The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome
Established in 1965 by representatives of American colleges and universities, ICCS provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to study ancient history, archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art with the Eternal City of Rome as their classroom.
For additional information, visit the ICCS website.
The City of Rome
The capital of Italy, Rome is also the country’s largest and most populated city. Located in the Lazio region of Central Italy along the banks of the Tevere (Tiber) River, Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe, making it the ideal destination for students of ancient history. The perfect combination of historic and modern, Rome boasts an impressive number of monuments and museums while at the same time being home to the modern Italian government and major European businesses, fashion houses, and film studios.
For more information on Rome, visit the city’s official tourism website.
Did you know…?
ICCS’s physical Center, or Centro, is owned by an order of nuns, the Suore Infermiere dell’Addolorata, and contains bedrooms (mostly doubles) for 36 students, classrooms, a library, offices, dining rooms, and a kitchen.
The Center is located in the Monteverde neighborhood of Rome, part of the Gianicolo district. The Gianicolo, or Janiculum, is the second tallest hill in Rome and offers one of the best panoramic views of the ancient city's center. The Janiculum, however, is not counted amongst the proverbial Seven Hills of Rome, given its position west of the Tiber and outside the limits of the ancient city.
The program at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies is for students with declared majors in Classics, Classical History, or Archaeology. Art History majors with a strong classical interest and background may apply.
Admission to the ICCS is highly selective. All candidates should identify a second choice program.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Enrollment in Intermediate or Advanced Ancient Greek or Latin is required while on the program so students should have adequate background in one or both language.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Background in Roman History is strongly advised.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at ICCS consists of four (4) credits per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad.
A major part of the academic work is a required comprehensive and integrated course called The Ancient City. 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. 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.
Students choose their other courses from the following: Intermediate or Advanced Latin; Intermediate or Advanced Greek; Renaissance and Baroque Art History; or Elementary Italian (no other level of Italian is available). Students are required to take at least one course in Latin or Greek as part of their ICCS course load.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Grades are reported to Penn on an A-F scale.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by ICCS prior to the start of each semester.
All students are required to take the two-credit Ancient City course. Frequent site visits and explorations, intensive museum tours and lectures, and wider-ranging trips based on the Professor-in-Charge's areas 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.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
The program houses up to 38 students who live at the Center, mostly in shared double rooms. Three meals a day are provided at the Center, Monday through Friday. Because the Center is small, the living situation can be intense and generally requires adjustment on the part of all participants. Past participants have recommended that students have a positive outlook and spend time outside of the Center. Several cafes and small shops are located in the neighborhood of the Center, providing an excellent opportunity for students to explore.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.