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Short-Term Programs Abroad

Anatomy in Italy - SC 475N
Cadavers, Culture, and Science

Venus wax model

SC 475N: Anatomy in Italy

Travels over Spring Break

3 Credits

Prerequisite: Complete any one of the following – BIOL 161 or BIOL 128 or BIOL 141 or BIOL 129 or BIOL 240W or BIOL 421 or BIOL 472 or KINES 202


A unique blend of Biology and History, investigating the evolution of anatomy and physiology in Renaissance Italy. This course and its co-requisite, IT 175: Italian Language & Culture for Embedded Experiences Abroad (GH, 3 credits) will together meet three times per week throughout the spring semester, and over Spring Break will travel to Florence, Bologna, and other cities throughout Italy. The class explores the origins of human anatomy as a modern science within the context of Renaissance-era Italy, especially its culture, art, and history. During the in-class portion of the course, students will: participate in discussions of science, history, and art; prepare and lead presentations on assigned topics; and perform human cadaver studies. While in Italy, students will compare and contrast anatomical waxes to modern representations, analyze the anatomy of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and other artists, and discuss the historical circumstances that gave rise to, supported, and sometimes hindered the development of anatomy as a science.


Check out what students experience in Italy - in 360° video:
Immersive 4K videos from SC 475N: Anatomy in Italy



SC 475N students are eligible to apply for the following scholarships (among many other financial opportunities), some depending on students' individual circumstances:



Apply through the SC 475N Qualtrics application here

Next offered in Spring 2024 


Dr. John Waters

Teaching Professor of Biology & Anthropology and Associate Head of Biology Undergraduate Education

Joel Waters, Coordinator of Education Abroad and International Programs, Eberly College of Science

Video Credit: Daniel Widjaja, 2023 SC 475N Student
Video Credit: Sara Yi, 2022 SC 475N Student