Rome Summer Institute
From the wonders of Ancient Rome to the sweet buzzing of contemporary Roman society, the "Eternal City" is rich in history and culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Catholic University's Rome Summer Institute offers students an introduction to Italy's vibrant capital and its pivotal role in the development of Western civilization. Students have the opportunity to experience and participate in the past, present, and perhaps future of one of humanity's greatest millennial cities.
All students in good academic and disciplinary standing may attend the Rome Summer Institute. There are no current requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations or testing to enter Italy for US citizens per Italian law, but this can change at any point. Please consult State Department Advisories, CDC Advisories, and Italian Government Advisories to find the most up to date information. A few courses have specific requirements:
- NURS 403 is limited to rising junior and senior nursing majors with a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA, 2.75 science GPA, and no grade lower than B- in nursing courses.
Students from all universities are encouraged to apply. If space is limited, Catholic University students will receive priority acceptance.
Catholic University hosts three different sessions over the summer, with each session providing one to three unique courses in a variety of subjects. Students may attend one session or both sessions, but may only enroll in a maximum of one course per session. The details for summer 2024 may be found below:
Session 1: Saturday, May 11 - Saturday, June 1, 2024
Session 2: Wednesday, June 5 - Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Session 3: Saturday, June 29 - Saturday, July 20, 2024
Summer Session I Courses
- ANTH 211/ CEE 201 Ancient Waters: Interactions Between Humans and Water Throughout History
**Fulfills an Explorations in Social Science requirement.
Ancient waters will focus on the development of human society and its interactions with water. The course will start with a broad overview of global water use with specific implementations throughout world history, including the Tigris-Euphrates river system, the Nile River in Egypt, ancient hydrological infrastructure, and human migration for water resources. The course will then narrow in scope to concentrate on Roman water infrastructure including aqueducts, distribution, and sanitation. The class will explore Rome to find local examples throughout the entire 3-week session. Finally, the course will look at the interface between modern society and ancient infrastructure.
Instructor: Jason Davison
- NURS 403 Nursing Research in Rome
**Required course for Nursing majors.
Students learn about the process of nursing research and how to develop evidence-based solutions to clinical problems. Students will complete guided research on stress-reduction and coping, topics especially relevant in these turbulent times. Weekly site visits to health care facilities and other relevant locations in Rome will expand students’ awareness of multiculturalism and comparative healthcare systems.
Instructor: Sandra O’Brien
Summer Session II Courses
- ENGR 101 History and Hidden Principles of Geometry in Art and Applied Science
This course addresses the Enduring Question, ‘What is beauty, goodness, and truth?’ We will survey how outstanding artists, architects, and scientists across history achieved astonishing beauty through simplicity. Basic rules led to intricate creations to solve practical problems. We will uncover patterns the layout of Stonehenge, pyramids, Plato’s Elements, the Golden Ratio, classic proportions of Roman and Greek temples, illuminated manuscripts, Gothic cathedrals, tilings perspective in paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s genius in arts and mechanics, Copernicus’ and Kepler’s models of the cosmos, Renaissance fortresses and public architecture, and traditional decorative and building crafts. They are immediately accessible by their drawings with paper, pen, and compass. Rome is the cradle of Western civilization and a continued source of enormous inspiration across all aspects of art, culture, and democracy, not least for the American republic and its built edifices such as the government buildings and monuments around the National Mall in Washington, DC. We will reveal the hidden thread that underlies a veritable cornucopia of applications – geometry. We will trace its many beneficial uses in arts and crafts over multiple millennia.
Instructor: Gunnar Lucko
- ENG 378 Italy in American and British Literature
**Fulfills the Explorations in Literature requirement.
The course brings students closer to the study of literature through reading major works by American and British writers. The journey to Italy is at the center of the novels and poems that are analyzed during the course. On the one hand we will concentrate on the discovery and transformation of the characters as narrated through their encounters with a different culture and social context. On the other, we will investigate changes in the attitudes and perspectives of the authors themselves due to their own journeys to Italy. We will begin with the reading of poetry from the 19th century, followed by the reading of four complete novels by three well known American and British writers: Henry James, Tennessee Williams and Edward Morgan Forster.
Instructor: Milena Locatelli
- MUS 304 Sound and Images in Italian Cinema: From Film to Movies
A study of visual and musical narrative in Italian cinema, 1894-present (films, studios, directors, actors, composers, artistic movements) and how Italian films incorporate and dialogue with Italian history, mythology, art, politics, religion, and social justice.
Instructor: Andrew Simpson
- NURS 311 The Diagnostic Detective: Developing Differential Diagnoses and Critical Thinking in Health Care
This course will utilize specific case studies to hone student’s diagnostic and critical thinking in the health care setting. Sherlock Holmes stories (authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892) will be employed in conjunction with case studies and appropriate nursing and medical texts including Core Clinical Cases: Medicine and Medical Specialties (2012) as a method to help students master clinical decision-making, generation and prioritization of differential diagnoses. An honors option is available as well. The course focuses on patient-centered evidence-based care is congruent with the University’s mission “which seeks to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research”- all in service to others.
Instructor: Patricia McMullen
Summer Session III Courses
- HIST 161R Rome in the American Imagination
This course will explore the role of Rome in American thought over the last two-and-a-half centuries. For some Americans, the ancient city and its architecture served as a model to be emulated in the American republic. Others feared the influence of Catholic Rome, or interpreted what they saw as decadence and corruption in the modern city as a warning of what the United States could become. American responses to Roman ideas about civilization and government in the 18th century (first week), Roman Catholicism the 19th and early 20th centuries (second week), and Rome as a chic cultural center in the 20th and 21st (third week) further show us an evolving concept of America's own sense of self and its relationship with Europe. How could Rome over time symbolize for Americans both the good life and its opposite? Students will learn to evaluate primary and secondary sources (both textual and non-textual) to consider these questions and how to communicate their answers to them effectively. This course will use discussions, lectures, films (such as Roman Holiday and 8 1/2), and frequent outings and site visits to investigate Rome as a political, religious, and cultural center, and to compare what we discover with the changing American imagination.
Instructor: Seth Smith
- MGT 491R The Greeks, Romans, and America's Founding Fathers
This course explores the profound impact of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy on America's Founding Fathers. We learn how the Founders were influenced by the ancients around the importance of individual rights, the superiority of democracy over monarchy, and the necessity of virtue in the administration of a just society. In particular, we examine how Socrates, Plata, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, and Aquinas shaped the thinking of Adams, Jay, Jefferson, Madison, and others as they conceived and developed the documents governing the newly formed United States of America.
Instructor: Harvey Seegers
- SOC 358/358H Beauty and Society
What is beauty and why, if at all, does it matter? We often tend to trivialize beauty as something subjective and emotional, and therefore inconsequential. But as human beings, just as we are driven to pursue truth and goodness, we can’t escape the pursuit of beauty. We can’t avoid making aesthetic judgments, nor can we avoid the social influences that shape these judgments. We also tend to associate beauty exclusively with art or fashion. But does beauty have relevance to other domains such as science or even politics? In what ways does beauty help or hinder us from flourishing as human beings and societies? In this course, we will examine philosophical conceptions of beauty and their applications to domains such as art, music, and architecture; how aesthetic judgments are made in contemporary art and fashion; the often-harmful effect of beauty standards on women; the role of beauty in science; the relationship between beauty and desire; the social sources of taste and desire; and the relationship between beauty and justice. Examining these topics will give us a better understanding of how beauty shapes our personal and social lives.
Instructor: Brandon Vaidyanathan
Accommodation & Meals
The Catholic University Rome Center is located on Via Garibaldi in the heart of the Trastevere district of Rome. Students are housed in doubles, triples, and quads, with a limited number of singles available upon request for an additional fee. Pillows, pillow cases, bed sheets, and blankets are provided for every resident, as is a partial meal plan and access to laundry machines. Residence hall staff are available 24/7 - at all times for emergencies and during the day for general assistance. Visit the Rome website for more information about dorm life.
Students and parents are advised to discuss the expected costs of study abroad programs during the application process. Budget sheets are available at the top of the page and linked below as well. Students are charged a program fee and standard Catholic University tuition rates for 3, 6, or 9 credits. The budget sheets give an idea of the total amount students will need to budget for including transportation, meals, and other assorted costs.
Catholic University students applying to this program are encouraged to apply to available scholarships on the Office of Education Abroad’s scholarships website