Language Requirements

Expectations for Applicants

Applicants should have a strong background in at least one medieval research language (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, or Arabic) and at least one modern research language beyond English. We encourage potential applicants whose language training is deficient to pursue at least a year of language study before applying.

Requirements for Medieval Institute Students

Every student must pass a written examination in one medieval research language before the end of the fourth semester. Most students take the Latin examination, which is offered every semester.

Every student must also pass written examinations in two modern research languages to demonstrate reading knowledge. These examinations are administered by the various departments. Most medievalists need more languages to be successful in their field. A student’s adviser will help determine the need for language study beyond the basic requirements.

Medieval Institute Latin Examination

Latin is the medieval research language needed by most Medieval Institute students. An exam to test student proficiency in Latin is offered every fall and spring semester. The examination normally consists of three passages, and students may use a dictionary for two of the three passages. The examination is set and graded by a faculty committee. Read more about the exam procedure.

Exam Samples

If you would like copies of older exams, please contact the Institute (