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The Singleton Center

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The Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Pre-Modern Europe
The Johns Hopkins University
Gilman Hall 301
Baltimore, MD 21218

Lawrence Principe

Phone (410) 516-5296
Fax (410) 516-7586

Graduate Opportunities


Free summer intensive reading-knowledge courses in European languages

Each summer, the School of Arts and Sciences offers intensive courses in European languages to incoming and continuing graduate students. These four-week courses are tailored to developing the reading knowledge that doctoral students require. The courses are suitable for students with no prior experience with the language and those seeking a brush-up. Priority is given to graduate students in the Humanities and humanistic Social Sciences, but others may be accommodated as space permits. Funding is provided by an endowment from the Mellon Foundation. These courses give neither grades nor formal academic credit.

Most years four languages are offered. Due to high demand, French and German are offered every year, while Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish are offered in alternate years (or as demand requires). The courses are scheduled for four weeks, three hours per day. This schedule may be adjusted as instructor and students see fit.

The courses are scheduled as late in the summer as possible, ending before graduate orientation in late August. This scheduling aims to provide ongoing students as much concentrated time as possible in the early and middle parts of the summer to pursue their own research, as well as to accommodate incoming first-year graduate students who would like to participate, and who on this schedule need to move to Baltimore only a month earlier than otherwise. Typically, the courses begin in the fourth week of July and end in the third week of August. The specific dates and specific language offerings for each summer are announced on this website and through broadcast e-mails sent out to graduate students in the spring.

Any student interested in participating in these courses is requested to send an email (preferably before 31 March) to Lawrence Principe, Director of the Singleton Center ( The email should include, besides your name and department, the language in which you would be interested to enroll. Further information about languages offered, instructors, textbooks, and schedules will be sent to you about 1 April.

It would be very helpful for graduate students to help the Singleton Center spread the word about these offerings to ensure maximum participation in this important program.