The Modern Languages and Classics Department invites all incoming students to consider studying a language as part of their Siena educational experience. Knowing another language helps students in whatever field they choose to study. In addition, Siena’s curriculum stresses an appreciation for diversity. Studying a language is an important part of that process.

Languages offered are: French, Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.

Majors in Classics, French, and Spanish.

Minors in Classics, French, Greek, Latin, Italian, and Spanish.

General language course sequence:  Fall - 101/201/301     Spring - 102/202/302

In general, if students are out of sequence, they should not take the higher level course. They should wait until the next semester to continue language study.

Departments/Programs/Certificate at Siena requiring language proficiency:

Departments: English, History, American Studies, and Education have a two semester foreign language requirement.

Programs: International Studies Minor: requirement of language knowledge at a 202 level.
Certificate: International Studies Foreign Languages and Business Certificate requires two courses beyond the intermediate level, or the equivalent background.
Requirements for Majors  & Minors

MAJORS: 33 credits (French and Spanish) beyond 102, 36 credits (Classics)

MINORS: 18 credits (beyond 102 for French and Spanish)

Language Course Placement

AP Exams taken in high school: If students receive a score of 4 or 5, they are given 3 credits for a 201 equivalent.

College courses in high school: If students have credit for 201 and/or 202 they should take 301(fall) or 302 (spring) (unless the placement exam results do not suggest this).

Native speakers of the language to be studied require consultation with department chair for appropriate placement.

For Spanish only: The Spanish Placement test may be taken online. If you are taking a Spanish course in the fall or are planning to take one in the future, please be sure to note this on the Academic Interest Form on the "Ready Siena " portal and we will contact you with instructions on how to to take the Spanish Placement Exam.

The test should take no more than 25 minutes. Please remember that the exam score should place you in the accurate level of Spanish, however, in some cases it will be possible for students to change levels if the need arises. We want to make sure you are placed in the right level of Spanish. Please contact Dr. Marcela Garcés if you have any questions about the Spanish Placement test.



AMSL: American Sign Language (101-102).
This counts for language requirement for English and Education. It does not count for language requirement for History, American Studies or Philosophy.

Fundamentals (101-102)- FREN/ GREK/ ITAL/ LATN/ RUSS/ SPAN: elementary level. For students with 1 or 2 years of previous study in high school and whose grades were not strong.

Intermediate (201-202)- FREN/ GREK/ ITAL/ LATN/ RUSS /SPAN: For those with 2 or 3 years of high school language study or 2 semesters of college credit.

Conversation/ Communication (301-302): FREN/ ITAL/ RUSS/ SPAN: For students with at least 4 or 5 years of strong language study or 201 and/or 202 transfer credit.

Advanced Courses are offered in all languages covering topics such as grammar, culture, literature, cinema, and special topic courses, and independent studies. See the college catalogue for more details.


Major in Classics


The requirements are: 12 hours in one of the two classical languages, Latin (LATN) or Greek (GREK) and 24 hours in Classics (CLSS). Students who plan to enter graduate study in Classics are advised to take additional courses in the second of the classical languages. For students planning an advanced degree it is also recommended that they begin the study of French and/or German.


Courses in Latin and Greek

Latin 101/102 and Greek 101/102

These languages are offered in alternate years or as demand arises. Elementary Latin and Greek courses provide students with a solid foundation in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary that will enable them to start reading major works and authors as soon as possible.


Latin 201 and Greek 201

The intermediate language experience includes the reading of selections from representative authors with grammatical review. It is intended for students who have completed LATN 102 or GREK 102, or the equivalent (e.g. three or four years of high school Latin or Greek).


Topics (LATN/GREK 250) or Advanced Topics (LATN/GREK 300)

Advanced courses in Latin and Greek deal intensively with individual authors and topics, and are offered as needed to accommodate student interest. Some past examples would be Homer’s Iliad, Cicero, Roman Historians, Herodotus, Plato's Symposium, Euripides’ Medea, etc.