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Learning Communities: a small group of students who share common courses, interests, and/or residence.

Transition Programs: unique programs for first year students transitioning from high school to university.

Academic Help: specialized help for math, academic writing, and study skills.

Image credits

University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Ege Manuscripts, MSS 14, MS 40v, Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences, 15th Century.

Classical & Medieval Latin

The Certificate of Proficiency in Classical and Medieval Latin is designed to assist students who wish to incorporate classical and/or medieval Latin in their studies, or who are simply interested in developing a reading knowledge of Latin.

This program allows students to earn a Certificate of Proficiency, which is a qualification that recognizes a focus of study in a specific area, requiring 15 to 30 credit units of university-level courses. A student may earn a certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or may earn a certificate after having received a degree from the University of Saskatchewan or another institution.

Program Options

Additional Information

This program is open to any student admitted to the University of Saskatchewan.  If you are interested in more information about this certificate, please contact student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca

What does the Certificate in Classical and Medieval Latin program have to offer?

The Certificate of Proficiency in Classical and Medieval Latin is designed to assist students who wish to incorporate classical and/or medieval Latin in their studies, or who are simply interested in developing a reading knowledge of Latin.

It offers a focused set of courses that provides training in Latin grammar and syntax as well as practical experience in the translation and interpretation of Classical and Medieval Latin texts. Students will not only learn how to read Latin but will receive rigorous training in grammatical and stylistic analysis, as well as the broader tools employed in the philological study of texts (the situating of texts in a wider historical, cultural, and literary context).

At the conclusion of the program, students will be certified as competent to employ Latin in graduate studies and will have developed a sophisticated understanding of English grammar and elements of prose style.

The program is designed to be of particular use to students who wish to employ Latin in research — at either the undergraduate or graduate level — involving primary texts from the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and early-modern periods, but it offers something for everyone.

Why study Latin?

  • Because it’s fun and rewarding!
    It is thrilling to be able to read Cicero, Vergil, Ovid, Caesar and others in their original language--not to mention later works in Latin like the Vulgate Bible, the works of St. Augustine and the letters of Abelard and Heloise. Many musicians enjoy being able to understand the Latin songs they sing and play. 
  • Latin improves your English language skills.
    As you study Latin you will learn a great deal about English vocabulary and grammar.
  • More than half of English vocabulary is derived from Latin.
    Understanding Latin will help you understand the Latin roots of English—and of Romance languages like French, Spanish and Italian as well. Improving your vocabulary improves your communication skills.
  • Grammar isn’t just a set of rules—it is the backbone and building blocks of language.
    Understanding grammar helps you understand how people express themselves. When you study the grammar of a foreign language, you get a better idea of how the speakers of that language think. And as a bonus, you will understand the grammar of your native language better, which can improve your writing.
  • Why is it important to be able to write and communicate well?
    To quote Katie Robinson of the National Committee for Latin and Greek in the States: “Communication skills … have been shown to be the single most important factor to career success – no matter what job you choose.”

(“The Value of Latin: A Personal Perspective and Other Notes” [2009])

  •  Latin improves your critical thinking skills.
    When you read Latin, you concentrate not only on vocabulary, but on how words and phrases work in a sentence. This careful reading stimulates the development of analytical and critical thinking. For example, in the United States it has been proven repeatedly that students who take at least two years of high-school Latin increase their verbal SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores on average by 100 points, while Latin students consistently out-perform students who study other foreign languages.
  • Latin can help you in your other classes.
    The Latin curriculum informs almost every other Humanities-related discipline: English, History, Languages, Linguistics, Philosophy, Drama, Archeology, Art History, Music, Religious Studies, Women and Gender Studies, et cetera.
  • Latin is a strong foundation for a multitude of careers.
    The benefits of Latin in preparing students for a future in the legal profession, the medical field, and in writing are well documented, but the skills fostered by the study of Latin can be applied to a wide range of university majors and subsequent careers.
  • Latin helps you appreciate life!
    A classical education offers its students insights into the origin and significance of many of Western civilization’s core cultural practices.  Suddenly, legal references, allusions in literature and in movies, and our own language, make much better sense.

Sample classes

  • LATN 112: Latin for Begineers I
    An introduction to the basics of Latin grammar, with particular attention to accidence.
  • LATN 202: Intermediate Latin I
    Consolidation of basic Latin grammar and introduction to advanced Latin syntax. The readings of some of the less difficult ancient Latin texts.
  • LATN 400: Senior Latin
    Advanced study, in Latin, of particular authors, works, or genres, with emphasis on the precise translation and analysis (grammatical, metrical, stylistic, historical, and/or literary) of the assigned Latin texts. May be taken more than once for credit.

Career Opportunities

The knowledge and skills fostered by the study of Latin have assisted students in obtaining graduate degrees in a number of areas (Classics, English, French, History, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Philosophy) and provide a valuable asset to those seeking careers in fields such as law, education, museum and curatorial studies, digital humanities, administration, and library and information science. More generally, the study of Latin is invaluable to anyone who will be employing written or spoken English as part of their profession.

Skill Sets Gained

  • ability to translate and analyze texts in Latin
  • detailed familiarity with grammatical terms and concepts
  • enhanced vocabulary and greater awareness of the historical origins of many English words
  • ability to employ English more effectively in your own speaking and writing
  • enhanced skill at analyzing and evaluating written texts
  • increased awareness of the stylistic and rhetorical features of the texts you read (in Latin and English!)
  • increased awareness of Western cultural history and its traditions

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