homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. -- Terence

"I am a human being: I think nothing in human nature is foreign to me." -- Terence

Latin is the most venerable language in the Western world. Many of the most influential works were written in Latin which was still the language of culture less than 200 years ago. Roman thought permeates the conception of life and what it means to be human. Some knowledge of the past is essential to the understanding of the present. A knowledge of Latin is very useful for a more thorough understanding of the English language.

Career Opportunities

Latin is excellent preparation for students in pre-law, pre-dental and pre-medical programs. It is also excellent for students who wish to do graduate work in ancient art, history or philosophy. Completion of a major (or minor) in Latin through the College of Education and Human Development certifies a person to teach the language at the high school level. The Latin major emphasizes the language. A separate major in classical civilization is available for a broader background in these areas.


Students begin a major in Latin after completing two elementary and two intermediate Latin courses. These courses represent an equivalent to four years of high school Latin. Students who have completed four years of high school Latin can usually move directly into courses which count toward the major.For those who have not completed four years of high school Latin, the number of electives is reduced but the time necessary for completion of the degree is not increased. Students majoring in Latin select 21 hours of courses in Latin composition,advanced grammar and literary analysis. All programs at the University include a general education component which contains courses in fine arts, natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Students who wish to teach Latin follow a program offered by the College of Education and Human Development. This program includes professional education courses. Another component of the program is a Latin teaching apprenticeship to gain experience.

High School Preparation

Students with an interest in Latin should take advantage of the opportunity to study as much Latin as possible in high school. In addition, a solid background in English composition and mathematics is important. Students should follow a college preparatory curriculum that includes four units (credits) of English, three units of college preparatory mathematics, three units of science, three units of social studies, two units of the same foreign language and one unit of the visual or performing arts. Students who have not taken all these recommended courses may be required to take University courses to make up deficiencies.

Sample Plan

Following is a typical program for a student with two years of high school Latin. An advisor helps students choose additional courses for 15 or 16 hours each semester. Individual course selection will depend on the minor chosen, personal interests, career objectives, elective possibilities and high school preparation.The numbers in parentheses indicate credit hours.

First Year
Intermediate Latin (6)

Second Year
Elementary Greek (8)
Latin Literature (6)

Third Year
Intermediate Greek (6)
Latin Composition (6)

Fourth Year
Readings in Latin Literature (6)
Classical Mythology (3)

Philip S. Peek, Director
Classical Studies Program
Department of Romance and Classical Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Bowling Green State University
(419) 372-2468