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Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I sign up for a certificate program?

Information regarding undergraduate certificate programs being offered at USF may be accessed in the Undergraduate Catalog available on the school’s website,

2. Will I get a real (hard copy) certificate?

Yes, you will be awarded a certificate in hard copy. However, most certificate programs require that students declare their intention to be awarded the certificate by notifying the coordinator at least one full semester prior to graduation. For instance, if you intend to graduate in Spring 2012, you need to let the certificate program coordinator (advisor) know your intention by Fall 2011.

3. Will it be mentioned on my transcript?

Yes, your completion of a certificate will be recognized in the designated space on your transcript.

4. What is the difference between a minor and a certificate?

Typically certificates are offered in collaboration with different departments of the college, contributing an overall multi-disciplinary perspective, while minors are typically offered in a specific department, with primary focus on a single area of study.

5. Will a course I have taken as part of my major/minor count towards the certificate, if they happen to be the same course?

Yes, it is possible for a course to count towards your major/minor and certificate. However, before making any definite decisions about taking/substituting/waiving courses, obtaining prior approval, from the program coordinator, is advised. Also, note that making the same course count towards fulfilling specific course requirements for a major/minor and certificate does NOT mean that the course would count twice towards your total credit hour requirement (120 hours in general) for your undergraduate degree. And remember, no course can count towards a major and a minor.

6. How many hours of course work do I need to do?

The Italian Studies Certificate program requires students to complete between 23-28 credit hours worth of approved course work.

7. Foreign Language Requirement

a. Are there any specific Foreign Language Requirements for completing the certificate?

Yes. Often specific certificate programs have particular foreign language requirements. For instance, the Italian Studies Certificate Program requires that you exhibit proficiency in Italian or complete two semesters of language courses in selected Italian or Latin courses. More details may be obtained from the program coordinator.

b. Will American Sign Language (ASL) count as a foreign language?

Again, it depends on the specific certificate program requirements. The general preference is for classical languages like Latin, Greek, or traditional foreign languages such as German, Arabic etc. However, American Sign Language is considered sufficient to fulfill the foreign language requirements of majors such as Psychology, Communication Science and Disorders etc. Therefore, check details of the specific certificate requirements before you decide on what courses to take to meet your foreign language requirement.

c. How early do I need to begin taking foreign language classes?

As early as you can. Sometimes, completing foreign language requirements takes longer than usual depending on availability, resources, and difficulty. Additionally, you may need more than one or two semesters to reach the level of proficiency required by specific programs. Therefore, give yourself enough time to complete the course requirements.

For additional questions about the Italian Studies Program please contact either Professor Giovanna Benadusi or Professor Fraser Ottanelli.