French has been taught at the University of Washington since soon after its founding, at least since the late 1870s.  Italian has been taught since 1904.  Offered under the College of Liberal Arts at that time, French and Italian a decade later became part of a department of "Romanic Languages."  That department evolved into "Romance Languages and Literature" in the 1940s.  A proposal made in 1995 eventually led to splitting Romance Languages and Literature into two departments and the Board of Regents created the Department of French and Italian Studies effective December 16, 2014.