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  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: HC applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Suggested GPA: 3.0
Housing Options: Student Housing Community Based Learning: No
Ability to work abroad: No Click here for a definition of this term Visa required for U.S. passport holders: No
Earned Academic Credit: Yes
Program Description:


“Sediments to Pediments: The Urban Geology of Rome”   

Pantheon - Rome Sed-Ped

                                                                                                      The Pantheon, a former Roman temple


FACULTY: Holy Cross Professors David Karmon and Sara Mitchell

DATES: Depart from the U.S. on Sunday, May 19, 2024 and arrive in Rome on Monday, May 20, 2024. Depart from Rome on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

INFORMATION SESSION:  Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 5:00 PM in Swords 210

PLEASE NOTE:  Maymester activities, beginning as early as 8:00 AM and ending as late as 8:00 PM, are scheduled for every day between Monday, May 20 and Saturday, June 15, with the exception of free days on Sunday, May 26, Friday, May 31, Saturday, June 1, Sunday, June 2, Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9.  Do not plan travel for free days that requires leaving the center of Rome before 8 PM the day before.  Students are required to be present in Rome and participate fully in every Maymester activity unless in the event of a medical or personal emergency.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Rome, the Eternal City, is a legendary living city with a storied history stretching into the distant past.  Yet, the three thousand years of the city's history shrinks abruptly when we consider the geological timescale that extends over more than two million years, to a time when the entire region lay beneath the sea.  Our course puts the study of the urban environment and architecture of Rome into dialogue with its geology and hydrology, exploring how these disciplines intersect and overlap in this extraordinary physical setting.  The region of Rome is rich with geological materials, including travertine, volcanic tuff, and deep deposits of alluvial clays, all used for the construction of the built environment.  Decorative stones used in the magnificent temples, baths, and churches attest to the reach of the roman Empire and later the Catholic Church.  Natural waterways modified through the construction (and destruction) of the city have also had a profound impact on Rome's urban development and endurance over time.  through first-hand study of stone, landscape, art, architecture, and cityscape, both in Rome as well in in the broader region (including a field trip to Pompeii), we will consider how builders across history took advantage of these resources, and examine these ancient sites as a nexus of both geological and human evidence.
CREDIT: Students receive the equivalent of one Holy Cross course credit that can be used to satisfy the common area requirement in ARTS or NATURAL SCIENCES and to fulfill an academic deficiency. This course also fulfills requirements for Architectural Studies, Environmental Studies, and Geosciences; check with program directors for specific details about major or minor credit.
HOUSING: Students live in dormitory-style housing close to the historical center of Rome.
COSTS: The estimated cost of the 4-week program is approximately $7,200 - $7,600. This includes tuition, housing, transportation in Rome, and tickets to all museums, sites, cultural events, breakfast daily and a welcome and farewell dinner.  NOT INCLUDED: round-trip airfare or the cost of food. Students should expect to spend approximately $750-$1,000 on food.  It also does not include passport expenses, personal expenses, travel outside of the program and Covid-19 testing fees (if necessary). Very limited financial aid is available for this program.

APPLICATIONS: Open Monday, October 6, 2023 via the Study Abroad online application portal at and close at midnight on Sunday, November 26, 2023.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Prof. David Karmon at, Prof. Mitchell at, Tammi Valeri at, email, call Study Abroad at 508-793-3082, or visit the Office of Study Abroad in Smith Hall 216.


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.