Placement Guidelines

Students are encouraged to take courses as advanced as they can handle with profit and pleasure. The department, recognizing the great variety in preparation in ancient languages, wishes to accommodate incoming students in as flexible a manner as possible. The Department has no placement exams: students who plan either to begin or to continue the study of Greek or Latin should consult members of the departmental faculty as soon as practicable.

Below is a description of the available level of courses

  • Beginning language courses are numbered 110-120.
  • Intermediate (second year) language courses are numbered 131–141.
  • Advanced courses are numbered in the 400s: each year one (or two) 400 course is designated as “bridge” course, being intended as a bridge between the beginning and intermediate language courses (110 through 141), and the 400 (advanced) level. These courses offer more attention to grammar and translation than do other advanced courses. Students are advised to take a bridge course before other 400-level courses.
  • Advanced seminars are numbered in the 600s: these require advance permission of the instructor, and are normally open only to Juniors and Seniors. If in doubt please consult the DUS.
  • Graduate level courses are numbered in the 800s: these may exceptionally be taken by qualified undergraduates, by permission of the DUS and DGS. They are never available on a Cr/D/F basis.

Students who score a 5 on the AP exam should enroll in a 400–level course. Students who have scored lower on the AP exam, or who have not taken the AP exam should consult the DUS about placement at the Academic Fair which is held the day before classes begin in the fall term.

If a student begins the study of Latin or Greek at Yale at the intermediate level, BOTH 131 and 141 must be taken to meet the university language requirement. It does not matter in which order 131 and 141 are taken. Students who begin the study of Latin or Greek at the introductory level, must take 110, 120, and 131 (or 141) to meet the university language requirement.

Latin and Greek may be used to satisfy Yale’s distributional requirement in a foreign language. Students who require Intermediate Greek or Latin (either to satisfy the Yale foreign language requirement, or for the major in Classical Civilization) are strongly advised to take the courses in consecutive years: taking a break between levels is almost always detrimental.