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

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Latin are expected to be able to:

  • Read, comprehend, and comment insightfully and critically on texts in Latin;
  • Demonstrate translating skills by parsing words accurately, using knowledge of Latin and English grammar and syntax;
  • Express knowledge of the genre of the works being translated;
  • Apply critical analysis and interpretive skills to Latin literature and the society that produced it;
  • Engage in rational, civil discourse about complex topics in a manner respectful of others.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Latin program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Latin program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Latin program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 03/04/2021 03:53PM