• How much do Greek and Latin online summer classes cost at Catholic University?

    $550/credit hour in summer 2024 (plus any applicable university fees), a special discounted tuition rate that applies to the following courses (elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels):

    GR 509, GR 516, GR 517, GR 492/592
    LAT 509, LAT 516, LAT 517, LAT 517B, LAT 492/592

    All of these courses are taught live online, and are fully synchronous.

  • Can I save money by auditing a course rather than taking it for credit?

    Auditing requires the same admissions processes and costs the same amount as taking a course for credit, and so we tend to advise students to fully enroll as an encouragement to fully participate. We do recognize, however, that students have different needs and goals, and we warmly welcome auditors when that is the right choice for them.

    Auditing costs $550/credit hour in summer 2024 (plus any applicable university fees), a special discounted tuition rate that applies to the following courses (elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels):

    GR 509, GR 516, GR 517, GR 492/592
    LAT 509, LAT 516, LAT 517, LAT 517B, LAT 492/592

    A very limited financial exception exists for members of the community who already hold a research doctoral degree (typically only a Ph.D.), who are able to audit courses at a reduced rate.  Please feel free to contact the department if this applies to you, so that we can direct you to the appropriate processes.  The relevant application materials for this are somewhat paperwork-intensive, and so we encourage planning for them as far in advance as possible.

  • Are there scholarships available?

    Our tuition rate is already significantly reduced (less than half of the university's regular summer rate), but no further scholarships are available through our program.  We always recommend that prospective students consult with their own academic departments, programs, and (for non-Catholic University students) colleges and universities to see whether they might have some funding available.  Academic professional organizations are also a good place to check.


  • Can I transfer these credits back to my own college or university?

    The credits you earn in our program at Catholic University will be regular university credit hours.  You will have a regular university transcript and the ability to send it anywhere you need to so that the courses can be evaluated for transfer.  Please bear in mind, however, that how to transfer and count your credits is up to your own college or university.  Most students benefit from asking their advisers about this ahead of time.  The Department of Greek and Latin is happy to provide transcripts from previous versions of our courses upon email request: many colleges and universities like to see these before approving courses for transfer.

  • Can I take a course pass/fail? I do not need a grade for my purposes.

    After you are already enrolled, it is possible to apply to the Dean's office (a simple one-page form) for permission to take a summer Greek or Latin course pass/fail.  However, there can be drawbacks to this depending upon your own academic status.

    Students in degree or Certificate programs at Catholic University should be aware that a grade of "pass" is not an accepted qualification for entry into the next language course in a given sequence: the course must be taken for a letter grade if the student intends to continue.

    Students from other colleges and universities should consult with their own advisers and programs before committing to taking a course pass/fail: in some cases, this decision may affect their academic progress.

  • How much of my time will my course take up?

    The students who are the most successful in our Summer Program--and afterwards, when they move on to apply what they have learned--are usually those who are involved in a minimum of other commitments. Many students have found that significant part-time employment or major academic projects take away time and attention that they would rather spend on language work during the relatively brief sessions when the courses meet.

    A class session in a 509 (elementary-level) Greek or Latin course involves approximately three hours of class commitment, and beyond that there are significant nightly homework assignments that involve a variety of activities: re-studying of concepts, analysis of forms, translation, and preparing for quizzes and tests. It is likely that your work outside of class will require at least four hours per day, and perhaps more, depending upon your particular individual approach.

    The 516-517 courses also require significant preparation time for each session. The amount of time it requires you to ready your work for class will depend upon several factors: the number of grammatical forms and vocabulary words you need to look up, the development of your ability to grasp sentence constructions, and the number of times you read through the assigned passages for any given class meeting (at least twice is recommended, and three or more is ideal).

  • How do you teach the ancient languages online?

    Here are some things that you might want to know about our online courses:

    1. They are synchronous, with all classes convening live in real time for the length of their meeting sessions. This is rare for many online course offerings at other institutions, and it means that our students and their instructors are working and talking together constantly throughout the course. Questions can be answered as soon as they are asked, and real conversation speeds up progress.
    2. They are intensive, allowing students to complete the equivalent of a year's study of either ancient language in the space of six weeks.
    3. They are rigorous, providing the strong linguistic foundations for which our department has long been recognized, documenting student progress through frequent course assessments, and allowing enrollees to progress seamlessly into more advanced study.
  • What will a 509 course prepare me to do?

    A 509 course in Latin or Greek covers one year of the elementary study at the college level. This means that you will learn most of the basic grammar and syntax (i.e. sentence structures) that you will need to know in order to read much of ancient Greek or Latin literature.

    After GR 509, students are generally ready to take an intermediate-level Greek reading course on, for example, Plato's Apology, or another Greek prose work. After LAT 509, students are generally prepared for an intermediate-level course on (e.g.) Catullus or Cicero. And after about two courses of intermediate-level study, one can usually move on to upper-level "author" or "reading" courses.

    As with all courses, you will get out of a 509 what you put into it. The more commitment to it you are able to provide, the more likely you will exit 509 able to begin reading real Greek or Latin literature.

  • What will the 516-517 courses prepare me to do?

    GR 516-517 and LAT 516-517 are intermediate-level, "first reading" courses. They are intended to smooth the transition from the study of syntax to the study of actual ancient literature. The focus in these classes is upon understanding the grammatical structures of the text, developing translation skills, and beginning to appreciate the art inherent in the ways that Greek and Latin authors arrange words and phrases.

  • What authors or literary works will be read in the 516-517 courses?

    The selections will be drawn from the most important classical authors. In Latin, students may expect to encounter authors such as Cicero, Catullus, Ovid, and Vergil; in Greek, Plato, Lysias, Xenophon, Herodotus, and Homer would be likely choices. The course instructors also may choose additional works to read based upon the needs and interests of class members.

    For students whose interests are oriented more specifically towards philosophy and theology, LAT 517B focuses upon the works of Augustine and Aquinas.

  • Can I find out in advance which textbooks each course will use?

    Yes. You can see the textbooks for each course listed on the course panel in Cardinal Station or on the website for the University's Barnes and Noble Bookstore.
  • Who usually enrolls in the Summer Program?

    One of the most exciting things about our Summer Program is that its students enter from such diverse backgrounds. They may be graduate students in the humanities at Catholic University or elsewhere, undergraduates looking to accelerate their language studies, working professionals, members of the clergy, and students from outside the US. The atmosphere is generally intense and extremely collegial and supportive.

  • Can high-school students enroll in the Summer Program?

    Yes, they can! Three things to remember, however:

    1. Our Summer Program starts roughly in mid-May with the elementary-level sequence. Even the evening sections might be too much to take on alongside a high-school schedule.
    2. The elementary-level courses, GR 509 and LAT 509, cover roughly the equivalent of two years of high-school work in the space of six weeks. There is therefore no distinction made between (for example) high-school Latin 1 and high-school Latin 2. A student who wanted high-school Latin 2 would therefore just enroll in LAT 509--and get to the Latin 2 part of the course after the first three weeks.
    3. A high-school student wishing to enroll at roughly the Latin 3 level (= LAT 516) is strongly urged to take the department's free online placement exam first, to confirm readiness.

    Given the pace of these courses, please note that a single day of class treats roughly two weeks' worth (or a bit more) of the amount of material that would be treated at the high-school level.

  • What about memorizing? I am not confident about being able to commit many grammatical forms to memory in a short time.

    If a good grasp of the ancient languages required a photographic memory, study of them would have ceased a long time ago. GR 509 and LAT 509 guide you in such a way that you learn forms gradually and practice them constantly. Quizzes reinforce items of major importance in small, manageable portions, and regular assignments point out to you which items from the day's lesson you will actually need to memorize. Additionally, the teaching approach in the 509 courses is geared towards the learning processes of adults: it emphasizes deduction and analysis, where possible, ahead of rote memorization.

  • I want to be able to read Biblical Greek. Is Greek 509 really the course for me?

    Greek 509 is a course on Attic Greek as written during the ancient Greek "classical" period. It is the Greek of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle (among many others). However, "classical" Attic Greek was the chosen literary mode of expression for much of ancient Greek writing well into the Christian era; it is essential, for example, for the study of the Church fathers.

    You may already be aware that the New Testament is not written in Attic Greek. It is composed in a later manifestation of the language known as koine, or "common" Greek. Koine was a simplified form of Attic Greek that had undergone a great deal of streamlining, facilitating its use by wider populations. By learning the earlier, more elaborate Attic Greek you will actually be putting yourself in the best possible position to read koine (Biblical) Greek, because you will understand the grammatical background to the forms and constructions used in the New Testament. You will also be able to read all of the prior literature that potentially influenced the New Testament's literary style and content, and the later literature that commented upon the Biblical texts.

  • After a 509 course in the Summer Program, will I know enough Latin/Greek to write a dissertation on...?

    The only people who can answer this question are you and your dissertation advisor. Generally an extra course or two (especially 516 and 517) will always serve you well, particularly if your dissertation is going to pose questions that require the close reading and interpretation of significant passages of Latin or Greek. One suggestion is to take 509, and then re-evaluate. After 509, find some passages of the author(s) upon whom you intend to work, and see how difficult it is for you to understand them grammatically and syntactically. If you find that you need more study, your advisor can help you choose appropriate courses at Catholic University or elsewhere.

  • I already know some Latin (although I studied it a long time ago). Will that help me learn Greek?

    Yes, it will. The modern study of Latin and Greek is based upon observed grammatical principles, and much of the modern grammatical terminology is shared between the approaches to the two languages. This means that we use many of the same names for Greek verb tenses and noun forms as we do for Latin ones, and we mean many of the same things when we deploy this terminology.

    But another thing that will help you, ironically, is simply knowing English. The English language contains many words that are derived from ancient Greek, which means that you can build your vocabulary fairly quickly when you take word roots into account.

  • I have already taken some Latin or Greek. Will a 509 course be of any use to me?

    If your last study of either language was a fairly long time ago, then the answer to this question is most likely yes. But if you have reached an intermediate level in Latin or Greek more recently, you may be better off taking the 516-517 sequence during the second part of the summer, or another intermediate course during the academic year.

    Many students choose a 509 course as a way of consolidating their past language experience in an intense "review," and then move forward to the intermediate level with their skills refreshed.

    If you have past experience in koine Greek only, even if that experience was substantial, you should almost certainly register for GR 509 prior to taking GR 516-517.

  • I do not know which course might be appropriate to my level of experience. Can the department test me?

    Yes. The department offers free online placement exams in both Latin and Greek. They can usually be graded within a few days of your taking them so that you know exactly which course is right for you. If you would like to take a placement exam, you should contact the department to receive login credentials and instructions.