Semester Programs

  • Building in Italy



Aquinas College is proud to partner with Thomas More College of Liberal Arts on the Rome Semester Program. Traverse catacombs and cloisters, piazzas and palazzos, to explore the heart of the Christian West in Rome. This semester immerses students in the details of ancient, medieval and Renaissance art, and the history and teachings of the Catholic Church. Additionally, students can hone their communication skills by opting into an internship with a Vatican media center.


Students participate during the fall semester and earn at least 13 credit hours through the following courses:

  • Poetics (3 credits) 
    Fulfills Artistic Practice Gen Ed requirement or English elective (talk to department for elective approval)
    This class is an intensive examination of the traditional role poetry has played in deepening our understanding of the nature of language. In conjunction with the writing tutorials, this course develops the student's basic knowledge of figures in language, as well as the means to communicate the tone and dramatic situation of a poem. The whole course explores the way poetry can help us to become attuned to the goodness of reality.
  • Humanities IV: Approaches to the Eternal City (4 credits)
    Fulfills History/Philosophy Gen Ed requirement, History elective, or Catholic Studies elective (talk to department for elective approval)
    This class allows participants to study authors and works from a variety of periods that deepen their experience of Roman, Italian and European culture.
  • Art & Architecture in Rome (3 credits)
    Fulfills Artistic Theory Gen Ed requirement or Art elective or Catholic Studies elective (talk to department for elective approval)
    An introduction to the patrimony of ancient and Christian art and architecture, with extensive site visits in Rome, Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany. The "texts" will principally be the buildings, sculptures and paintings themselves, but students will also be asked to reflect upon the nature and purpose of the arts through reading selections from Vitruvius, St. John of Damascus, Abbot Suger, Alberti, Josef Pieper, and John Paul II.
  • Mysterium Salutis: the Teaching of Saint Paul (3 credits)
    Fulfills Theological Foundation Gen Ed requirement or Theology elective (talk to department for elective approval)
    A careful journey through the writings of St. Paul with the goal of attaining a clear understanding of the mystery of salvation. In addition to the Pauline corpus, students will give serious consideration of the commentaries of the Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • Optional: Language or Internship (additional steps needed for credits to count)
    Language workshops are offered in Italian and Latin. Internship opportunities are available at a variety of Vatican media centers. To obtain credit, students must talk to the Director of the Office of International Programs (Nisha van Laar) and follow the appropriate Advantage Center procedures. 


The Art & Architecture of Rome course involves tours of the city weekly. On many weekends, there are optional excursions to sites near Rome. Tours have included Florence, Assis, Monte Cassino, Pompeii, Tivoli, Subiaco, Cerveteri, and Ostia.

Students can regularly attend Mass with Pope Francis.  Additionally, students are often able to attend canonizations and Advent celebrations at St. Peter’s Basilica, and venerate the relics of the Holy Crib of Jesus in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Housing & Board
Students reside at the lovely Villa Magnolia, only a few minutes walk away from Via Aurelia Antica, Pamphili Park, St. Peter’s Square, and Janiculum Hill. Bedding and towels are provided and cleaned on a weekly basis for students. Additionally, all meals are provided by the fantastic cooks at the Villa Magnolia and included in the program fee.