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The major in Latin allows students to explore widely the world of Latin literature, which includes works in classical Latin (that of the late Republic and early-to-high Empire) as well as those of the Late Antique period on through to the Medieval world and even expands to the neo-Latin works of the early modern period. Students begin with classical Latin: the Latin of Cicero, Vergil, Horace, Livy, and Tacitus. Study abroad in Italy is encouraged, but not required: there is an excellent semester-long program at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.

In addition to the learning goals for all majors, each of the three language tracks asks students to:

  • attain a sophisticated understanding of the ancient language(s) and a deepened understanding of how language constructs meaning
  • attain a deep familiarity with foundational literary works and genres through close reading and critical analysis of the content and structure of texts in the original language(s)
  • understand the ancient language(s) as the source for the terminology of medicine, law, and the sciences
  • understand the wide-ranging influence of classical literature from antiquity to the modern era on cultural and creative enterprise
  • draw on the rhetorical and narrative strategies of classical literature to strengthen and refine skills in writing clearly and persuasively


Either LATIN 231 (honors section*), 232, 233, 295, RCLANG 295, or special placement examination.

Minimum of nine courses (at least three credits each) including:

  • Seven courses in Latin at the 300-level or above; at least four of these courses must be at the 400-level or above and must include at least one, but not more than two, of the entry level advanced courses (Latin 401, 402, 409 and 410).
  • One introductory course selected from CLARCH 222, CLCIV 102, HISTORY 201 or CLCIV 302.
  • At least one upper-level (300- or 400-level) course in Roman civilization, archaeology or history. Minimum of 3 credits. (300-level must be above 303).

Three credits of independent study (Latin 499) may be used with written approval of the undergraduate advisor.

Honors Major

In addition to the major's requirements stated above, Honors candidates must take one course, at or above the 450-level, in Latin. Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing an Honors thesis (Latin 495); this thesis must be based upon texts in the original ancient languages; the thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Candidates must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their concentration advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year at the latest. For further information see the Senior Honors Thesis section.

Minor: Language, Literature and Culture of Ancient Rome

Prerequisites to the Roman minor
Latin 232 or equivalent, as determined by the departmental placement examination.

Requirements for the Roman minor
At least 16 credits of courses chosen from the following three groups

  • At least two upper-level courses in Latin language and literature (Latin 301 or higher).
  • At least one broad introductory course in Roman civilization (Classical Civilization 102), Roman archaeology (Classical Archaeology 222), or Roman History (History 201).
  • At least one upper level course (300 or 400-level) in Roman civilization, archaeology, or history.

Download the Checklist for your major or minor!