On behalf of the School of Canon Law, the Department of Greek and Latin offers an online Latin placement exam to Canon Law students who have previously studied Latin at other institutions. The exam can only be taken one time in a student's career at Catholic University.  

The Canon Law Latin placement exam is administered online in a secure environment; access is granted upon request to the department. To request access to the exam, send an email to cua-greek-latin@cua.edu with the subject line: Canon Law Latin Exam.

As you are planning for your own potential test-taking dates, be certain to schedule your exam in time for you to be placed in the proper course prior to the start of classes, if at all possible. In general, you should allow an absolute minimum of two business days for your test to be evaluated and the results and recommended placement emailed to you. For placement in time for the beginning of fall courses, exams should be completed by July 31. 

The examination is three hours long, and you may use a dictionary of your own choice (though not one with forms or grammar in it) throughout the exam. No other aids are permitted. Many students may not have time to complete the entire assessment; you should aim to progress through as much of it as possible in three hours. 

The test consists of five parts worth a total of 100 points. The first three parts are based upon the classical Latin forms, syntax, and vocabulary taught in LAT 501A/B. All of the questions in these sections are multiple choice. The first part (questions 1-30) tests morphology. The second part (questions 31-60) tests simple sentences. The third part (questions 61-80) tests complex sentences. The fourth and fifth parts of the exam are based upon passages of canonical Latin. Part four (questions 81-90) asks multiple choice comprehension and grammar questions about two passages. Part five (90-100) asks for translations of two passages of canonical Latin.

The textbook that is best representative of departmental standards for those elements of morphology and syntax tested on this placement examination is A. Keller and S. Russell, Learn to Read Latin (Yale University Press). This text is regularly employed in the elementary-level departmental Canon Law Latin courses (Latin 501A/B-502A/B) and is recommended for review and preparation for the exam.

Your exam will be evaluated by a member of the departmental faculty, and your placement communicated to you via email, copied to the School of Canon Law. There are several possible placement outcomes:

  • Enroll in Latin 501A (in person) or 501B (online).
  • Enroll in Latin 505B (online).
  • Qualify at a level beyond Latin 505B, thus receiving exemption from the three foundational courses and fulfilling the School of Canon Law Latin requirement.

Please note that students are not permitted to "sit out" Latin 501A or 501B and then take Latin 502A or 502B in the following semester. The department's summer courses may be appropriate substitutions under some circumstances; please consult the advisors for more information about these options.