Greek & Latin Summer Workshops

June 8 - August 14, 2020

SUMMER 2020 UPDATE:  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to maintain the safety of our students and instructors, this summer's Workshops will be conducted remotely. The start/end dates, content, and pace of the course will remain the same. We will update the websites with the new format once that has been finalized. Our instructors are dedicated to maintaining the rigor, engagement, and enjoyment of this course as we take it online. If you have any questions, please email the relevant Workshop Director:  for the Greek Workshop, Christopher Jelen (; for the Latin Workshop, Daniel Squire (

  • For more on the 2020 Greek Workshop, click here.
  • For more on the 2020 Latin Workshop, click here.


Since their founding over forty years ago, the Workshops have successfully guided thousands of students to basic proficiency in Greek and Latin. Our time-tested formula prepares students to enter directly into upper-level language classes—or simply to continue reading texts on their own. 

Replacing more than two semesters of regular language work, these immersive ten-week programs require a significant commitment of time and intellectual energy.  In the first six weeks, students master the essentials of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary; in the last four weeks, they put their new knowledge to work reading extensively in selected texts (poetry and prose; students choose two of four options).  In addition to six hours of class work every day, students are expected to spend several hours daily in study and homework preparation. Classes are small, though, and students can count on having plenty of individualized support throughout their journey. Beyond the classroom, guest lectures from distinguished Classics faculty members offer context and insight into cutting-edge research, and regular social events provide a venue for further discussion and camaraderie. And then there is the beautiful, temperate Bay Area environment to enjoy, and all of San Francisco to explore!

What Do Students Say about the Workshops?

Simply the best language course I have ever taken. The level of instructor availability and interaction is unparalleled...  Not only did I firmly cement my grasp of Greek, many classmates became my friends in the process, in the high Aristotelian sense. This was one of the best summers of my life.   - Zuri, Quest University (Canada), Summer 2016 Greek Workshop

I mean, really, I thought the Latin summer workshop was wonderful. My experience learning Greek in undergrad over the course of a year and a half felt too slow, and I think it fostered a sort of unhelpful compartmentalization and fragmentation of the language. While the Latin workshop was fast-paced, I think learning the forms quickly and well prevented the temptation to latch onto each individual syntactical category, and really approach the language as a language, as a whole, instead of something like a puzzle. It was both fun and challenging - it was a very accepting and lighthearted learning atmosphere despite the rigorous work.  - Lauren, UC Davis, Summer 2017 Latin Workshop

The Workshop is intellectually demanding and very hard work, but also immensely rewarding...  I gained Greek language skills that inform my research agenda in political theory. I particularly enjoyed being exposed to the vibrant Berkeley classics community through the Friday afternoon lectures and symposia.  - Eliot, Duke University, Summer 2017 Greek Workshop

I really enjoyed the Latin intensive...  It was all-consuming, but more than worth it. The complementary teaching styles of the instructors and the deep knowledge each brought to the subject make this a valuable opportunity for a serious student.  – Padraic, Stanford University, Summer 2016 Latin Workshop

Upon finishing, I was better prepared than all of the students whom I later encountered in 3rd and 4th semester undergraduate Greek classes.  – Jacob, University of Kentucky, Summer 2016 Greek Workshop

On day one, you learn the alphabet.  Ten weeks later, you've torn your way through a year's worth of grammar instruction, and you've read the Medea and one of Plato's dialogues — in the original Greek....  Considering their patient instruction, helpful office hours, and late-night email responses to my frantic questions, I can say all four instructors I had went far beyond their call of duty to teach us and really make us comfortable with the material.  On top of that, living in Berkeley and connecting with students from around the world was unforgettable. – Daniel, Stanford University, Summer 2016 Greek Workshop

Funding Sources

In 2020 the Department will offer up to eight tuition rebates of $3,000. Two of these are reserved for UC Berkeley students, while the rest are open to all. Applications will be assessed by a committee consisting of the Workshop Directors and the Faculty Director of Graduate Student Instructors. To apply, please send the following materials via email attachment to the Department Chair, Ellen Oliensis ( by March 16, 2020:

• a statement (not to exceed 500 words) explaining your academic reasons for wanting to do the workshop as well as your financial need. It is most helpful to the committee when applicants discuss their financial need in some detail (including any current financial aid)

• copies of all transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)

• a letter of support from a faculty member at your current or previous institution (to be sent directly by the recommender to Chair Oliensis)

The Department also encourages prospective students to explore other sources of funding.  Here are three to consider: