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  • Locations: Florence, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: UD applicants only
  • Costs (Click term to view): Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-led Language of instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Non-UD Students: No
Program Advisor: Erin Gahimer Academic Level: Undergraduate
CAP-Approved Courses: Yes
Program Description:

Core Program in Florence

An Exploration of Florence through the History of the Renaissance City, the Narratives of Italian Women in Literature, and the Visual and Material Cultures of ReligionFlorence_Duke&Duchess Urbino

Only Core Program students are eligible for this program.

About the Program

Let’s go to Florence!  Core in Florence will unite Art History, English, and Religious Studies in the city heralded as the birthplace of the Renaissance.  Most visitors see Florence for a day or two, only briefly experiencing its surface and a selection of its major monuments; Core in Florence will be an extended, month-long residency as faculty and students creatively explore the full depth and range of the city’s history and cultural production through art, literature, and religion.  With the city as both the classroom and the very subject of the program, Core in Florence and its three integrated courses, will embark abroad upon on an intensive and expansive learning adventure in the best interdisciplinary tradition of Core.

Curricular Options

Students are required to enroll in 7 credit hours, but may enroll in 10 credit hours. Students are encouraged to consult their academic advisor regarding eligibility for courses, pre-reqs, etc. More information regarding courses can be found in the University Bulletin. In addition, we have listed the current CAP status for each course. However, students should consult DegreeWorks for the most accurate information since courses that satisfy CAP requirements may vary by year of admission or according to a student's major. The Degree Audit is specific to each student. Consult your academic advisor for details.

ENG 333: Images of Women in Literature (Italian Women Worthies in English Renaissance Drama) (3 credits)
CAP:  Diversity and Social Justice
This course examines works from literature that present and respond to images of women, with critical attention given to social and historical contexts and the application of feminist critical approaches.  We will explore a wide variety of literary representations of Italian "Women Worthies," beginning with the works of Christine de Pizan and Laura Cereta, then moving to the ways in which English Tudor/Stuart playwrights, like William Shakespeare, John Webster, and Ben Jonson, advanced, interrogated, and challenged the image of the "Italian woman worthy," as well as explore, more generally, how English playwrights depicted Italy and Florence in their dramas.  Our goal will be to assemble multiple perspectives and interpretations of each text, paying close attention to the literary, aesthetic, and rhetorical qualities of these works while also considering their contexts, issues, and what they add to the historical accounts of this “Italian Woman Worthy” as we also place this “type” in dialogue with "types" of women in our own times.
REL 374: Visual and Material Cultures of Religion (3 credits)
CAP:  Advanced Religious Studies and Crossing Boundaries- Inquiry
This course explores the visual and material expressions of religion in the context of medieval and Renaissance Florence.  Paintings, murals, architecture, sculpture, material objects such as reliquaries, crucifixes, and illuminated manuscripts, as well as the built environment are not simply reflections of religious ideas and beliefs but are central to the mediation and encounter with the sacred itself. This "stuff" of religion--the grand and the ordinary, the elite and the lowly, the beautiful and the gritty--will focus our study of the religion and cultural geography of Florence as we explore issues of grace and sin, the sacred and the profane in the lived practice of religion. This study will include not only churches but convents, streets, and piazzas as part of the landscape of religion. We will pay particular attention to the role of the Franciscan and Dominican mendicant orders and the dramatic rise and fall of the religious reformer Savonarola as we trace his footsteps and impact through the city. We will also explore the practice and representation of Judaism in Florence as an expression of the religious diversity within Italian history and culture.  Jewish-Christian relations, medieval Christian depictions of Judaism, and Jewish religious architecture will be addressed.
VAH 450:  Italian Renaissance Art (3 credits)
CAP:  Faith Traditions and Advanced Religious Study
This course investigates Italian and specifically Florentine Renaissance art as the visual and material culture that made up both the physical nature and varied means of communication in the late medieval and Renaissance city.  Interlaced with discussions of the Renaissance as an historical concept, the history of Florence from antiquity through the present, the production and reception of Renaissance art, and the various contexts for art in Florentine Renaissance society, the course will trace the development of and, particularly, the varied uses of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence from the thirteenth through the sixteenth century.  While studying masterpieces from Giotto to Michelangelo, students will develop a broader understanding of how these works related to the rise of the Renaissance city and contributed to its political, social, economic, religious, familial, and cultural dimensions.
UDI 310 MAXIE: Experience (1 credit; required)
This courses aims to utilize the city as the classroom where students can make sense of their experience through interactive discussion, group activities, and independent journaling. Through reflection, students internalize their study abroad experience and may undergo changes impacting attitudes and actions in their home country and at UD.  Graded mini-course required of all student participants.

Florence river and buildings


Dr. Roger Crum, Professor, Department of Art & Design (Site Coordinator)
Dr. Elizabeth Mackay, Assistant Professor, Department of English
Dr. Anthony Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies


Students must have completed their first or second year of the Core program by Summer 2018. Students must be 18 years of age or older and eligible to take courses for credit at the University of Dayton. Participants in the program must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students in good academic standing with a GPA below 2.5 may petition the Center for International Programs for consideration. Students must also be in good disciplinary standing.

Pre-Departure Orientation

For all University of Dayton summer programs, pre-departure orientations play a critical role in making a study abroad a valuable learning experience.  All students accepted to participate in University of Dayton’s summer programs are required to take the pre-departure course, UDI 220: MAXIE - Prepare (Maximizing your International Experience). This course helps students develop intercultural communication and sensitivity skills and techniques that can be used in any context, as well as learn site-specific strategies to be employed in-country. Students will be given time to clarify academic and personal goals prior to departure. UDI 220 is a required class for your education abroad experience. It is divided into two parts: the first part involves meeting as a group during the semester prior to departure (5 class meetings plus 2 sessions on concepts of culture and health and safety abroad); the second part includes meeting upon returning to campus in the semester following the in-country experience (two class meetings). The schedule for your MAXIE course is as follows: 

Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:00pm
UDI 220 - MA
Marianist Commons 218

Classes begin the week of March 5, 2018 and last until the end of April.

Once students have changed their status to “committed” in the application system, they should register for UDI 220 via Porches by searching Spring 2018, Mini-Courses (as the Department), selecting UDI 220, and finding the correct section number.

Cost and Refund Policy

Click here for specific cost information and the refund policy for this program.

Additional Information

Passports and visas >>

Health and safety >>

Florence, Italy map

Program Ratings:
Overall Experience:
1 2 3 4
Program Value:
1 2 3 4
Academic Experience:
1 2 3
Cultural Experiences:
1 2 3

This program is currently not accepting applications.