Traditionally, Wizards use Intelligence, because of all the character classes the Wizard needs to be able to read. What are they reading? I propose that Wizarding is a course of training which the intelligent can be taught to utilize in a systematic way: the standard list of spells.
(I use a system of Wizarding which I call Charm Sorcery: Wizards focus energy through a material talisman which is not consumed except with a fumble (the charm acts as a "fuse" which overloads when overpowered, sparing the Wizard the same result). Each spell has its own charm, the construction of which is de rigeur for lower level spells and more complex as the spell power rises. The Wizard must necessarily carry a talisman for each spell they wish to cast. Sleight-of-hand is a component of Wizardcraft: quickly producing a charm, gesturing with and chanting over it; palming and swapping various charms to cast different spells in succession.)
Octo Artis, Quadra Practica
Every Wizard-in-Training must learn the fundamental practices of Magic, the Quadra Practica:
The Wizard continually improves these practical skills throughout their lifetime, but the most exciting work is done within one of the Octo Artis, the Eight Arts:
The Collegia Infinitum
"The Ancients discovered magic, but we codified it. At the Collegia Infinitum, we take your bright young mind and train it to harness the wonders of the cosmos. Apply today!"
The Collegia Infinitum is a vast university in the great city of Marienburg concerned with the tutelage of Wizards. Forging a Wizard is not easy; the training must begin before puberty takes hold or the Wizard's final potential will be stunted.
Ludum Prima: the Primary SchoolThe Ludum Prima accepts students at or after their 11th birthday; there is a provision for advanced placement testing before entry. Each Prospectus has an academic advisor assigned to them in order to help schedule classes and choose their Artis Majora. There are eight Arts to study; however, much of the student's time is consumed with the fundamentals, the Quadra Practica.
Most students only pursue 1-2 Arts in their five years of study, as the sheer volume of knowledge a student must absorb in just the Practica is quite demanding. At the end of five years of study, the 15-year old student takes the Examinata Prima for each subject. One who graduates is called a Prestidigitator (qv, a 1st-Level Wizard). Many Prestidigitators decide at this point that they are done with school, and venture out into the larger world to make their mark with other adventurers. The cemeteries would be full of these rash young mages, if their ends were met closer to civilization.
Academie Praeparatoria: the Preparatory AcademyThis secondary school only accepts the top 20% of Prestidigitators, continuing their training in the Quadra Practica and their chosen Artis. At the end of the two years of instruction, the 17-year old student (now, a 2nd-Level Wizard) earns a Diploma and would be qualified to act as an Apprentis to a more established Wizard, or they could choose to continue their education.
The CollegiaThe Eight Arts each have their own School in the Collegia (Schola Divinata, etc.). Although courses in Antithemancy are taught, due to social and religious concerns it is not offered as an undergraduate Artis Majora; since one cannot earn a Degree in Antithemancy, many students ignore the branch completely.
All students must complete the General Course of study: a full year of collegiate Quadra Practica, higher-level courses each year in two selected Practica concentrations, and a progression of Ex Artis courses separate from the selected Artis Majora. This is intended to give the student a well-rounded view of all the Arts and Practices of Wizardry.
Meanwhile, study in the Wizard's Artis Majora intensifies. To graduate from an Artis Schola, a Thesis Work must be produced: commonly, a Wizard will inscribe a staff with the talisman-effects of the most advanced spells he knows, and demonstrate this feat before a Thesis Board. The successful Wizard (3rd-Level) has earned the title Diurnus, a journeyman who is qualified "to earn a day's pay."
Education can continue in the Maesterie Program. The most ambitious of these Diurnus would apply for a Fellow-Apprenticeship in their Artis Schola, giving them a work-study position attached to a Professor in their Artis as well as certain other privileges on campus. The coursework at and beyond this level is concentrated on research of advanced magicks and theoretical explorations of the Eight Arts. Completion of a Maesterie usually takes two years and requires time spent as a Professor of Knowledge, instructing undergraduate students in the Collegia.
Beyond Maestery, a student can dedicate themselves to research and advanced learning and achieve their Doctorate in two to four years, depending on their talent and the complexity of their research. Instructors with this degree are called Docents.
Titles:0th - Prospectus, age 11
1st - Prestidigitator, age 15
2nd - Apprentis, age 17
3rd - Diurnus, age 21
4th - Maester, age 23
5th - Doctor, age 25
Grading:A/Masterful "Magister" ★,
B/Exceptional "Exceptum" ☆
C/Adequate "Adequus" ✓,
D/Teachable "Dictum" X,
F/Financial "Finis" ƒ (indicating that instruction should continue as long as tuition is paid)