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.

Students: Please be sure to check out the Centro website at TheCentroRome.org, which offers fuller illustrations and explanation of the information below.


Location: Rome, Italy

Term: Fall, Spring

Dates: August 28, 2024 – December 15, 2024 (fall), January 22, 2025 - May 11, 2025 (spring)

Application Deadline: March 15 (Fall and Academic Year), October 1 (Spring)

Academic Theme(s): Classical studies, Latin, Greek

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Classical Studies

Housing: Dormitory

GEO Advising: Request an appointment

  • 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
(ALP, CCI, CZ) 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
(FL) 1 course credit

Advanced Latin
LATIN 301A-1
(ALP, CCI, FL) 1 course credit

Intermediate Greek
GREEK 252A-1
(FL) 1 course credit

Advanced Greek
(ALP, CCI, FL) 1 course credit

Renaissance and Baroque Art History
(ALP, CCI, CZ) 1 course credit

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

Conservation and Management of the Material Heritage of Ancient Rome
(CCI, CZ) 1 course credit

Please note: The textbook 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. Please note that students MUST request a transcript to be sent to their institution by contacting the Registrar’s Office at Duke University. 

Final approval and assignment of credit is the responsibility of the student's home college or university. 


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, Elementary Italian, and Conservation and Management of the Material Heritage of Ancient Rome.

2024-2025 Faculty

Sonia Sabnis, Professor-in-Charge

Dr. Sonia Sabnis


Sonia Sabnis is Professor of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Humanities at Reed College, where she has taught since 2006. She studied at the Centro during the Fall 1996 semester and received her BA from Columbia University before completing an MA and Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley. She is broadly interested in imperial literature, Greek and Latin, but her primary research specialty is the African Roman author Apuleius. Her published research includes studies of slavery and literature, figurative katabasis, and reception in different contexts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such as contemporary Algerian novels, horror, and poetry in English. Prof. Sabnis was Associate Professor at the Centro in 2017–2018 and has held research fellowships at Vassar College, Wellesley College, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center at the University of Massachusetts. Her love for mentoring students and undergraduate research extends to her current role as a mentor through the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus (AAACC). 

Rachel Meyers, Associate Professor

Rachel Meyers

Associate Professor

Rachel Meyers is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Iowa State University, where she has taught since 2006. She studied at the Centro in the Spring 1998 semester, received her BA from Yale University, and then earned her PhD in Classical Studies from Duke University. She has diverse interests in the material culture and social history of the ancient Roman world. Her research is focused on the roles and representations of women and gender in the Roman world as well as on portrayals of the imperial family and tools of propaganda. Using an array of evidence encompassing marble portraits and statues, coinage, architectural monuments, written documents, and inscriptions, she explores the practice of philanthropic activity in Roman Hispania and across the Empire. Meyers regularly teaches courses on Latin, Mythology, Roman Archaeology, and Sex and Gender in the Ancient Mediterranean. She is a co-director of a summer study abroad program, bringing Iowa State students to Italy. She loves to travel and has explored ancient sites all around Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain.

John Izzo, Assistant Professor

John Izzo

Assistant Professor

John Izzo studies Latin literature, ancient slavery, and classical reception. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, John is currently completing his Ph.D. in Classics at Columbia University. Over the years, John has been the instructor of various Latin and Greek courses, but most recently, he has been appointed as a Core Curriculum Preceptor for Literature Humanities, a two-semester course for first-year students on ancient, medieval, and modern literature. Having spent a year in Italy as the recipient of the 2022 Millicent Mercer Johnsen Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, John is eager to return to the Gianicolo, resume his strolls around the city, and enjoy the delicious food of Italy.

Haley Bertram, Resident Instructor

Haley Bertram

Resident Instructor

Haley Bertram is a Ph.D. candidate in Classical Archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. She studied abroad at the Centro in Spring 2012 on her way to a BA in Classics from Wellesley College, and then completed her MA in Classical Archaeology at the University of British Columbia. Haley’s research centers on the Archaic Mediterranean world, with a particular interest in the role of consumers in the development of craft production and style. She spent several years living in Greece and France as part of her dissertation research, which investigates the role of western Mediterranean markets in the development of Corinthian pottery from 750-500 BCE. Haley particularly enjoys teaching students how to “read” the material record, whether interpreting objects in their cultural context or discerning stratigraphic levels in the field. She is the Head Trench Supervisor at the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP) in Boeotia, Greece, and has also participated in fieldwork in the Peloponnese (Corinth and Sikyon), Crete, and at the Iron Age site of Malvieu in southern France. In her free time next year, Haley is looking forward to wandering the various street markets of Rome, with pasticceria stops along the way.

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. At ICCS 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 single and double rooms at the Center. The Center can accommodate up to 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 2024
  • FALL 2024
  • SPRING 2025


Spring 2024

January 24 Arrival of students at the Center
January 25-26 Orientation
January 29 First day of classes
February 9 Last day to change courses
February 26-29 Republican Campania field trip
March 1 Classes resume
March 17-22 Sicily field trip
March 23-31 Spring break
April 1 Classes resume
April 15-18 Imperial Campania field trip
April 19 Classes resume
May 1 Italian Labor Day
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 2024

Fall 2024

August 28 Arrival of students at the Center
August 29-30 Orientation
September 2 First day of classes
September 13 Last day to change courses
September 22-26 Republican Campania field trip
September 27 Classes resume
October 11-17 Croatia field trip
October 19-27 Fall break
October 28 Classes resume
November 10-14 Imperial Campania field trip
November 15 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


Spring 2025

January 22 Arrival of students at the Center
January 23-24 Orientation
January 27 First day of classes
February 7 Last day to change courses
February 23-27 Republican Campania field trip
February 28 Classes resume
March 14-20 Croatia field trip
March 22-30 Spring break
March 31 Classes resume
April 13-17 Imperial Campania field trip
April 18 Classes resume
May 1 Italian Labor Day
May 2 Last day of classes
May 5 First day of exams
May 9 Last day of exams
May 11 Students MUST leave the Center by noon


Fall 2024 or Spring 2025

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

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $33,162.50 $33,162.50
Program Fee $4,495 $4,495
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs*

See Cost Sheet

See Cost Sheet

TOTAL (Estimated) $43,987.50 $44,107.50

*A customizable program cost sheet that includes a breakdown of other costs is available on the programs' MyExperientialEd brochure page

Explanation of Costs

Scholarships & Financial Aid




The ICCS 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 for a scholarship, students must submit the FAFSA/ISIR so that ICCS can ascertain the student’s Estimated Family Contribution. Students applying for this scholarship must file a current FAFSA application at their home institution. If the student receives financial aid from their institution which is applicable to the ICCS program tuition and fees, they should also submit that award letter. All materials 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 for consideration of a scholarship award 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 managed by a small, dedicated staff.


For general inquiries about the program, please contact:

Kayla Soltis-Katella

GEO Assistant Director

Douglas Huey

GEO Staff Assistant for Programs


Deadline: March 15 (Fall and Academic Year), October 1 (Spring)

Applications will be considered after the deadline. If enrollment has been reached, students may be placed on a waitlist and notified of openings. 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 repercussions from 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 ICCS Managing Committee for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:

  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. An academic letter of recommendation from the ICCS Representative at your institution
  5. ICCS Financial Need Assessment Form/FAFSA/ISIR
  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


Gretchen on ICCS Rome: New Friends and New Experiences

"You’ll learn a ton, see beautiful ancient sites, and meet kind, dedicated classmates.  This program will change your life, your understanding of your world, and your plans for the future."

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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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