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Latin Placement

The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) offers a sequence of Latin courses during the fall and spring semesters:

Latin 101: Introductory Latin, usually offered in only the fall semester

Latin 102: Advanced Latin, usually offered in only the spring semester

Latin 203: Latin Reading and Composition, usually offered in only the fall semester

Latin 400-499, offered in both the fall and spring semesters

Latin 001, 002, and 003 are also offered as a 12-credit program in the Summer Intensive Language Institute. Students who have completed this program may enroll in Latin 203 or a 400-level Latin course.

Latin Placement Exam

Incoming students and currently enrolled students interested in being initially placed in a more advanced course than Latin 101 will be required to take the standard Latin placement exam. Students may prepare by taking the sample Latin placement exam and checking their answers with the sample Latin placement exam answer key. Students interested in taking Latin Placement Exam should contact Stephen Wheeler at smw6@psu.edu.

Carnegie Units

Incoming students and currently enrolled students who already have a number of Carnegie units of Latin language study prior to their admission at Penn State will have to determine their own placement according to these guidelines:

  • Students with fewer than two units (years) of Latin study should enroll in Latin 101 in a fall semester.
  • Students with two or three units (years) of Latin study may take Latin 101 (in a fall semester) or Latin 102. If students choose to take Latin 102, they should have a score of at least 75 points on the standard placement exam.
  • Students with four or more units (years) of Latin study may take Latin 102 or Latin 203 or a 400-level Latin course. Students who wish to take Latin 203 should have a score of at least 82 points on the standard placement exam. Students scoring more than 95 points should seriously consider taking a 400-leel Latin course.

AP Credits

Students with Latin AP credits may also wish to use the following guidelines for placement:

  • Students with an AP score of 4 should take Latin 203.
  • Students with an AP score of 5 should take either Latin 203 or 400-level Latin, depending on their performance on the standard placement exam.

Other Placement Issues

Instructors of Latin will confirm whether the placement of a student is correct at the beginning of the semester. Students who are incorrectly placed will be advised to register for Latin 101, if there is room.

If a student is uncertain about their Latin preparation and would like to study Latin at Penn State, it is advisable to register for Latin 101 as soon as possible to guarantee a seat.

 

Student Testimonial

“The day I changed my major to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies was one of the happiest of my college career.  Even before switching to CAMS,  I was interested in what the department had to offer. (...)
An undergraduate advisor suggested LATIN 003 as a way of easing into college life, as I had taken Latin classes throughout high school and had performed well on the Advanced Placement exams.  The beginning was rough, but I enjoyed the challenge of translating Latin prose and the information that the texts conveyed.  Although I pursued an Advertising degree during my first two years of college, I continued to sign up for Latin courses, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had realized that Classics, not Advertising, was the right major for me. In addition to the Latin courses, I also studied the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and Egypt in the CAMS major.  All of these classes were interesting, educational, and taught by knowledgeable faculty members.   The CAMS faculty is always helpful; they provide insight into the class material and make suggestions for outside reading during office hours and after class.  When I wrote my senior thesis for the Honors College, I received much help from the CAMS faculty while researching and writing the thesis.  Now that I have received my diplomas from Penn State, both in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Spanish, I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education.  I have been accepted at the Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in Europe, to study secondary education, specializing in classical languages.  I am confident that the education I received at Penn State, notably in the CAMS department, will aid me greatly in my postgraduate studies and in securing a teaching job, whether in the United States, Spain, or elsewhere.”

Celia Meehan
2010 CAMS graduate

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