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WHY is this Policy necessary?

Suitable knowledge of Latin is an admissions requirement for all applicants/students in the Faculty of Theology who are seeking one of the ecclesiastical academic degrees: the Baccalaureate (S.T.B.) or its equivalent, the Licentiate (S.T.L.), or Doctorate (S.T.D.). In order to receive their respective degree, students are required to have provided the Dean’s Office with appropriate, verifiable, and acceptable evidence of having achieved satisfactory proficiency in the Latin language, according to the prescripts of the Apostolic Constitution, Veritatis Gaudium,[1] which is the guiding document for all ecclesiastical universities and faculties, under the governance of the Dicastery for Culture and Education.


WHAT does it mean to be “Proficient” in the Latin language?

Latin “proficiency” means that the student has learned the complete, yet foundational Latin grammar and vocabulary for reading and understanding Latin. This level of proficiency affords students the competence (with the aid of a Latin dictionary) to translate liturgical/magisterial, philosophical, and theological texts. This proficiency, according to the European Curriculum Framework for Latin, is equivalent to reaching the A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).[2] Amidst the variety of credits and credit hours found at other schools, universities, and institutes, the achievement of basic, yet complete Latin grammar normally demands a minimum (plus typical) range of credits and credit hours according to the following distribution:



Credit Hours

(in-classroom contact hours + outside-of-class homework/assignments)

U.S. High School / Secondary School[4]

2 – 4

240 – 480

Italian Liceo (Scientifico / Classico)[5]

600 – 1000

College / University (U.S. credits)[6]

6 – 8

270 – 360

College / University (ECTS)

8 – 16

200 – 400

WILL someone in the Faculty of Theology help me to become proficient in Latin?

Although the Faculty of Theology’s responsibility is to evaluate and confirm Latin proficiency for every student entering our theology degree programs, the actual achievement of Latin proficiency remains the sole responsibility of the student, given that the ancient languages and philosophical formation are understood as propaedeutic toward becoming an “Ordinary”[7] student in any of the ecclesiastical academic degree programs.

HOW can I prove my proficiency in the Latin language?

Latin proficiency may be proven by any one of the following three possibilities:

(1) having successfully completed, at a minimum, the first four semesters of PUST’s sequence of Latin courses (Latin I-IV); or

(2) an official transcript (or formal letter) from a university, high school, or private institute (religious or lay), sent to the Dean’s Office (via email at [email protected] or by post) and uploaded to the student’s Angelicum online portal account, which clearly demonstrates a level of proficiency articulated in the above question, “WHAT does it mean to be ‘Proficient’ in the Latin language”. It should be noted that further documentation may be required in order to properly account for and demonstrate this proficiency (e.g., course descriptions, syllabi, and/or school authority attestations); or

(3) passing a Proficiency Exam administered or approved by the Faculty of Theology. For students electing to take a Proficiency Exam, arrangements must be made by and through the Dean’s Office. Refer to the below FAQ “WHAT is the process if I choose to take the Latin Proficiency Exam?” for more details.


WHAT other Latin language programs in Rome are recommended, as alternatives to the Angelicum’s Latin courses?

Although the Angelicum does not endorse any particular Latin language program in Rome (or elsewhere), we provide here a short, non-exhaustive list of institutions that are commonly known to be of high quality, and sufficiently capable of helping students attain the level of Latin proficiency required for our degree programs. Since the Angelicum is in no way affiliated with any of these programs, the cost of registering for and attending any of them is entirely the responsibility of the individual student. They are as follows:

  1. The Italian Institute of Classical Studies (IISC) (
  2. The Paideia Institute (
  3. Accademia Vivarium Novum (

WHAT is the process if I choose to take the Latin Proficiency Exam?

Latin Proficiency Exams will generally be held four times per academic year, with exact dates posted at the beginning of each academic year:

  • First Semester: September and January
  • Second Semester: June and September


Students who wish to sign-up to take the Faculty of Theology’s Latin Proficiency Exam must fill-out this online form to register for the exam:

After completing the Latin Proficiency Exam, students will then be informed by the Dean’s Office as to the results of their Proficiency Exam. Based on the results of the Exam, should there be any doubt as to the student’s actual proficiency in the Latin language, it belongs to the competence of the Dean of the Faculty of Theology to require further efforts on the part of the student to achieve fundamental Latin proficiency.



WHAT if I either fail the Latin Proficiency Exam, or cannot otherwise demonstrate Latin proficiency at the beginning of my Program of Studies? May I still begin my studies at the Angelicum anyway?

Although it is highly recommended that students attain Latin proficiency as soon as possible during their program of studies, students may nevertheless begin their course of studies concurrently with their efforts at attaining Latin proficiency.



WHAT if I cannot demonstrate Latin Proficiency during my Program of Studies?

In any given academic year, the Latin Proficiency Exam is administered four times throughout that year. A student may re-take this Exam as many times as needed, until they have reached the end of their program of studies. If at the end of their studies, they still have not passed the Proficiency Exam, or cannot otherwise demonstrate Latin proficiency according to the approved ways, then they will not be admitted to their ad gradus exam, and thus will not be able to complete their degree program.


[1] Proficiency in the Latin language must be proven, according to the prescripts of VG, Norms of Application, Part One: General Norms, Section IV, Article 26, §3, such that all Theology students must be able to “understand and use the sources of [the sacred] sciences, as well as the documents of the Church,” which are written in the Latin language.

[2] The European Curriculum for Latin, as established by the European Euroclassica Association, has set forth the morphological and syntactical benchmarks for the A2 level of proficiency in the Latin language. The Association provides Latin (and Greek) proficiency exams (ELEX and EGEX) that are recognized across the European nations. For a detailed summary of these benchmarks, see For a summary of the levels of the CEFR, see

[3] Based on commonly found courses within the respective demographic.

[4] Based on the standard 4-year U.S. High School model where 1 credit (or .5 credit/per semester) = 120 hours (at a minimum).

[5] Based on the standard 5-year Italian Liceo model from the Ministry of Education and Merit. N.B.: The Ministry does not provide detailed credit hour information, and so the credit hours indicated here are the calculated minimums, without considering out-of-classroom work.

[6] Based on the standard Carnegie unit model where 1 credit = 45 hours.

[7] An “Ordinary” student is one who is eligible (qualified) to earn an academic degree.