What is so special about studying in Rome? 

Fr. John lectures in Hosias Loukas

Fr. John lectures in Hosias Loukas.

The Rome Program provides multiple answers to this question. Although only a limited number of courses are offered in Rome, all of them are designed to maximize a student's understanding of the roots and development of European civilization. Some classes take place within the four walls of UD's Due Santi campus, while others are held on archaeological sites and in museums. Some classes are dedicated to an intense and intimate understanding of the Roman and Italian experience throughout the ages, while others explore a wider spectrum of themes and issues inherent to the growth and development of Western Civilization. Academic excursions, visiting lectures and two substantial group trips-one to Greece and the other through Northern Italy-round out the rich academic program on offer.

Students returning from the Rome Semester typically describe their academic experiences in glowing terms. "It is the place," they say, "where UD's Core Curriculum came together for me." The success of the academic program in Rome comes down to two fundamental things: first, superior teaching; and second, the juxtaposition of reading great books and seeing firsthand some of the world's most historic places and most extraordinary works of art and architecture.

Three trips mark student Romers' educational journey.  

Campania Trip

Early every fall semester, Rome students pack their bags and board buses in preparation for a trip to Campania, a region in southern Italy. The overnight junket, led by faculty and staff, is meant to introduce students to the kind of educational travel that so enhances classroom studies on the Rome Campus by providing an opportunity to explore the region's abundance of Greco-Roman art and history.

The bus ride to Naples provides a magnificent view of the volcano Vesuvius -- a reminder that the mountain's eruption in A.D. 79 rocked the Roman world and destroyed cities like Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Students visit the archaeological site at Paestum, studying its well-preserved Greek temples, as well as the processes of colonization that brought the Greeks to the Italian peninsula.

The trip also includes a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples to admire its renowned antiquities collection. There, under the guidance of Rome faculty, students spend a few hours studying art and objects from the ancient world, in particular those frescoes, mosaics, and objects of daily life recovered from excavations at Pompeii.

For many students, the highlight of the trip is a day spent in the ancient city of Pompeii. Covered by pumice and ash when Vesuvius erupted, the city was rediscovered in the middle of the eighteenth century and is still under excavation. Again led by UD faculty members, students stroll the ancient streets, visiting bath complexes, theaters, temples, political buildings, houses and villas.

The trip is designed to encourage just-arrived fall Romers to fully immerse themselves in ancient culture. In this way, the weekend experience provides a complement to classroom work, in particular the curriculum that is pursued in the first weeks of the Rome semester, when study focuses on ancient Greek, Roman, and Early Christian history, art, literature, philosophy, and religion.

Greece Trip

The Greece Trip is one of the highlights of the Rome Semester. This is a ten-day trip that takes students to some of the greatest cities and the richest sites of the ancient world, including Delphi, Athens, Cape Sounion, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus and Olympia. The study of Ancient Greece constitutes one of the cornerstones of UD's unique undergraduate education and Core Curriculum. UD Rome's Greece Trip in turn brings these studies to life.

The Rome curriculum immerses students in the world of Ancient Greek art, literature, history and philosophy during the first weeks of the semester, prior to their study of Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Coming in week five or six of the Rome Semester, the Greece Trip is timed to coincide with this early phase of their studies and as such it represents the culmination of every student's encounter with Ancient Greece. In addition to its focus on the distant past, the trip also offers participants the opportunity to become more familiar with Modern Greek culture and society through a number of scheduled musical and dance events.

UD professors lead the trip, offering in-depth lectures on site and organizing student performances and special cultural events along the way. Over thirty years of collective experience in Greece has made the Greece Trip a superb travel and learning experience.

Northern Italy Trip

The Northern Italy Trip marks a significant turning point in the Rome Semester. This seven-day trip includes overnight stays in three of Europe's most historic cities--Florence, Venice and Assisi. It is scheduled during the later weeks of the semester in order to take advantage of a natural period of transition in the semester's curriculum. Ancient Greece and Rome now make room for the birth of Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the awakening of the modern world. The Northern Italy Trip is a perfect way to explore these periods to their very fullest. Lectures, guided walks, museum visits and generous amounts of free time for independent exploration are the keys to bringing the great historic and artistic treasures of these Medieval and Renaissance cities alive. Essentially, the Northern Italy Trip invites students to turn their full attention to the historic shift-culturally, politically and religiously-from the ancient to modern world.

Unparalleled works of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Renaissance are a mainstay of the trip. Visits to world-class museums such as the Uffizi and the Accademia of Florence or the Doges' Palace in Venice bring students into direct contact with many of the great masters of the European past. The trip also schedules visits to notable churches-among them, the Duomo of Florence, the Church of San Marco in Venice, and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

Another attraction of the trip is its focus on Roman Catholic thought and the larger European intellectual tradition in which it is situated. St. Francis of Assisi and Dante hold a prominent place in that tradition, as do Machiavelli, Ficino and Leonardo. Memorials to these and other historic figures are still visible today for students intent upon returning to the roots of Europe's intellectual history.

Study Western Civilization in its epicenter. 


Student views Roman Forum.

The classes on the Rome campus are designed both to fit smoothly into the program required of all students and to take full advantage of the unique setting in which they are taught. Taught primarily by University of Dallas professors, the courses are selected from those core curriculum requirements which are closely concerned with the philosophical, theological, political, literary and artistic development of Western Civilization.

All Rome students are required to register for the five three-credit core courses listed below for a total of 15 credits. Students with advanced placement for English 2311 register for ENG 3355 ST/Tragedy & Comedy. Students in Rome may also register for an additional one or two one-credit pass fail options for a total of 16 or 17 credits.

Since course offerings on the Rome campus are limited, freshman and sophomore year programs must be arranged carefully, saving the Rome core courses for Rome. Please be advised that taking one of the Rome courses prior to Rome may result in a student's being disqualified to attend Rome.

Students requesting a waiver of these registration requirements for any reason, including planning to register for Italian in Rome, must obtain prior approval of the Dean of Constantin College.  

Core Courses 

ENG 2311 The Literary Tradition III (can be taken as ENG 3355 ST/Tragedy & Comedy) (Prerequisite: The Literary Tradition I, ENG 1301; Strongly Recommended Prerequisite: The Literary Tradition II, ENG 1302)

HIS 2301 Western Civilization I

PHI 2323 The Human Person (Prerequisite: Philosophy and the Ethical Life, PHI 1301)

THE 2311 Western Theological Tradition (Recommended Prerequisite: Understanding the Bible, THE 1310)

ART 2311 Art & Architecture of Rome

Art & Architecture

The ancients said that all roads lead to Rome and University of Dallas students are proof that the maxim holds true. Why is this the case? What is it about Rome that draws the viewer, the spectator, the student, the tourist, the expatriate, and the pilgrim? Why did the ancients believe that all thoroughfares terminated at the place where the Tiber River bends? Why did the medieval Romans believe that they lived in the Eternal City? Why did Renaissance Romans strive so valiantly to revive ancient arts and knowledge? How have past and present been intricately entwined to produce one of the contemporary world's most fascinating cities?

These questions are the subject of ART 2311: Art and Architecture in Rome, a course offered each semester on the University of Dallas Rome campus and designed to help students understand both the present-day city in which they spend their semester and Rome of the past. Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Rome are the subjects of this course.

The class meets twice a week: once each week it meets in the classroom to discuss broad historical trends that provide the context for Rome's monuments of art and architecture, and once a week students go to Rome to exercise art historical methodologies in local museums, churches, and archaeological sites.

Among the sites often visited as part of this course are the following:

  • The Roman Forum
  • The Capitoline Museums
  • The Colosseum
  • The Ara Pacis
  • The National Archaeological Museum at the Palazzo Massimo
  • The Church of San Clemente
  • The Tempietto
  • The Galleria Borghese
  • The Churches of Santa Maria della Vittoria, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, and Sant'Andrea al Quirinale

Additional Course Offerings 

MIT 2411/2412 Intermediate Italian I (Fall) and II (Spring) (3 credits)

MIT 1302 Elementary Italian II (Spring) (3 credits)

MIT 1101 Italian Culture & Conversation, or Survival Italian (1 credit pass/fail)

GST 3165 People and Places of the European Past (1 credit pass/fail)

GST 1106 Marino School Volunteer Project (1 credit pass/fail)

Note: Western Civilization II may be taken on the Irving campus before Western Civilization I, and Literary Tradition IV may be taken before Literary Tradition III. Intermediate Greek is offered occasionally, but only in the spring semester.


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