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SIC'em, CANES! MLA Ranks UGA Latin program nation's largest

Alan Flurry

With a deep history as rich as the story of the university itself, the Latin program continues to be a robust presence on campus. A report from the Modern Language Association ranks the UGA latin program the largest in the nation:

The study of classical languages at the University of Georgia dates to the university’s founding, when Latin and Greek were required for admission. In the wake of industrialization and the two world wars, higher education in the United States shifted its focus to modern languages.

However, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Classics department at UGA continued to thrive.

In the most recent report by the Modern Language Association, UGA was listed as having the largest Latin program in the nation.

The MLA report is the longest-running comprehensive analysis of the study of world languages at U.S. colleges and universities. It includes undergraduate and graduate course enrollments in languages other than English in fall 2021 for 2,455 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States, or 92.2% of all eligible institutions.

The UGA Latin program has been marked by longevity and commitment from faculty and administrators, and it continues to innovate and attract a broad range of students.

Under the leadership of James W. Alexander from 1948 to 1980, UGA was among the pioneering Classics programs in the U.S. to introduce Classics-in-Translation courses. This innovation enabled a wider student audience to immerse themselves in classical culture and literature without the necessity of studying Greek or Latin and served as an inspiration for more students to explore the classical languages.

A fervent advocate for reaching out to middle and high school Latin teachers statewide, Alexander fostered a collaborative effort that attracted numerous talented students to UGA. The establishment of the study abroad program in Rome in the 1970s further enhanced the department’s academic offerings.

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Image: Park Hall houses UGA's classics department. Photo by Cassandra Wright for the Franklin College.

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