Study Abroad


In addition to the many study abroad programs offered Notre Dame, PLS students have the special opportunity to apply for the Monteverdi Prize, which is awarded annually to a current junior in the Program of Liberal Studies.

The Monteverdi Prize

This prize is underwritten by the Cioffi Family Endowment for Excellence. The Monteverdi Prize consists of a $3,000 research stipend to conduct research in Tuscany, Italy, during the summer between the recipient's junior and senior year (June and July). The recipient also receives a $10,000 award to be applied towards the student's university student account for his or her senior year. (If the recipient has received financial aid, then the award is intended first to offset any loan and/or work-study that is included in the recipient's financial aid.)

The Cioffi family includes Michael L. Cioffi, PLS '75 and his son, Michael A. Cioffi '00. Their project to create a center for the arts and humanities known as Monteverdi, which is located in the medieval village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany, was inspired by and has its genesis in their PLS education. Recipients have the option to stay at the accommodations in Monteverdi during their time in Tuscany and participate in the various activities that take place there, though they may also make research trips to other locations in Italy.


Successful applications tend to connect the student's proposed senior thesis topic with the resources that are available at locations in Italy or Europe that are easily accessible from their base in Monteverdi. Past recipients have researched 17th century Italian feminist thought, Ovid and John Keats, poet Angelo Poliziano, Virgil, Christian pilgrimage, the Italian concept of la bella figura, Dante's Commedia, and contemporary Italian politics in light of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan.

"My stay at Monteverdi allowed me to take the time to encounter [the sources for my thesis] in the original Italian, to discover a more fruitful topic, and to meditate on the experience of thesis research and writing—and on the beginning of the end of PLS and my undergraduate education. Monteverdi pushed me to come into my own as a scholar, to manage my personal time, and rise to the challenge of being treated as a peer by more experienced guests and thinkers." — Antonia Ambrose, 2019 Monteverdi Prize Recipient

The deadline for applications for the upcoming summer is typically in December. Contact the PLS office for more information.