The Department of Classics offers a range of courses in the languages, literature, history, and art of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Students explore what is distinctive about the world of the ancient Mediterranean in relation to the modern world, what links the ancient to the modern, and how people throughout history have construed and misconstrued the ancient past. Students thus confront and explore their own values and cultural assumptions through critical examination of the values of Greek and Roman civilization.
We offer two majors, one (Classical Languages) focused on the study of the languages and texts ranging from Homer and Herodotus to Vergil and Tacitus, the other (Classical Studies) focused more broadly on the history, art, and culture of the Greek and Roman world. The department presents as wide a range of courses as possible in this diverse but fundamentally unified field. We offer Latin and Greek at every level each semester as well as courses in translation on Greek and Roman history, mythology, art and archaeology, ancient religions including early Christianity, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, and the reception of the classical world in the modern world, including the movies, science fiction, and fantasy novels. For further information see the Department Bulletin.
Classics Majors have opportunities to be part of a community of scholars, to conduct independent research, to collaborate on scholarly projects with faculty and peers and to study abroad through the University’s programs in Athens and Rome.
What does one do with a Classics major?
We like to say that Classics, as the original interdisciplinary program, prepares one for almost any career. Students develop critical and imaginative thinking by working with and writing about ancient material, while extended study of Greek and Latin stretches students’ analytical skills. The stories of our graduates demonstrate the truth of this claim. While some of our graduates have moved on to PhD programs in Classics, Medieval Studies, or Religion, others have moved successfully into other fields such as law, business, high tech/computer programming, education, and the arts. Click here for some of their stories.