Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome

Classical studies at the 'centro'

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The Premier North American Center for the Study of the Classical World in Italy

The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS) was established in 1965 by representatives of ten American colleges and universities; the number of member institutions has now grown to over 100. It provides undergraduate students with an opportunity in Rome to study ancient history, archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, Italian language, and ancient art. ICCS has received generous aid from the Danforth Foundation, The Old Dominion Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, as well as the continuing support of a consortium of colleges and universities and contributions from former students.


Location: Rome, Italy

Term: Fall, Spring

Dates: January 24, 2019 - May 12, 2019 (Spring), August 29, 2019 - December 20, 2019 (Fall), January 23, 2020 - May 10, 2020 (Spring)

Application Deadline: March 1 (Fall and Academic Year), October 1 (Spring)

Academic Theme(s): Classical studies

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Classical Studies

Housing: Dormitory

GEO Advisor: Alayne Wood

  • Class trip to Pompeii

  • ICCS Rome

  • Kathy Chu, Propylaea

  • Overlook of Terracina

  • Students in the field

  • ICCS Rome

  • ICCS students taking notes on a site visit

  • Sunset in Florence

  • Nighttime view of the Colosseum

  • ICCS students taking notes on a site visit

  • Lower levels of an amphitheater

  • Theater at Taormina, Sicily

  • View through an ancient Greek temple

  • Seagull at the Roman Forum

  • Last look at Vesuvius

  • ICCS students taking notes on a site visit

  • ICCS students taking notes on a site visit

ICCS Administration & Member Institutions

A Managing Committee elected by the consortium colleges and universities determines the curriculum and selects the faculty, students, and scholarship recipients. The Managing Committee has arranged for administration of the Intercollegiate Center to be handled by Duke University's Global Education Office for Undergraduates. 


The curriculum is structured differently from that in many American colleges and universities. Students are expected to take four courses, which is a minimum and normal load; a few students take five courses. A major part of the academic work is a required comprehensive and integrated two-credit course called The Ancient City

Weekly sample schedule for all students




Required Course

CLST 341A-1 / 341A-2
The Ancient City
2.0 course credits, required

This required comprehensive and integrated course is a major part of the academic work for the program. It is a two-credit course which requires as much class and study time as two semester courses. It covers Roman archaeology and topography, aspects of social and urban history of Rome, and Roman civilization. Frequent site visits and explorations, intensive museum tours and lectures, and wider-ranging trips based on the Professor-in-Charge's area's of expertise outside Rome are included as part of the course. In the recent past, Campania and Sicily have been the focus of extended and focused study. Because The Ancient City course depends on prior knowledge of Roman history, students are expected to prepare themselves by taking a Roman history course or by careful reading on the subject.

View syllabus

Elective Courses

Students choose remaining courses from the following:


Intermediate Latin
LATIN 203A-1
1 course credit

Advanced Latin
LATIN 301A-1
1 course credit

Intermediate Greek
GREEK 203A-1
1 course credit

Advanced Greek
1 course credit

Renaissance and Baroque Art History
1 course credit

Introductory Italian
ITALIAN 101A (No other level of Italian is available.)
1 course credit

Conservation and Management of the Material Heritage of Ancient Rome
1 course credit

Please note: The text for the Italian course is available at the Centro and is a different edition than the one used in the U.S. Therefore, it is recommended that you not purchase the book before arriving in Rome and that you use one of the books available there. Also, for this course, please have a small, portable English-Italian dictionary.)

The Latin and Greek courses avoid excessive concentration on commonly read works. Students who wish to take an independent study or directed reading may do so, providing it is supervised by a member of the faculty at the student's own college or university. This work will not appear on an ICCS transcript, and no responsibility for it will be taken by the ICCS faculty.


Academic Credit

Each semester allows about fifteen weeks of instruction and provides one full semester of academic credit. Duke University provides an official Duke transcript of work completed satisfactorily. Students normally receive 4 or 5 course credits (equivalent to 16 to 20 semester hours or 24 to 30 quarter units). The Ancient City course carries two course credits. All other courses offer one course credit. 

Final assignment of credit is the responsibility of the student's home college or university. The reporting of courses and grades and the extent of the materials and periods covered in the ICCS curriculum have been entirely acceptable to students' home colleges and universities.


The Library

Funds provided by the Old Dominion Foundation purchased the initial library in the 1960s. The holdings have increased since then through several generous gifts. Fundamental was the personal collection of the late Professor Brooks Otis, founder of ICCS, which was presented to the library through the generosity of the Packard Foundation.

Over the years, the library has grown with the addition of the personal collections of the late John Rowe Workman and the late John Stambaugh, former Chairman of the Managing Committee and the initiator of the Ancient City course; the late Brian Aitken, who studied at the Centro in 1972, and the late Miranda Marvin, who sent many Wellesley students to the Centro.

In addition to these gifts, ICCS continuously makes new acquisitions and has benefitted from generous gifts from Hollis Hurd (Spring '70) and the Corning Incorporated Foundation. There also is a small collection on Italian culture and a modest art history collection. Other libraries in Rome, including limited access to the American Academy library, can be made available for student use.

Connect to the ICCS Library online catalog.


The ICCS faculty is chosen each year from scholars teaching classics, history, and art history in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The usual faculty complement is a Professor-in-Charge, two Associate or Assistant Professors, and an advanced graduate student as Resident Instructor. Because of the changeover in faculty each year, the program is constantly invigorated and benefits from a constant flow of new ideas. In addition, other faculty are hired in Italy to teach Renaissance and Baroque Art History and Elementary Italian.

2018-2019 Faculty

Barbette Spaeth, Professor-in-Charge

Barbette Spaeth


Barbette Spaeth is Professor of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.   She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Classical Languages from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Classics from Johns Hopkins University.  As a graduate student, she excavated at the sites of Kommos, Crete, and Kourion, Cyprus, where she developed a love for archaeology.  She spent an amazing year at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and another wonderful one at the American Academy in Rome, both of which whetted her appetite for learning about the classical world on site, rather than in a stuffy classroom.  At William and Mary, she established the Rome-Pompeii Summer Study Abroad Program in 2010 with the Centro as its base in Rome, so that her students could experience the sites and monuments of ancient Rome and the Bay of Naples first-hand, with the hospitable Centro as their primary base.  Her research focuses on Roman religion and its relationship to other religions of the ancient Mediterranean.  She is fascinated by strange and obscure cult practices and particularly interested in mystery religions, goddess cults, magic, and witchcraft in antiquity.   She has published two books, The Roman Goddess Ceres (Austin:  University of Texas Press 1996) and The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press 2013).  Her current book project, tentatively titled Cult, Memory, and Identity in Roman Corinth, is focused on the cults of Roman Corinth and their connection (or lack thereof) to the cults of the Greek city that preceded them.

Debra Freas, Associate Professor

Debra Freas

Associate Professor

Debra Freas received a Ph.D. from the Department of Classics at the University of California, Irvine, where she concentrated on Latin poetry of the late Republic and early Empire. Her research interests include gender, genre, and intertextuality in Latin poetry as can be seen in her forthcoming article "Da Femina Ne Sim: Gender, Genre and Violence in Ovid's Caenis Episode." In particular, her research centers on imperial authors such as Ovid, Seneca, and Petronius.

Professor Freas enjoys teaching a wide range of courses on classical literature and culture, as well as all levels of Greek and Latin language. Prior experiences teaching in Italy have inspired her to join the faculty at the Centro to bring ancient literature to life by exploring Rome and its environs. She looks forward to working with students for a full semester at the Centro and while in Rome plans to enjoy the culinary delights of Italy!

Kenneth Draper, Assistant Professor

Kenneth Draper

Assistant Professor

Kenneth Draper received his Ph.D. in Classical Studies from Indiana University in 2015, where he also taught on the faculty in 2015-2016. Most recently, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Williams College (2016-2018). His principal research concerns the conception and use of literary genres during the Augustan period, particularly in the poetry of Horace, but he is interested broadly in Greek and Roman culture as well as its later reception, especially in the medieval and early modern periods. This has led him to side projects on Ausonius’ (4th cent. CE) reuse of Virgil and Ovid and the role that Virgil and Horace played as models for translators in 17th century England. At Williams, he designed seminars on ancient insult, the Augustan period, and spectacle in Flavian literature, all of which incorporated material culture. But he is convinced that there is no better way to explore the interconnection of Roman literature, art, and archaeology than on site, and he could not be more excited to return for a second stint at the ICCS, where he was Resident Instructor in 2013-2014.

Ann Glennie, Resident Instructor

Ann Glennie

Resident Instructor

Ann Glennie is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Classics at Florida State University specializing in Classical Archaeology. Her dissertation, currently in progress, focuses on hydraulic engineering and rainwater harvesting in the ancient Mediterranean. Ann received an M.A. in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University, a P.Bacc. in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Civilization from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She excavates at Cosa, a Latin colony, and the Etruscan site of Poggio Civitate (Murlo). In addition to being an instructor for the Ancient City course, Ann is teaching Intermediate Latin.

Barbara Castaldo

Italian Language Instructor

Barbara Castaldo (Laurea, Università La Sapienza di Roma; M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D., New York University) is specialized in contemporary Italian literature with a doctoral thesis on Italian author Pier Paolo Pasolini (awarded Premio Pasolini in 2009). Her research interests include law and literature scholarship and comparative literature. She has published articles on contemporary Italian authors (Sandro Veronesi, Marco Lodoli, Ennio Flaiano, Pier Paolo Pasolini), and has appeared in a number of TV documentaries and radio interviews for Rai Storia (Italy), Arte TV (France-Germany), Österreich 1 (Austria). She is currently working on a book on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s legal trials. She has taught courses of Italian language at all levels and has been teaching Italian at ICCS since 2005.

Paul Tegmeyer

Art History Instructor

Paul Tegmeyer began studying art history as an undergraduate at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he was raised. After moving to Italy, actually l'Aquila, outside Rome, in 1983, he began graduate school at Temple University in Rome, and then Philadelphia. He later entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania. His area of specialization is the Italian Renaissance.

He began teaching the Renaissance. to Baroque Rome course at ICCS from 1990-92 and again from 1997 on. He also been teaching at John Cabot University in Rome since 1991. Here he has had the opportunity to expand his repertoire beyond the Italian Renaissance, teaching courses on Ancient and Medieval Rome, Baroque art, as well as monographic courses on Renaissance Rome; Raphael; Michelangelo; Bernini; et al. Since 1997 he has also conducted the Rome Seminar for the Smithsonian Institute.

His research focuses primarily on various aspects of Roman Renaissance art (Raphael, Pollaiuolo, Michelangelo, et al.). He is also now in the early stages of preparing with other colleagues, a “Guide to Renaissance Rome”.




Located in a four-story building on one of the main streets of the Janiculum, the Center is ten minutes by bus from the Piazza Venezia and downtown Rome. It is close to the American Academy in Rome with which it maintains cordial relations. The building is owned by an order of nuns, the Suore Infermiere dell'Addolorata, and contains student bedrooms, classrooms, a library, offices, dining rooms, and a kitchen.

Outside is a small and pleasant garden. The neighborhood is residential with apartment buildings, small shops, cafes, and services.


Students will be assigned rooms at the Center (mostly doubles). The Center can accommodate 36 students.

Because the Center is small, and all students are together for meals and at least the Ancient City course, the living situation can be very intense and generally requires adjustment on everyone's part. Students are urged to have a positive outlook and to spend available time outside of the Center.


Three meals a day are provided at the Center, Monday through Friday. Other meals are at individual student's expense and are not included in the program fees.


ICCS operates two semesters each academic year, one from early September to mid-December, the other from late-January to the mid-May (there are 7-14 days of breaks each term). Please see calendars below.

  • SPRING 2019
  • FALL 2019
  • SPRING 2020


Spring 2019

January 24-25  Arrival of students at the Center
January 28 First day of classes
February 8 Last day to change courses
March 9-17 Field trip to Sicily
March 17-24 Spring break
March 25 Classes resume
April 6-14 Field trip to Campania
April 15 Classes resume
May 3 Last day of classes
May 6 First day of exams
May 10 Last day of exams
May 12 Students MUST leave the Center by noon

FALL 2019

Fall 2019

August 29-30 Arrival of students at the Center
September 2 First day of classes
September 13 Last day to change courses
October 5-13 Field trip to Sicily
October 13-20 Fall break
October 21 Classes resume
November 9-16  Field trip to Campania
November 18 Classes resume
November 28 Thanksgiving dinner
December 6 Last day of classes
December 9 First day of exams
December 13 Last day of exams
December 15 Students MUST leave the Center by noon
December 20 Closing of the CENTER


Spring 2020

January 23-24  Arrival of students at the Center
January 27 First day of classes
February 7 Last day to change courses
Feb 29-Mar 8 Field trip to Sicily
March 8-15 Spring break
March 16 Classes resume
Mar 28-Apr 4 Field trip to Campania
April 6 Classes resume
May 1 Last day of classes
May 4 First day of exams
May 8 Last day of exams
May 10 Students MUST leave the Center by noon


Fall 2019 or Spring 2020

Estimates are based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $27,940 $27,940
Program Fee $4,495 $4,495
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs

Other Costs - Fall

Other Costs - Spring

Other Costs - Fall

Other Costs - Spring

TOTAL (Estimated) $37,165 $37,505

Explanation of Costs

Scholarships & Financial Aid




The Benedetta and Giancarlo Galassi-Beria Scholarship Fund provides for students in need of financial support to study at ICCS. Scholarships have ranged from $500 to $10,000. In recent years no student has had to forego a semester at the Centro because of the cost.

In order to be considered, students must submit the Financial Need Assessment Form, completed and signed by a financial aid officer from the home institution, verifying eligibility and amount of need. Students applying for this scholarship must file a current FAFSA application at their home institution. The Financial Need Assessment Form must be submitted with the program application, by the application deadline.

The Managing Committee will make admissions decisions and then review scholarship applications. Students are informed of scholarship awards within four weeks of the application deadline.

All information received from financial aid offices is kept strictly confidential and seen only by the Managing Committee and a limited number of staff in Duke University's Global Education Office.


Financial Aid

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid and the Bursar. Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information. 

Duke Financial Aid Office

Duke Bursar’s Office


The Centro is ably managed by a small, dedicated staff.


For general inquiries about the program, please contact:

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Deadline: March 1 (Fall and Academic Year), October 1 (Spring)

This program does NOT have rolling admission: Admissions decisions will be made after the published deadline, and on a space-available basis after that. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.

Priority: Applicants must be currently registered undergraduates majoring in classics or classical history/civilization or in archaeology or art history with strong classical interests and background with at least a B average. Preference will be given to those students with a background in Roman History. Priority for spaces goes to students who are undergraduates at one of the ICCS member colleges or universities. When space permits, qualified and currently registered undergraduate students from non-member institutions may be accepted at an additional fee. 

Minimum GPA: Priority will be given to students with high academic standing (normally with at least a 3.0 GPA). The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required for Duke students wishing to study away during the semester is 2.7 (3.0 for Pratt students) on a scale of 4.0. See: Academic Eligibility for Study Abroad/Away

Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.

Physical Requirements

The program is physically strenuous. The on-site investigations fundamental to the Ancient City course entail extensive walking and some climbing, at times in inclement weather. Our experience has been that participants must be in good physical condition to be able to participate successfully. Therefore, we ask that applicants consider their general health, physical abilities, and stamina (including problems with diet and medications) before applying to this program.


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyGlobalEd:

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate on this program
  4. Two academic letters of recommendation (one from the ICCS Representative at your institution)
  5. ICCS Financial Need Assessment Form
  6. Home university approval form
  7. ICCS Questionnaire


Find out what current Centristi are up to in Rome, get the latest alumni news, find up-to-date information on reunion events, and even see what's on the menu at the Centro this week (recipes included!) 

Go to ICCS News


Lauren's Semester of a Lifetime on ICCS-Rome

"I met Classics students that I was able to share my passion for the ancient world with, make nerdy jokes with across the streets of Italy, and make friendships that have already lasted beyond the timeframe of the program. The ancient world has never seemed more alive than when I was with my fellow students..."

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