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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Iowa State applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
New College of Design logo

Rome Program

  Rome buildings


Since 1991, more than 2,500 students have studied in Rome through the College of Design's flagship international program -- the first fully licensed study-abroad program in the Iowa regents' system.
Full-semester study options are available for graphic design, interior design, integrated studio arts and BA students each fall, and for architecture, community and regional planning and landscape architecture students each spring. The summer program offers classes for industrial design students. 

Students attend classes at our studio facilities located in the historic center of Rome at Palazzo Cenci-Bolognetti, a 16th-century building located in the Piazza delle Cinque Scole near the Tiber River.

Living and studying in a foreign country contributes an important new dimension to students' learning process, broadening their perspectives and enriching their knowledge of each subject. Students have the opportunity to become real residents of the city, rather than tourists.

Benefits of Participation

Students who participate in the Rome Program benefit personally, academically and professionally. The program is often a maturing experience for students because they must learn to live in another country and integrate into another culture where English is not the primary language. Students learn to be more adaptable, handle stressful situations better and develop leadership skills.

Academically, students have the opportunity to take the same classes in Rome that are offered in Ames. The semester programs are directly integrated with departmental curricula, so students do not need to spend an extra semester at Iowa State. Participants also earn Iowa State credit, so there are no credit transfer issues.

In terms of professional development, students produce some of the best work of their college studies while in Rome. This work can then be included in their portfolios to show to prospective employers. It is also an advantage for students to list international experience on their resumes.

2024 Fall Program

The Rome Program is offered each fall semester to fourth-year students in graphic design, third-year students interior design, fourth-year students in integrated studio arts and fourth-year students pursuing the BA.  This study abroad program provides a structured curriculum of studios and lecture classes where students gain and understanding of the history and art history of Rome, its cultural development since antiquity and the significance of many historic works of Roman art and design.

In addition to developing first-hand knowledge of numerous contemporary and historic sites, buildings and works of art, students gain a familiarity with the contemporary
design culture of Europe, and Italy in particular, through guided field trips, and complete major studio projects in their individual design areas.

All courses are section IT unless otherwise noted.  There are three courses required of all fall participants:
1. Art H 492: Art and Design in Europe (Art History). 3 credits 
2. Dsn S 492: Special Topics: Italian Culture. 1 credit

3. ISA/BA only: ArtIS 496: Art and Design Field Study.
3. Graphic Design only: ArtGR 496: Graphic Design Field Study.
3. Interior Design only: ArtID 359: Junior Field Study.

Then choose from the following courses. Undergraduate participants must take a minimum of 12 credit hours total. Graduate participants must take a minimum of 9 credit hours total. 
Graphic Design: 
All courses are section IT.

ArtGr 470: Graphic Design Studio V. 3 credits (required)
ArtGr 475:
Advanced Typography. 3 credits (optional)
ArtGr 484:
Selected Studies in Graphic Design. 3 credits (optional)

Interior Design: 
All courses are section IT unless otherwise noted.

ArtID 357: Made in Italy. 2 credits (required)
ArtID 365:
Interior Design Studio III. 4 credits (required)

Integrated Studio Arts: All courses are section IT.

ArtIS 227: Introduction to Digital Photography. 3 credits

ArtIS 238: Painting I. 3 credits

ArtIS 305:
Integrative Media. 3 credits

ArtIS 338: Painting II. 3 credits

ArtIS 438: Painting III. 3 credits

ArtIS 490D: Independent Study (Drawing). 1-6 credits

If you are interested in studying in Rome in fall 2024, you must register for Dsn S 301, the required pre-departure orientation course to be offered in spring 2024.
Art 494A is not required for graphic design or interior design majors. 

2024 Program Dates

Thursday, August 29: Arrive in Rome

• Participants for the program book their own airline tickets. You may travel independently before the program starts, but you must report to program housing for check-in on Aug. 29. Please note that you should plan to visit any non-Schengen Zone countries, such as the UK and Ireland, prior to or after the program. A list of Schengen Zone countries is available here.

• Housing and studio orientations will be held over the following days, so you should plan to stay in Rome. An exact schedule will be provided during spring 2024.

Monday, September 2: Classes begin

• Additional field trip dates for the fall semester will be announced later. Please do not book weekend trips until the confirmed field trip dates and destinations are announced.

Thursday and Friday, November 28-29: Thanksgiving Break

Saturday, December 14: Departures from Rome can begin.

Confirmed Housing Dates

First night in housing: Thursday, August 29           
Last night in housing: Sunday, December 15          
• If you wish to arrive before August 29 or stay after December 15, you are need to confirm travel dates and whether or not you would like to stay in BH Housing.


Program Prerequisites and Criteria for Participant Selection

Participants in all College of Design international programs must meet the following requirements:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Accepted into departmental program of study
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3
  • Clear academic record including no status of academic warning or probation in the semester prior to or the semester of international program participation
  • Course prerequisites as listed in the ISU Catalog
In addition, the following requirements apply to the Fall Rome Program:
  • Senior classification for graphic design, integrated studio arts and BA students
  • Junior classification for interior design students
  • Satisfactory completion of Dsn S 301 (required pre-departure orientation class);
  • The College of Design may check a participant's current GPA and/or academic status at any time. Failure to maintain the required GPA of 2.3 or the failure to maintain a clear academic record may affect participation in an international program.

Academic Responsibilities of Fall Rome Program Participants
  • All participants must plan to study with the Rome Program for its full duration (as noted by the start and end dates above).
  • Undergraduate participants are required to successfully complete at least 12 credit hours. Graduate participants are required to successfully complete at least nine credit hours.
  • All participants must participate in day trip and field trip components of the program.
  • All participants must submit their work for student exhibitions in Rome and in Ames.
  • All participants must successfully complete Dsn S 492 Special Topics: Italian Culture in Rome.
All Rome Program participants must obtain a study visa valid for the Schengen Zone through the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago with the assistance of the program. Participants cannot obtain a study visa or any other type of visa on their own for use on this program. Participants will be provided with details on study visa application materials in Dsn S 301. The college's International Programs Director will guide participants through the application process and formally apply for study visas on their behalf.  Students traveling on non-US passports may apply directly, in-person at the Consulate in Chicago.
All participants in this program will be automatically enrolled in OnCall, an international health insurance and emergency service plan. This insurance plan is required for all undergraduate and graduate students participating in ISU study abroad programs. The cost of the plan is $1.62per day, and it has been built into the cost of the program fee. More information is available at the links below:
Costs and Financial Assistance

In addition to tuition, students are required to pay a program fee to participate in the Rome Program. The program fee varies each semester and it supports the studio facility and provides funds for program expenses such as course materials, guest critics and lecturers, the exhibition of final projects, and for field trip expenses such as transportation, lodging and museum entrance fees. Students sign a financial agreement in the semester prior to studying in Rome, and there are certain financial penalties for withdrawing from the program after the financial agreement has been signed.

Participants can apply their financial aid packages to study in Rome and should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information. The college offers financial assistance in the form of scholarships specifically for students studying abroad.

Budget information for the 2024 program is available here.


Housing for program participants is arranged by the College of Design. Students are placed with roommates of their choice in traditional Italian apartments, which gives them the opportunity to integrate with local residents. The apartments are furnished and come supplied with basic amenities. They are usually located within a reasonable walking distance of the studio and typically accommodate six to eight students.

Withdrawal Penalties

The application deadline for the fall 2024 program is March 4, 2024. All students who are accepted to participate must either confirm or reject their offer in the ISUAbroad online application system no later than April 2, 2024. Those students who confirm their offer are officially part of the program and will be responsible for the penalties outlined below only if withdrawal occurs
In addition to the penalty listed below, the participant is also responsible for all program payments the college is obligated to make on his or her behalf, such as housing costs.  The withdrawal penalty and any additional costs will be applied to the U-bill and will be due in full on August 26, 2024.
Date Withdrawal Penalty
After confirming offer in ISUAbroad and before April 2, 2024: $200.00
On or after April 2, 2024 and before June 24, 2024:  50% of program fee
On or after June 24, 2024: Full program fee

Contact and Additional Information

Questions about the Rome Program should be directed to Jen Hogan

Information about the Fall Rome Program is also available at:

This program is currently not accepting applications.