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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 2018:

  • 15 February 2018: Deadline for applying to program.
  • 14 May 2018: Latest date to leave USA to make the start date.
  • 15 May 2018: Start date on location. Students must be in Rome, housing opens.
  • 16 May 2018: Orientation and classes begin.
  • 14 June 2018: Classes and examinations end.
  • 15 June 2018: 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 3970 – Stoicism: The Inner Citadel (3 credit hours):
In this course, students will learn about ancient Stoicism primarily by reading the work of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. They will also read selected other works by and about Stoics, most importantly, Pierre Hadot’s remarkable ‘The Inner Citadel.’ Central questions of the course include: What does it mean for philosophy to be a way of life? What are spiritual exercises, and how do they contribute to philosophy as a way of life? What is it to acquire the Discipline of Assent (a control over the mind), the Discipline of Desire (a control over desires), and the Discipline of Action (a stoic rectitude of behavior)? Can these disciplines really be acquired? Stoicism has made a comeback – you can find business seminars using Aurelius and so on. What should be made of the rising interest in Stoicism? What does it tell us about Stoicism and ourselves? Best of all, we will ask these questions in Rome and while visiting various sites in Rome!

PHIL 4920 – Aquinas on Judgement (3 credit hours):
In this course, students will be introduced to the great Catholic philosopher’s theory of judgement. To do this, we will first focus on Aquinas’ account of knowledge, contrasting it with various modern accounts. We will read Aquinas, of course, but also read various commentators on him. We will be concerned with questions like: How does the world so much as come into view for knowledge? How are false judgements possible? How do concepts figure into knowledge, particularly sensory knowledge? What is God’s role in human knowledge? We will ask these questions in the very center of Roman Catholicism!


Program cost is estimated at $5,400. 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 ($657), 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 2018: First payment of 50% program fee due on eBill
  • 30 March 2018: Withdrawal with 50% of refund of paid costs
  • 30 March 2018: Second payment of 50% of program fee due on eBill
  • 15 April 2018: 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. Whether observing unique geological structures or experiencing Italian culture, students can learn about the historical importance of this majestic city.



  • Additional excursions are currently under consideration.
  • 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.