The Latin program at WMU is housed in the Department of World Languages and Literatures in the College of Arts and Sciences. Substantial offerings in ancient Greek, both Classical and koinē, are also available.In addition to the Latin major and minor, a teaching major and minor are also available. Our students occupy teaching posts in public and private schools across the state and throughout the country.
Some students have gone to graduate school in Classics, Ancient History, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Indo-European Linguistics, Information Sciences, and Seminary.
Many of our students go into a variety of professions, where they find their focus on the Latin language and Roman civilization has equipped them with strong skills in communication and writing, and working with international clients.
WMU’s Latin faculty also work closely with the internationally recognized graduate programs in Medieval History and Medieval Studies. Students pursuing the MA in Medieval Studies and the MA and PhD in Medieval History are trained to work with manuscripts, and read Latin texts and documents from late antiquity to the early modern period.
The Latin program dates back to 1903, the founding year of the state normal school that became Western Michigan University. The reasons for Latin’s place in the curriculum have changed over the years. Today, in addition to Cicero and Virgil, students study Gregory of Tours and the Archpoet.
But at the core of its persistent appeal are the proficiencies in analytical and strategic thinking, and its position as ancestral language and culture of a large portion of the world’s population. These qualities recommend it to students preparing to enter an increasingly global and enterprising workforce.