Summer Language Institute - Latin

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The Latin Summer Language Institute will help you to build the skills you need in order to read centuries’ worth of texts—from the Classical Period through late antiquity and into the Middle Ages—in all the glory of their original language.  Learning Latin will also enhance your knowledge of English, facilitate access to the modern Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and others, which developed from Latin), and indeed help you to grasp the structure of language more generally.

The Latin SLI provides you with an intensive study of the Latin language and an introduction to Latin literature.  The program covers the equivalent of four semesters of college-level courses, and is designed either for students with no prior knowledge of Latin or those who wish to gain a more solid grounding in the fundamentals of the language.  At the end of the program, you can expect to be able to read Latin on your own with the aid of a dictionary, and you will have the knowledge and ability to succeed in advanced courses in Latin.  

We welcome both undergraduate and graduate students to apply, as well as any other applicants with a desire to learn this unique and fascinating language.  Students may choose to enroll for credit or non-credit, but all students will be expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program.  Students who have mastered a full year of Introductory Latin (or its equivalent) may apply for enrollment in the second half of the program only (the equivalent of Latin 2010 and 2020 at UVA).

Pedagogy and Approach

The first half of the program introduces you to the grammar and basic vocabulary of the Latin language.  You will apply that knowledge almost immediately, beginning to read short sentences from ancient Latin authors in the first week.  This early exposure to unsimplified Latin in conjunction with drills and exercises gives you the best opportunity, especially valuable in the condensed timeframe of an intensive course, to learn what to expect from Latin texts.

The second half of the program allows students to read famous and influential works of both prose and poetry by authors such as Cicero, Ovid, and Vergil in original Latin. During this part of the program you will also learn to use common reference works such as dictionaries and grammar books to assist in reading Latin on your own. 

You’ll meet with your classmates as a group in the afternoons and evenings, and in smaller sections for the morning period.  Evening office hours provide the chance to review and expand on the material covered throughout the day and to receive individualized instruction.  Throughout the program, you will be learning and practicing the skills required for sight-reading—that is, how to apply what you know and fill in what you don’t when you approach a new text on your own.

Unique Features of the Program

By covering the equivalent of two years of college-level Latin courses, the Summer Latin Institute helps undergraduate students to meet their language requirement and prepare for advanced courses in Latin.  Graduate students can expect this program to enable them, with the help of a dictionary, to read Latin on their own; they can then use this skill to pass departmental language exams or to aid in their own research.  Our faculty is composed entirely of faculty and graduate students from the Classics Department who have extensive experience teaching Latin courses at the University of Virginia.  While they offer a wide variety of knowledge and interests, all faculty members share an energy and enthusiasm for teaching the Latin language.

Program Structure

Because of the intensive nature of this program, you should expect to spend much of each day either in class or preparing assignments for the following day.  Each day will involve three hour classes in the morning and in the afternoon, as well as an additional evening session for one-on-one or small group instruction.  The purpose of this rigorous schedule is to immerse you in Latin to the greatest extent possible and to maximize the extensive progress that we expect you to have achieved by the end of the program.  All students who enroll will be expected (barring medical or family emergencies) to be free to attend every class session.

Daily Schedule
9:00am-12:00pm        morning session
1:00-4:00pm               afternoon session
4:00-7:00pm               evening session 

Required Books

First Half:

Wheelock's Latin (7th ed.) F. Wheelock & R. LaFleur ISBN: 9780061997228

Thirty-Eight Latin Stories (5th ed.) A. Groton & J. May ISBN: 9780865162891

Second Half: 

Packet for pickup, details TBD

Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar (ISBN-13: 978-0486448060) 

All students will also need to have a hard-copy of a Latin dictionary.

2023 Costs

Students in all SLI programs, including the non-credit option, must pay the Institute Fee of $60.00 and the Comprehensive Fee.

See Summer Session Housing for information on housing costs. See Dining for Information on meal plans.

  Virginia Resident Non Virginia Resident

Required Fees

       Institute Fee 

       Comprehensive Fee







Undergraduate Student Tuition
(12 credits)
$443 x 12cr = $5,316 $1,625 x 12cr = $19,500
Graduate Student Tuition
(12 credits)
$509 x 12cr = $6,108 $1,032 x 12cr = $12,384
Non Credit Study Option Tuition $5,316 $5,316

Please note that graduate level tuition applies to current UVA students who will graduate in May, before the start of the SLI.

Contact Information: 

Department of Classics
Director: Nina Raby
Cocke Hall, Room B018