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Heidelberg University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jul 
International :15 Jul 
EU :15 Jun 

BA Latin (Classical Philology)

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

853.8 DEM
853.8 DEM
853.8 DEM

Application fee

International 0 DEM
National 0 DEM
Department of Classical Philology
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)90
TOEFL-PBT (min)570
SAT (avg)1530
ACT (avg)22

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About this course

The purview of “Greek Philology” comes to an end on the threshold of the Middle Ages, i.e. approx. in the 6thcentury AD. The follow-on subjects are Byzantine Studies and Modern Greek Philology. While these subjects cannot be studied in their own right at Heidelberg University, there are Modern Greek language and literature courses on offer at our Department. A special subject within Greek Philology is Papyrology, which at Heidelberg has an institute of its own with an original papyrus collection and a full-scale curriculum.

In methodological terms, two approaches are important and need to be seen in conjunction with one another. One is historical, the other structural.

The historical approach sets out to grasp a text, its origins and its impact in terms of the conditions operative in the age in which it was written. This approach links Greek Philology with other subjects that come under the heading of Ancient Studies, notably Ancient History, Classical Archaeology and Indo-Germanic Studies. They all share the goal of casting light on the culture of the Graeco-Roman civilisations in antiquity.

The structural approach involves concentrating on the text in itself, its form, its message and its stylistic/aesthetic qualities. Here the link is with other “philological” subjects (i.e. subjects focusing on language and literature) that take the same or a similar approach to the works they investigate.

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Eligibility Criteria


There are no admission restrictions

Language requirements: as a joint-main subject (=50%) also certified proficiency in Greek (Graecum) and acquisition of proficiency in a Romance language
Language of instruction: German/English

International Students

International applicants are offered a preparatory course in the summer semester before the course proper begins.
Special arrangements apply for applicants from other countries. Information is available from the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University.Admission requirements for Heidelberg University’s undergraduate study programmes are a higher-education entrance qualification as well as very good German-language knowledge. Additional qualifications may be required for individual study programs. Detailed information on the special requirements in a given study programme can be found in the rules and regulations of admission.If your higher-education entrance qualification is not fully equivalent to the German “Abitur”, you will be required to pass an assessment test before you can begin your studies at Heidelberg University. The university’s “Studienkolleg” offers preparatory courses for this test.

Students who have been granted admission to one of these programmes are only allowed to matriculate if they can substantiate proficiency in German by one of the following certificates within the matriculation period given in the letter of admission:

  • DSH examination passed at a German university with a mark of “2.9” or better (old marking system) or at least 78% (new tiered system)
  • “Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom” of the Goethe Institute with a mark of “2.9” or better
  • “Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom” of the Goethe Institute with a mark of “bestanden” or better
  • “Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung” of the Goethe Institute with an overall mark of “2.9” or better
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C1 of the Goethe-Institut with an overall mark of “2.9” or better (issued from 01.01.2012)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom of the Goethe-Institut (issued from 01.01.2012) with a mark of “bestanden” or better
  • “Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz – Zweite Stufe” with an overall mark of “2.9” or better
  • TestDaF examination at TestDaF level (TDN) “5” in “Schriftlicher Ausdruck” and “Leseverstehen”, and at least TestDaF level “4” in “Mündlicher Ausdruck” and “Hörverstehen”
  • written examination in the subject “German” attested in the school leaving certificate after the secondary level with a mark of “2.9” or better, if there is a respective bilateral treaty with the other country
  • written examination in the subject “German” passed with a mark of “2.9” or better in the “Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung ausländischer Studienbewerber für die Aufnahme eines Studiums an den Hochschulen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland” (so-called “Feststellungsprüfung”)

If a student has successfully completed a German Language and Literature programme of at least four years at a university abroad, he or she may request exemption from the DSH examination; the decision on whether exempt status is granted will be taken by the International Relations Office in agreement with the responsible commission of the Institute for German as a Foreign Language at Heidelberg University.

If none of the documents / certificates concerning the proficiency in German mentioned above is furnished, the applicant will be required to complete the DSH examination at Heidelberg University with the results / markings stipulated above prior to the beginning of his or her academic studies.

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Course Modules

Classical Philology encompasses the two independent but closely linked subjects Greek and Latin, both of which are taught at the Department of Classical Philology.

As a subject, “Latin” (or more precisely Latin Philology) is defined by its prime concern, engagement with the Latin texts that have come down to us from antiquity.

Research, coursework and teaching focus on the following topics:

  • Latin as the communication system underlying the texts
  • the texts as literature and their formative principles
  • Roman culture as context

Latin linguistics

Latin literary studies

Roman culture

Main research interests
Literary studies
The chair of literary studies (Latin) focuses its research on the history of literature in Latin and the reception accorded to that literature in the European context. As an integral part of general and comparative literary studies, research on literature in Latin inquires into the categorial preconditions that make scholarly statements about aesthetic and cultural phenomena possible in the first place. Is it in fact legitimate to speak of “history” and “literature” in the Hellenistic-Roman cultural context? How does the historiography of ancient literature in Latin actually function – and what is “literature”? What procedures underlie oral and written speech, what is a theme, what status is accorded to literary texts and to authors and orators? Based on the close reading of texts, we are working on a method designed to reveal the structural properties peculiar to late Republican literature, including the epochs of Augustus and Nero. This method is a novel approach to the historiography of literature, an “archaeology of modernity” that eschews anachronisms and homes in on the potential “modernity” of the ancient literature that has come down to us.

In the study of Ancient Greek and Latin, linguistics figures as a sub-discipline of Classical Philology that is closely connected with the study of literature (this proximity to literary studies is grounded largely in the use of structuralist procedures in textual analysis and narratology). With its strongly systematic and historical bias, the linguistic component is dedicated to the formal description of textual constituents of all kinds, its main emphasis naturally being language itself. Another of its tasks is to elucidate the language theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which are still of seminal significance for present-day language studies both in Europe and elsewhere. These theories are implicit in the wealth of disquisitions on grammar, rhetoric, poetics and language philosophy that have come down to us. A further concern is the analysis of prosody and metre in Greek and Roman poetry. Scholarly editing and textual criticism are also a major focus.

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How to Apply

Our admission process is designed to discover a talented, distinguished, diverse undergraduate population. Although test scores and GPAs are important, we look beyond statistics and grades to identify enthusiastic students who demand immersive and unique learning opportunities.

As you are completing the Online Application for Admission remember to send us your high school transcripts and your ACT or SAT scores. Additionally, while Heidelberg considers ACT/SAT scores and high school GPA in the admission decision, other factors such as letters of recommendation and personal statement essays are taken into account.


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