Catholic Studies in Rome

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 Dr. David Foote, (651) 962-5744, from the Department of Catholic Studies to discuss the program, process, and credits.
  2. Complete your online application by the priority deadline: January 15. The final deadline is September 15, but usually this program fills by the priority deadline.

*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).

  • Conversational Italian will be taken on a pass/fail basis each semester
  • Students will take four classes at the Angelicum.
  • 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.

Students live at the Bernardi Residence, a St. Thomas-owned building, 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 academic excursions, including one weekend trip. Most of the courses will also include site visits in Rome. Each semester, there will be a planned trip to 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.


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

Group Pre-Departure Meetings for Spring 2020 admitted students 

Attendance is required at all pre-departure meetings.

October 3, 2019: Pre-departure Meeting #1. 12:00PM - 1:00PM, MHC 203.

October 12, 2019: Pre-departure Meeting #2. 8:00Am - 12:00PM. Sitzmann Hall. 

Pre-Departure Orientation: Required

Saturday, November 16; 8:45 - 1:00 in the OEC auditorium

Parents are invited to this event and encourage to attend. 

Italian Visa Session: Required

October 15, 2019: 12-00PM -1:00PM. MHC 204. 

Bring student ID, a copy of student ID, driver's license or state ID, and a pen. 

Italian Visa Signing Session with Consulate Representative: Date TBA


Spring Semester 2020

February 9: Official move-in date
February 9-10: Orientation 
February 11-15: Angelicum registration and orientation, Introductory classes, Italian
February 12: Papal Audience at St. Peter’s
February 17: Regular classes begin at Angelicum
March 9: Celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas and special mass (no class)
April 4: Easter break begins
April 20: Classes resume
May 1: Labor Day (National Holiday)
May 22: no classes from 10:30am-12:15pm
May 27: Departure Date

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.

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.

Transportation to Rome
Transportation to Bernardi at the start of the program, and to the airport on the final day of the program is included in the program fee.  Transportation will leave the airport/Bernardi at a designated time.  Should you choose to participate in the group transportation, you will need to book a flight that arrives/depart in time to use the transportation.  A few notes:

  • If you book a flight that will arrive BEFORE the designated pick-up time, you can wait for the transportation
  • If you arrive after the designated pick-up time, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements from the airport to Bernardi upon your arrival
  • View the Program Dates information when booking your itinerary. You cannot arrive earlier or stay later than the official program dates.
  • Fr. Dominic Holtz, Catholic Studies/Angelicum Director, Rome
  • Thanos Zyngas, Bernardi Campus Director

St. Thomas Resident Faculty for Spring 2020: Dr. Mike Naughton 

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.

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

Catholic Studies 2020 Undergraduate Cost