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Latin students posing holding an Illinois State flag


Arguably no other language has had more influence on modern Western culture than Latin. Latin was the language of literature, philosophy, diplomacy, law, science, history, and theology for centuries in Europe. Latin remains the official language of the Vatican to this day, and it continues to be spoken in living Latin programs in both the U.S. and abroad.

There are so many reasons to study Latin. Classical studies reveal the roots of our own modern American culture. And why not read about the triumph of Caesar in Gaul, the conquest of Italy recounted by Livy, or the eruption of Vesuvius described by Pliny the Younger in the original Latin? Because Latin was used throughout Europe as a scholarly language, even if you are not a student of history or literature, learning Latin can help grow your English vocabulary; roughly half of the English language is borrowed from Latin. Knowledge of Latin terms would be also indispensable for anyone pursing study in the fields of law, medicine, and the sciences.

Courses taken in Italy may count toward completion of the Classical Studies minor. Pre-approved year-round study abroad programs are provided by the Lorenzo de' Medici Institute with locations in Florence, and Tuscania. The archeological field school program in Gradoli, Italy led by Latin professor Dr. Jasper is an excellent way to earn credit for students pursuing a Classical Studies minor.

Latin Program

Professor lecturing in classroom.

Classical Studies Minor

The Classical Studies minor offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Classical Antiquity. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad where they may earn credit for several of these courses.

Resources For You

  • Student Organizations

    Learn more about the benefits of involvement in a registered student organization.

  • Latin Faculty

    Meet the professors and professionals with whom you will be working.

Explore Your Options

  • Earn Free Credit Hours

    If you took this language in high school, you may be able to begin at a higher level of this language at ISU, making you eligible to earn four to eight hours credit for free. This can amount to more than $2,000 in savings.

    Email us with questions about placement.
  • Partner with Us

    If you love this language and culture as much as we do, let’s chat. We’re happy to visit high school classrooms, show you around our space, and come up with new ideas to celebrate and pass on this language and culture.

    Email Laura Edwards to start a conversation.

Latin Alumni

Caroline Kernan

"The classes are small and personal, and the professors are always willing to help as much as possible. The material I have learned in Latin and classes pertaining to the Classical Studies minor have been very useful in some of my history and political science classes and have given me a better understanding of the course material."

Caroline Kernan'16
Classical Studies minor