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Catholic Studies in Rome

Eligibility and Application
Academic Information
In Rome
Pre-Departure and Program Dates
Italian Visa
Getting to Rome
Faculty and Program Staff
Program Costs and Cancellation Policy

Eligibility and Application

To apply for the Catholic Studies Semester, students must meet the following requirements:
  • Catholic Studies major or minor
  • Sophomore, junior or senior standing at time of participation
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (on 4.0 scale)
  • Good disciplinary standing 
Application and Selection Process
  1. Meet with a representative from the Department of Catholic Studies to discuss the program, process, and credits:
    • Undergraduate Students: Dr. John Boyle, (651) 962-5302,
    • Graduate Students: Dr. John Boyle, (651) 962-5302,
  2. Complete your online application by the deadline:
    • Fall Semester: January 15 (priority); March 15 (final)
    • Spring Semester: January 15 (priority); September 15 (final)
*Catholic Studies majors/minors only. Graduate students must complete at least two courses on the St. Paul campus, one of which must be CSMA 500 or CSMA 501 (Catholic Thought and Culture I or II).

Academic Information

  • Conversational Italian will be taken on a pass/fail basis each semester
  • Students will typically select either Patristic Teaching or Modern Philosophy in the fall and either Moral Theology or Medieval Philosophy in the spring.
  • Three courses can be transferred from Rome for the Catholic Studies requirements.
  •  Students can fulfill their Fine Arts requirement and one or two Faith and the Catholic Tradition (FCT) requirements.

Grades and Transcripts
St. Thomas receives grade reports from the Angelicum and records the courses, credits and grades received for each student on the St. Thomas transcripts. Each course is worth four semester credits. A conversion is made for the Italian grades to U.S. letter grades.

Non-St. Thomas students may request that the transcript be forwarded to the Registrar on their home campus. One transcript is provided to each student at no cost.

In Rome

Students live at the Bernardi Residence, a St. Thomas-owned bulding, located in the Prati section of Rome, directly across from the Borghese Gardens, it is a 20-minute walk to the Vatican and a 30-to 40-minute walk to the Angelicum.

Detailed information about the Bernardi Residence can be found on the Bernardi Campus web site.

Meal Plan
Students receive breakfast daily, including cereal, rolls, fruit, yogurt, juice, coffee and tea. Students also have dinner at the residence 2 nights a week.  Students are expected to cover all other meals out-of-pocket.

Excursions and Weekend Retreats
Included as part of the program are study tours to Bologna in the fall and Ravenna in the spring. Most of the courses will also include site visits. Each semester, there will be planned trips to Siena and Assisi in which students may elect to participate at their own cost.

Each semester a weekend retreat is planned at Casa Divin Maestro in the quiet woods on Lake Albano in the Alban Hills outside of Rome. The Casa offers respite from the activity of Rome. Students will have time for quiet prayer and reflection as well as community life and activities.

Volunteer Opportunities
As Service is an essential part of Catholic life, all students are strongly encouraged to serve Rome's poor. You may chose to work with such communities as the Missionaries of Charity, the Little Sisters of the Poor, or the Saint Egidio Movement, providing ample opportunity for reflection on your life and vocation as a member of the larger Catholic community.

All students participating in St. Thomas study abroad programs are required to verify that they hold health and hospitalization insurance that will cover them while abroad.

Once in Rome you are required by the Italian government to hold the I.N.A. Assitalia, the Italian national hospitalization insurance. This insurance is included in the program fee and is obtained during the orientation in Rome.

As part of your program fee you will be enrolled in a Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) insurance plan for your time abroad. Generally, your CISI insurance will provide comprehensive accident/sickness, medical evacuation, repatriation, 24-7-365 worldwide assistance and a comprehensive security evacuation plan while you are abroad on your program. You will receive more information on the insurance plan prior to departure.

Pre-Departure and Program Dates

Fall Semester Deadlines:

January 15 priority deadline
March 15 final deadline - Note that this program typically fills at the priority deadline.

Spring Semester Deadlines:

January 15 priority deadline
September 15 final deadline - Note that this program typically fills at the priority deadline.

Group Meetings for Spring 2016 students

Attendance required at both meetings.

Discuss: Italian student visas, St. Thomas Forms, pre-departure requirements,program payments, registration, logistics.

Tuesday, September 29; 11:45-1:00; Sitzmann Hall 2nd-floor classroom
Tuesday, October 13; 11:45-1:00; Sitzmann Hall 2nd-floor classroom

Pre-Departure Orientation (Required)

Saturday, November 21; 8:45 - 2:00 in the OEC auditorium

Visa Signing Session

Tuesday, October 20; 11:45-1:00; International Education Center


Program Calendar 2015-2016

Fall Semester 2015

September 27, 2015: Official Bernardi move-in date and orientation begins
Sept 29 - Oct 2: Angelicum registration/Italian class begins
Sept 30: Papal Audience at St Peter’s
October 2: Pontifical North American College Diaconate Ordination (St. Peter's)
October 5: Regular classes begin at Angelicum
December 8: Immaculate Conception (National Holiday)
December 19: Christmas break begins
January 7, 2016: Classes resume
January 20: Departure Date
February 2: Spring semester classes begin on St. Paul Campus

Spring Semester 2016

January 31, 2016: Official Bernardi move-in date, Orientation Begins
February 2 – 5: Angelicum registration/Italian class begins
February 3: Papal Audience at St Peter’s
February 8: Regular classes begin at Angelicum
March 19: Easter break begins
April 4: Classes resume
April 25: Liberation Day (National Holiday)
May 18: Departure Date

Italian Visa

U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa if their stay in Italy will exceed 90 days. St. Thomas will assist all students on the program in obtaining a visa (which is actually a stamp in your passport granting permission to remain in the country for a specified period of time). Upon acceptance to the program, St. Thomas will provide you with a visa application and the instructions to complete it properly.

St. Thomas will submit the application to the Italian Consulate on the student's behalf and the passport with visa will be returned to the Office of Study Abroad. The cost of the student visa is covered in the program fee.

Students should not plan any international travel plans during the period 90-days prior to departure for Rome since your passport needs to be submitted with your visa application.  Any international travel plans (particularly January Term courses prior to a Spring Semester in Rome) may jeopardize your ability to obtain an Italian visa, and you will be required to apply for your visa without the help of St. Thomas.

Getting to Rome

Transportation to Rome
A suggested flight itinerary will be designated for travel to and from Rome for your Catholic Studies Semester. If you choose to travel on the designated itinerary you will be met at the airport and transported to Bernardi. At the end of the semester transportation will also be provided from Bernardi to the airport.

Traveling on this itinerary is not required, however this is the only travel itinerary where transportation from the airport to Bernardi will be provided. If you choose to find and book a different flight you may either:

  • Book a flight that will arrive BEFORE the designated flight that morning and wait for the group to arrive; you can then join in the coach transfer to Bernardi.   BUT NOTE:  You will need a backup plan in case your flight is late since the group will not wait for your flight to arrive.
  • Make your own transportation arrangements from the airport to Bernardi upon your arrival (and from Bernardi to the airport at the end of the program depending on your departure time that day).
  • If you will not be traveling with the group, factor in ground transportation since a taxi ride to Bernardi can cost 40-50 Euro.
  • View the Program Dates information when booking your itinerary. You cannot arrive earlier or stay later than the official program dates.


Faculty and Program Staff

  • Fr. Dominic Holtz, Catholic Studies/Angelicum Director, Rome
  • Thanos Zyngas, Bernardi Campus Director
St. Thomas Faculty Directors for 2015-2016
Fall Semester: Dr. Jeannie Buckeye, UST Ethics and Business Law Faculty
Spring Semester: Dr. Stephen Heaney, UST Philosophy Faculty

Chaplain: Father Joseph Carola, S.J. serves as chaplain for the program. He offers mass regularly in the residence chapel, leads the semester retreat, is available for confession and can arrange for spiritual direction.

Program Costs and Cancellation Policy

Click below for information on cost, what is and is not included in the program fee, payment dates and cancellation deadlines.

Catholic Studies Program Fees

Catholic Studies Graduate Program Fees

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Last modified 09/29/2015