The Catholic University of America

The Hephaisteion, overlooking the Agora in Athens

Welcome to the Department of Greek and Latin!

Our community of students and scholars works together to study over two thousand years of ancient and medieval history, literature, archaeology, and art. We are Pomegranate tree in the Kerameikos, Athensinterested in classics, patristics, and the relationship of the classical era to the Christian tradition, and we teach both language and non-language courses on the Greco-Roman world.

BA Programs

Colosseum, Rome

A bachelor's degree in any area of classics will open your mind, polish your skills, and challenge your assumptions. Studying at CUA and perhaps abroad as well, you will join one of the oldest and most prestigious disciplines in academia--and be amazed at how relevant the ancient world is to the modern one.

MA Programs

Cycladic church

An MA opens a world of possibilities: museum work, secondary-level teaching, research and archiving, librarianship, publishing, or the path towards a university career, just to name a few. Immerse yourself in the literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome--and see where it takes you.

PhD Program

The Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC

The PhD in Greek and Latin at CUA builds on the classical MA program by focusing on late antiquity, patristics, or the Middle Ages. Courses are offered every semester on the literature of these eras, and an individualized exam process prepares students to write dissertations that break new ground.

Certificate Programs

View of the harbor in Nauplion, Greece

Anyone who has completed a bachelor's degree in any field can apply for the certificate programs: no prior Greek or Latin is required. Certificates are graduate-level qualifications that show advanced competency in one or both classical languages. Always dreamed about trying classics? Now is your chance!


Consider adding a minor in Greek, Latin, or Classical Civilization to your bachelor's degree, and take advantage of our exciting courses, outstanding faculty, friendly community, and commitment to advising and mentoring our students.Temple of Poseidon, Sounion  A minor can make your degree even more prestigious and valuable.


"For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth."

Plutarch, Moralia 48c (trans. Babbitt) 

The Journal Latinitas

A new series of the journal Latinitas has been launched by the Pontifical Academy for Latin, established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. The first issue of the new series was published in Fall 2013. Beginning in 2014 it appears twice a year. The journal's main sections focus on philology and history, neo-Latin literature, and pedagogical topics. Articles appear in Latin, Italian, and other major languages.

Classical Association of the Atlantic States

CUA is a proud member of CAAS, our regional professional organization for the study and teaching of classics from the primary school through the university and professional levels.
CAAS provides grants and scholarships to students and educators for a variety of projects, including special events and study abroad.
CAAS holds a meeting every fall that takes the form of a productive and friendly conference, an excellent venue for graduate students and professionals to read scholarly papers.
Professor William Klingshirn is a past President of CAAS, and Dr. Sarah Ferrario, our department chair, is chair of the CAAS Awards Committee and a past Director from the DC region.  Please contact Dr. Ferrario if you are interested in joining CAAS or learning more about its opportunities!

Prize of the Pontifical Academies 2017

Each year one of the Pontifical Academies curates the competition for a prize of 20,000 Euros awarded by the Pontifical Council for Culture for the promotion and development of Christian humanism. The prize is presented by the Cardinal Secretary of State in the name of the Holy Father during the Annual Public Meeting of the Pontifical Academies. This year’s prize is under the curatorship of the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Pontificia Academia Latinitatis).
The Academy has proposed two thematic areas: 1) Reception of ancient Latinitas Christiana between the medieval and modern eras; and 2) Docendo invenire thesauros: methodological proposals for the teaching of Latin. The first prize is reserved for scholars between the ages of 25 and 40 (as of 30 April 2017), and the second is reserved for educational institutions. The Academy may choose to award the prize in one or both areas. Full details are available in the official announcements in English, Italian, and Spanish


CUA is the home of the Eta Kappa chapter of the national classics honor society, Eta Sigma Phi, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement in the study of Greek and Latin. 
Eta Sigma Phi members have access to scholarship opportunities (including some for study abroad), to a national translation contest, and to the chance to apply to present papers at both student and professional conferences.
Eta Kappa's 2017 induction class contained 16 new members, and we look forward to welcoming many more in the years to come.  Invitation letters for qualified students are sent out by the Department of Greek and Latin early in the second semester of the year.
Please contact Dr. Ferrario, the faculty moderator, if you have eligibility questions, or are interested in learning more about Eta Sigma Phi!

Current Announcements 

    • SUMMER GREEK AND LATIN AT $500/cr!  The department will be offering elementary- and intermediate-level courses in both languages online this summer at a specially discounted tuition rate!  Accelerate your studies, finish your language requirement, and learn to read ancient literature in the original.  Visiting students and faculty from other colleges and universities, members of the community, and high school students are all warmly welcome, and placement exams in Greek and in Latin are online and free! Read more about Latin and Greek in summer 2017.

    • Congratulations to the Classics Club, which took the Academic and Professional Student Org of the Year trophy at the CUA Student Organization Excellence Awards for 2016-17!

    • Aeneathon 2017!  Every year the Department hosts a marathon reading of an ancient epic, and this year witnessed a two-day performance of Vergil's Aeneid (in Lombardo's English translation with the insertion of occasional Latin passages) on March 30 and 31.

    • Eta Sigma Phi sight-translation contest results!  Congratulations to Sarah Grupp, sophomore classics major, for taking third place in the 2017 Intermediate Greek category of the Maurine Dallas Watkins Sight-Translation Contest sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi!

    • Departmental MA alumna wins national pedagogy award! Warmest congratulations to Ms. Jane Brinley, who teaches Latin at The School Without Walls here in Washington, DC.  She has just been announced as one of two winners of this year's Award for Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching by the Society for Classical Studies, our national professional organization!


Intra et extra

World map, credit

Members of the department present their work at conferences and seminars throughout the academic year.

July 2017 (date TBA), Karen Carducci, “A Comparative Inquiry into the Nature and Norms of Wealth and Value: Ancient Lapidaries, Modern Economic Theories,” Adam Smith Fellowship Colloquium (“The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics of Liberty”), Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Arlington, VA

March 1, 2017, John Marshall, "Julius Caesar Through the Lens of a Contemporary: Cicero's Caesar and What He Adds to the Narrative of Caesar's Life," Graduate Research Colloquium for Classics and the Medieval Mediterranean, Washington, DC (CUA)

February 3, 2017, Kathleen Kirsch, “Sacra Prodigiosa: Human Sacrifice and Vestal Prodigies in Republican Rome,” Graduate Research Colloquium for Classics and the Medieval Mediterranean, Washington, DC (CUA)

October 29, 2016, Dr. Sarah Brown Ferrario, "Alexander and Achilles: A Turning-Point?"Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, Washington, DC (CUA)

October 21-23, 2016: Karen Carducci, "Economics, Minerals, and Morals in Etymologies (16.5-16): Isidore of Seville’s Adaptation of the Lapidary Tradition," October Graduate Research Colloquium, Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, Arlington, VA

October 22, 2016: Alex Poulos, “Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poem–214 as Callimachean Hymn to Virginity” International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies, Philadelphia, PA

October 22, 2016: Kathleen Kirsch, "Homerathon: A Pedagogical, Interdisciplinary, and Critical Tool," Classical Association of the Atlantic States, New Brunswick, NJ

October 21, 2016: Patsy Craig, "The Moral Danger of Self-Ignorance (?γνοια) for the Spectator of Comedy in Plato’s Philebus," Classical Association of the Atlantic States, New Brunswick, NJ

October 21, 2016: Dr. Sarah Brown Ferrario, "Leadership at the Twilight of the Athenian Democracy," Classical Association of the Atlantic States, New Brunswick, NJ

See the archive of past presentations.