civilization sequence meets the College’s civilization requirement. Students who have already met this requirement may use these courses as electives. Their use, partial or total, in a program of study (major) must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the student’s respective major. The language course will normally count as an elective. Course titles, units of credit, and grades are placed on the College transcript.

    Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee, and a nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Rome program during the 2024–2025 year are listed below:

    Autumn tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

    Study abroad administrative fee: $675

    Rome program fee: $5,960

    Program fee includes:

    Out-of-pocket expenses include:

    • round-trip airfare to and from the program site
    • passport/visa fees
    • transportation on site
    • meals
    • course materials
    • personal entertainment and travel
    • communications (including cell phone usage)
    • health insurance and upfront payments for care
    • other miscellaneous expenses 

    Previous program participants report spending in the range of $200 to $275 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that the cost of living in Rome is relatively high and that, while it is possible to live frugally, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.

    Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.

    The Rome program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

    The program is designed for undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing who are beyond their first year in the College. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity. Because the civilization sequence is taught in English, there is no language prerequisite, although students are encouraged to take Italian on campus before the program begins.

    Because of the considerable demand for the Chicago civilization programs abroad, no student may participate in more than one of these programs. Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record and personal statement. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.

    To discuss the Bernard J. DelGiorno Civilization Program in Rome and the possibility of participating, please contact Damaris Crocker De Ruiter.