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  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
College/School: College of Liberal Arts Department/School: Philosophy
Program Type: Auburn University Faculty-Led Program AU Faculty Director(s): James Shelley,
Majors: Philosophy Majors Student Level: JR-Junior, SR-Senior
Program Description:

Philosophy in Rome, Italy


The AU Liberal Arts—Philosophy Program in Rome, Italy, offers students an opportunity to complete two upper-level undergraduate philosophy courses over five weeks in a beautiful international setting. The program is collaboration between the AU Office of International Programs, the AU College of Liberal Arts, the AU Department of Philosophy, and the University of Arkansas Rome CenterThe center hosts students from several American universities. This partnership proves beneficial, offering participants a chance to meet students from other universities and to help control the cost of the program.

Students will take two philosophy courses, taught by Auburn philosophy professors, for a total of 6 credit hours, all while studying in the University of Arkansas (UARK) Rome Center. The UARK Rome Center, housed in the Palazzo Taverna, is located in the very center of town near Piazza Navona (centro storico). Auburn students will be provided access (via swipe cards) to the Center’s, lecture halls, computer lab, and library. Additionally, the Center’s administrative staff will be providing all necessary assistance to our students. Previous knowledge of Italian language is not necessary and the program offers 16 hours of beginning Italian language instruction (Instructor Barbara Spacinni) to assist students in acclimating to their environment.    

Physical Requirements: Participants should be able to negotiate cobble stone streets, bus and train trips, and stairs. As with all of Europe, extensive walking to sites is common.

All students need to meet the minimum requirement of 2.25 AU institutional GPA.

Application Procedure:

  • Space is limited and students must file formal applications as soon as they know for sure they are participating.
  • Complete the Auburn Abroad Application online and wait for confirmation from the Program Director.
  • Non-Auburn University students must be accepted as transient students by AU ($50 additional application fee).

Formal Program Admission:

  • Upon admission to the program, all participants will be responsible for full payment of all fees and costs by the deadlines indicated.
  • Students will complete additional application requirements once accepted into the program.

Refund Policy:

  • Review program fees and refund policy. Upon admission to this program, you will be responsible for payment of these fees. Refunds will be made based on the withdrawal and cancellation dates listed below.
  • There will be no refunds made when written notice to withdraw is filed with the Director of the program less than 30 days prior to departure.
  • Students suspended or dismissed from the program for disciplinary or academic reasons after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund of fees.


Summer 2017:

  • 15 February 2017: Deadline for applying to program.
  • 14 May 2017: Latest date to leave USA to make the start date.
  • 15 May 2017: Start date on location. Students must be in Rome, housing opens.
  • 16 May 2017: Orientation and classes begin.
  • 14 June 2017: Classes and examinations end.
  • 15 June 2017: Date students depart from Rome. Program is officially over.

All students will purchase their own plane ticket to Rome. Plan to arrive on May 15 and depart on June 15 or later.


Students earn 6 credit hours, taking the following two listed below in an atmosphere rich with Roman culture, history, art and architecture. In addition, students will take an elementary Italian course (non-credit) to enhance their Italian experience.

PHIL 3050 - Aesthetics (3 credit hours):
Rome is famous for its art of various forms, including architecture, fountains, sculpture, painting, and literature. This special version of PHIL 3050 inquires into the philosophical import of these various artistic forms, using the artistic riches of Rome as philosophical data. What do works of art across various artistic forms have in common? What sets them apart? Does each artistic form make its own special contribution? If so, what is that contribution and to what exactly does it contribute? Does it make sense to regard some artistic forms as higher or better than others? We will approach these and related questions via readings, discussions, and field trips to many of Rome’s famous artistic cities, including its monumental ancient architecture, its fountains, its churches, and its museums.

PHIL 3970 Special Topics: Relativism, Pluralism, and Objectivity (3 credit hours):
The old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” is, at least to an extent, sage advice. For instance, Romans, at least modern Romans, do not stand in line waiting their turn for gelato. Americans, at least most of us, stand in line at ice cream counters. If you are in Rome and insist on waiting your turn, your turn will never come. (And it is certainly good advice for Romans to stand in line for ice cream when in the U.S.). Romans drink, and tend to start drinking at an earlier age than Americans, but getting drunk on a Friday night is not a Roman pastime; Americans commonly think of weekend partying and getting drunk hand in hand. In general, behaving against the norms of another country while in that country is at best impractical, often rude, and sometimes dangerous. And this raises a more general and more philosophical question. If certain norms apply only while in a culture, how far does this relativism extend? Is one way simply better, perhaps morally better, than the other?  This course will take up these questions and many others related to them while focusing both on distinguishing various forms of relativism and objectivity and evaluating the arguments for them.



Program cost is estimated at $5,300. All costs are approximate and subject to change.

Included: Tuition (instruction, use of classrooms and labs), orientation, guided bus tour of city, welcome & farewell dinners, some meals, educational materials, tickets to most major museums and palazzos, student card, cell phone for Italy, internet access, emergency travel/health insurance, housing (two & three bedroom apartments), field trips and excursions inside and outside of Rome (including overnight stay in Florence).

Not included: Airfare, transfers, some meals, Auburn Abroad Fee both for AU and non-AU students ($638), passport cost (approximately $135), art supplies, personal expenses. For non-AU students, there is a non-included transient student application fee of $50.

Core.2016.GelatoRefund Policy: Review program fees and refund policy. Upon admission to this program, you will be responsible for payment of these fees. Refunds will be made based on the withdrawal and cancellation dates listed below.

Payment Schedule:
  • 28 February 2017: First payment of 50% program fee due on eBill
  • 30 March 2017: Withdrawal with 50% of refund of paid costs
  • 7 April 2017: Second payment of 50% of program fee due on eBill
  • 15 April 2017: No refund after this date

Students suspended or dismissed from the program for disciplinary or academic reasons after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund of fees.


Multiple occupancy rooms in single-sex student apartments with kitchenette, bathroom, and general living area will be provided within individual apartments in Rome for the duration of the program. Accommodation will be provided with four to six students per apartment. All apartments come equipped with 24-hour Internet access and washing machine.Core.2016.Pasta

Student housing is arranged with Your Place in Rome agency and provides affordable apartments in Rome’s residential districts like historic Trastevere, a vibrant neighborhood within the city center. All apartments are either within walking distance or conveniently located near public transport routes to the university.

Lecture Rooms: Students have full access to lecture rooms in the very center of the city (centro storico) in Palazzo Taverna - one of the oldest palazzos in Rome. This 13th-century palace is located within walking distance of the Piazza Navona, Vatican, the Pantheon, the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. Dante referred to the palace in his literary masterpiece "The Divine Comedy"!


Rome, Italy

With a 2,500-year history, Rome serves as a living museum containing some of the most significant cultural artifacts of Western civilization. Whether ancient, medieval, baroque, or the modern era, its art and architecture are unmatched in diversity and richness. This study abroad program is ideal for exploration around the Eternal City and its surroundings, which include numerous ancient ruins, hilltop towns, and historic gardens. The educational and cultural activities include visits to the Pantheon, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Vatican, and the Sistine Chapel. Planned class activities include discussing global politics and migration issues with speakers from NATO, exploring global energy and resource issues with a visit to an Italian Think Tank, examining the mathematics of early Roman construction, and touring the UN Food Programme. Whether observing unique geological structures or experiencing Italian culture, students can learn about the historical importance of this majestic city.



  • Orvieto, Umbria day trip
  • Florence, Toscana, overnight stay in hotel
  • Tarot Gardens, Pascia Fiorentina day trip
  • Additional excursions under consideration:
    • NATO
    • Italian Parliament, Media Centers
  • Opportunities for independent travel on non-excursion weekends


If you do not have a PASSPORT: Please check for the nearest local passport office and forms. Auburn Abroad recommends that you apply for a passport as soon as possible. If you already have a passport: Please check the expiration date. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months following your scheduled time abroad.


  • U.S. Citizens do not need a visa for this program
  • Non-U.S. Citizens should verify visa requirements


Contact Dr. James Shelley ( for additional info on this program

This program is currently not accepting applications.