The basic programs of the Latin/Greek Institute enable students with no previous training in either language to cover the material normally included in four to six semesters of college-level Latin or Greek in 10 weeks of instruction. The textbooks for the basic programs — Moreland and Fleischer's Latin: An Intensive Course and Hansen and Quinn's Greek: An Intensive Course — were developed specifically for the institute and are now widely used in college classrooms across the country. Every hour of each of the 50 instructional days has been carefully planned to give students, by the end of the 10th week, both a firm knowledge of the fundamentals of Latin or Greek and substantial experience in the close reading of original texts. Previous students who have completed the program with a grade of B or better regularly pass graduate departmental translation examinations and have performed successfully in senior-level and graduate-level reading courses.
The work of the Institute is extremely demanding, with the equivalent of one week's material in a normal college setting covered each day. Daily attendance is required and nightly assignments are substantial. Classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with only a short break for lunch. Morning drill sessions ensure that students move beyond the passive recognition of reading to the active mastery of morphology and syntax. Daily quizzes and weekly examinations help students continually to assess their progress. Optional review sessions are conducted throughout the week for students who seek extra help.
The hallmark of the Institute is the total commitment of both faculty and students. Each student has a faculty adviser, but students may call on any faculty member at any time for help. Each year before the Institute begins, the faculty spend several weeks pre-teaching the material to each other to ensure that we are completely consistent in our understanding and communication with students. Our classrooms are open, to both faculty who observe each other's classes and visitors from all over.
Many students of previous Institutes have found the work the most demanding of their academic careers but also the most rewarding.
Twelve undergraduate credits can be earned in either language of the Basic Programs through Brooklyn College. Eight undergraduate credits can be earned in either language of the Upper-level Programs.
The Institute in the News
The Institute's uniquely intensive pedagogy has drawn media attention since its inception. The Institute has been featured in the New York Times (1973), the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" (1978), and CUNY Matters (1998). The scope of its ambitions and its influence on the teaching of classical languages continue to distinguish it today.