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Program Description

The Master’s University in Italy is a new study abroad program, based in the beautiful country of Italy! Our focus is to provide a unique, deeply biblical approach to intellectual history, grounded in the study of the European Renaissance and Reformation. Students will live in Florence for six weeks in the summer and earn twelve (12) undergraduate credits in a variety of courses while deeply immersed in Italian culture and Renaissance history.


The modern world is the child of the Italian Renaissance. All modernist worldview issues were first fully formulated in the Renaissance, in both the sciences and the humanities. Florence, the home base of the program, is the cradle of the Renaissance and the birthplace of the modern world. It is the city of Dante, Petrarch, Giotto, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Galileo, Boccaccio, Cimabue, Brunelleschi and Donatello, the Medici banking family, Botticelli, Savonarola, Machiavelli, Rossini. And, of course, Amerigo Vespucci—for whom America was named. With all this in mind, we have created a program grounded in the exploration of the dual questions “quid est homo?” (“what is Man?”) asked by the Italian Renaissance Christian Humanist scholars, and the related biblical question “what is man that Thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8).



Approximate cost of the program is 10K for airfare, room and board, side trips to Italian cities, and tuition for 12 units.


We will be living in a lovely Medieval/Renaissance period villa in Florence with trips to Rome, Venice, as well as extensive time spent in museums, palaces, classical-era ruins, Renaissance gardens, the Vatican museum and libraries, and the famous Mediterranean Coast.
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Class Offerings

Our summer semesters are designed to help students graduate on-time, or even early, which means that the GE courses we offer every summer will be determined by the group of students selected and the faculty members who will join the program. The typical student will take two survey-level courses and two upper division Oxford-style tutorials. The academically intensive tutorials will have 2-5 students in socratic discussion—and in both the courses and the tutorials the major focus will be an exploratory discussion of Man: his origin, creative nature, purpose and end. The following is a SAMPLE list of course offerings:

Lower Division Gen-Ed courses

  • English Literature I (for Literature Survey credit)

  • Art History of the Western World (for Introduction to Music and Art credit)

  • Philosophy

Upper Division Tutorials

  • Literature courses: The Life, Influences, and Writings of Robert and Elizabeth Browning

  • History credit: Renaissance Cultural History

  • Language: Introductory Latin

  • Communications/Writing: Travel Writing

For the most current course listings, please visit Prof. Esther Chua in the English Department or email

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Application Process Descriptions

For each student interested in The Master’s University in Italy Program, we will require a completed application and letters of recommendation, as listed on the application. The deadline for applications for Summer 2019 is October 31st, 2018. Likewise, applications for Summer 2020 will be due by October 31st, 2019.

Because we receive many applications throughout the year, we recommend that students complete and submit their applications (and recommendation letters) as early as possible. When an application is received and processed, students will receive a confirmation email with further instructions and additional information.

For any additional questions, please email Professor Esther Chua at We hope to hear from you soon!

Application Deadline and Fee

  • The application deadline for Summer 2018 is closed. The deadline to apply for Summer 2019 is Oct. 31st, 2018.

  • Students will pay a $50 non-refundable application fee.

Cancelation Policy

Accepted students will be billed on November 20th after which the student will only get a certain amount of money back, depending on when the student cancels. If the student drops out in January 2018: 100% will be refunded; if in February 2018: 75%; if in March 2018: 50%; if in April 2018: 25%; and if after April 30th, 2018: 0% will be refunded. TMU in Italy expects accepted students to be committed before paying in December. TMU Italy Financial Policy

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):

Before going on the program, students will sign a MOU, acknowledging that they adhere to all travel, health, and conduct policies. This signature is required before going to TMU in Italy.

Likewise, students attending TMU in Italy will adhere to the Student Handbook

Registration Policy

TMU in Italy students are full-time students and are required to take twelve units. Course selections for each summer will be determined by and designed for the students who have been accepted into the program. As in our program description, we will offer a range of courses that fulfill GE requirements as well as upper division credit.

For registration, students will meet with Professor Chua to decide which courses the student will be taking during the month of November to discuss and register for classes. For the most current course listings, please visit Professor Esther Chua in the English Department or email

To drop or change classes, students should schedule an appointment to meet with Professor Chua. The Add/Drop period will end March 1st.

For a list of possible classes, see the course list.

When is the Application Deadline?

Application for Summer 2018 is closed. The deadline to apply for Summer 2019 is Oct. 31st, 2018. Click here for the application.

Is there an application fee?

There is a $50 non-refundable fee that must be paid when applying.

How much does the program cost?

The program will cost approximately 10K. This includes airfare, housing, most meals, and tuition.

How will I know if I have been accepted?

When a student completes an application, the student will receive a confirmation email with further instructions and additional information. Students will then undergo an interview process to determine if the student is a good fit for the rigorous academic nature of this program. Calls will also be made to students’ academic and apiritual advisor.

What happens if I’m not selected or unable to participate?

If you are not selected (or are unable to participate) and still have interest in participating the following summer, email Professor Chua to keep your file open for the fall. Make sure to also email Professor Chua if the passport or health insurance information from your application changes.

Will there be a waitlist?

Yes. Students will be contacted if they are put on the waitlist.

Is Financial Aid offered?

No. The Master’s University is set up to only give financial aid for the fall and spring semester, there is no available financial aid for post-session programs and courses.

When do I need to pay for the program?

Students accepted into the program will need to register for classes by the end of November. Their bill will be received November 20th of the month after they register; if the student opts for the payment plan, they will make five payments throughout the spring semester. If the student is using the full pay option, the full amount of the program will be due by December 10th.

How can I pay for the program?

Cash or check payments may be mailed to:

21726 Placerita Canyon Road, Box 36 Santa Clarita, CA 91321 E-check payments can also be made online at

Who should I contact if I have additional financial questions?

The Student Accounts Office can be reached at 661.362.2212. The student can also email the office at

What classes will be offered?

Course selections/listings for each summer are flexible, unlike other study abroad programs. The program is designed to help students graduate on-time and, if planned in advance, to graduate early. Students will meet with professor Chua and together they will decide which classes will work best for the student. See the student guide [coming soon] for more info.

How many credits are required?

Twelve. For more info, see the student guide. [coming soon]

Is food included in the program cost?

Most meals are provided in the program cost. However, students will have free time to eat on their own. To cover this, we recommend that students bring their own spending money. As an estimate, students can budget $20-25 per week for any extra meals, desserts, gelato runs and coffee breaks that they may want.

Are dietary restriction accommodated?

Yes. Italy is used to dealing with tourism. Most restaurant workers can understand english and will be able to accommodate common dietary restriction. If students have an uncommon restriction, please let us know when applying and a special card with instructions on how to accommodate the student’s restriction will be made in Italian for the student to give to restaurant workers when ordering.

For meals prepared in housing, students should let Professor Chua know of the student’s restriction and we will prepare accordingly.

What should I bring if I have allergies? (food or seasonal)

Students with allergies should bring the proper medication (over the counter or prescribed) to combat the general summer allergies or reactions they might have in Italy. Zyrtec is highly recommended.

What will housing be like?

As a home-base, students will be living in a Medieval/Renaissance period villa in the Florence country-side. During the program students will take trips to other cities such as Rome, Venice, and Cinque Terre, as schedules/opportunity permits. There the students will be staying in apartments together.

What should students consider about being exposed to art forms that include nudity?

Throughout the Italy program students will be exposed to many forms of art, including representations of the human form. Sometimes, this includes nudity. We understand that in humans’ fallen state, nudity is shameful and can sear a Christian’s conscience. We don’t want to hurt any student’s conscience and if a student thinks he or she will be tempted by the nudity represented in the art all over Italy, then the student should not participate in TMU in Italy. If the student is not sure, the student can meet with Professors Chua and Horner.

Health Policies

According to the TMU in Italy Application, students will mark certain medical conditions on the Application. Certain conditions, as guided by the Application, will require the student to consult with their physician as to the feasibility of participation. Those applicants who identify such conditions are required to provide a medical clearance (a doctor’s written permission) as a prerequisite to participation in the TMU in Italy program. The TMU in Italy program is physically demanding and may exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions.

When applying, students will sign a medical release, giving permission to the faculty to select a physician, to hospitalize, to secure proper treatment, to order injections, anesthesia, or surgery for the student in case of an emergency.

Safety Policies

Students should be aware that the faculty of TMU in Italy are responsible for the students’ safety and will do everything they can to ensure everyone’s safety. Students should also be prepared to foster a culture of safety. Please refer to the Student Handbook for more student and faculty responsibilities. Students also will sign a Memorandum of Understanding which says the student will adhere to, among other things, safe conduct.

Students should be aware Italy is an actual place that people live in. Certain things may seem strange and difficult to an American because of cultural differences. Because the program is also an immersive cultural experience, students are expected to show a certain amount of flexibility and a strong sense of personal responsibility. Prior to the start of the program, students will be brief on travel and safety procedures, which will help them navigate through the normal challenges of international travel.