The Catholic University of America


Rome is like no other city in the world. It has played an often pivotal role in world history for the past three thousand years, from the founding of the Roman Republic in the sixth century BC through the Treaty of Rome in 1957 that formed the European Economic Community. It has been influential in the development of western civilization, contributing to literature, art, music, film, theology, spirituality, philosophy, politics, and many other disciplines. To study Rome is to have a unique window into the context and background contemporary concerns.


Catholic University has developed a curriculum that makes the most of the city. Classes look at Rome from different perspectives and combine the study of ideas and texts with the study of the city itself. Students learn about Rome's contributions through visiting the places where events happened, studying the art and buildings of history, and walking the streets in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, St. Peter and St. Paul, Plotinus, Constantine, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, and many, many other thinkers, artists, politicians, emperors, kings, popes, and saints. Students play an active role in exploring the city, studying the sites, and reflecting on their significance.

Semester Courses

Students spending a semester at the Rome Center participate in a liberal-arts intensive curriculum that focuses on the history and culture of Rome.

Standard course load:

  • 4 liberal arts courses (3 credits each). 
  • 1 Italian language course (3 or 4 credits)

Regular semester courses

Ancient Rome

  • CLAS 318R/ART 318 Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome

Christian Rome

  • TRS 345 Liturgical Art and Architecture
  • TRS 362R Theology of the Church in Rome
  • TRS 363R Christology in the City of Rome

Modern and Contemporary Rome

  • PHIL 310 Philosophy of Art
  • ENG 378 Italy in American and British Literature
  • Italian language courses

Specialized courses

  • Architecture curriculum in fall and spring
  • Courses taught by specialists from the DC campus

    Short courses

    • Nursing courses in conjunction with ACU: January
    • First-Year Experience in Rome: May-June
    • International Human Rights, Columbus School of Law: May-June
    • Visions of Italy, Library Science Graduate Course: May-June

      ACU offers short programs for its students, including a component of its Core Curriculum.

      Class Attendance and Behavior

      All students are expected to attend class, complete the assigned reading and writing assignments on time, and participate in class. When residing off campus or traveling to classes meeting on site,  it is advisable that travel plans take into consideration unexpected delays so as to not impact on class attendance.

      Students are expected to act responsibly at all times. Students will be required to:

      • Dress appropriately when attending class, particularly noting that, in keeping with Italian custom, shorts and sleeveless shirts are not to be worn to class visits to churches or museums and men must remove their hats;
      • Be on time for class, allowing enough time for the commute, if applicable; lateness may count as absence;
      • Not eat, smoke, listen to music devices, or use a cell (mobile) phone or other electronic device—including laptops—during class time: accommodations can be made for documented disabilities;
      • Attend all scheduled site visits, day trips, and weekend trips that are part of the given class;
      • Give consideration, when contemplating late nights out, that classes are scheduled to start early in the morning.


DC Faculty in Rome