BA in Classics & Philosophy

In addition to giving students a basic grounding in the key texts and methods of philosophy, this major familiarizes them with the canonical works of ancient Greek philosophy and imparts an understanding of the importance of these texts in the development of philosophical thought in antiquity and later. Through study of ancient Greek, students learn to read standard works of classical prose in the original language and are trained to discuss clearly and persuasively key issues raised by ancient Greek philosophers. This major prepares students for entry into an MA program in ancient Greek, for graduate work in philosophy, and—if combined with preparation in Latin—for graduate work leading to a PhD in classics. It also is an excellent foundation for further study in religion, theology, and other humanistic disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Students majoring in Classics & Philosophy should be able to:

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Read with comprehension works of ancient Greek and/or Latin poetry and prose, either in the original or in English translation, demonstrating understanding of genre, style, and cultural context.
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively, both orally and in writing, ideas about the ancient world and its products.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of classical culture on other historical periods.

Requirements

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Classics & Philosophy will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy many BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; and most of the requirements in Communication and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Classical Studies majors will also satisfy College of Arts & Sciences requirements, described here.

A major in Classics & Philosophy requires a minimum of twelve 4-credit courses: six in classics and six in philosophy.

Classics Requirements

  • CAS CL 101 or CL 321 (formerly CL 221)
  • CAS CL 261 (Note that CAS CL 161 and CL 162, or their equivalent, are prerequisites for enrollment in CL 261, which is the third semester of ancient Greek.)
  • Four other courses at or above the 200 level in classical civilization or classical languages

Philosophy Requirements

  • One of the following: CAS PH 100, 110, 150, 155, or 160
  • CAS PH 300
  • CAS PH 310
  • Two courses in philosophy at the 200 level or above
  • One of the following: CAS PH 403, 404, 405, 406, or 480

Students interested in a major in classics and philosophy must consult an advisor in both the Department of Classical Studies and the Department of Philosophy.

Honors in the Major

The department encourages work toward graduation with Honors in the Major. For students majoring in Classical Civilization, the primary requirement is successful completion of a two-semester program of directed research and writing in their senior year, culminating in an honors thesis and oral defense (at the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies or the department chair). With advisor approval, students majoring in Latin, Ancient Greek, or Ancient Greek & Latin may choose a two-semester program of directed research and writing or fulfill the requirement for honors through graduate courses, including at least one seminar course and one course with a substantial research component.

In order to qualify for any of these honors tracks, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a department GPA of no less than 3.4, must submit an application to their faculty project advisor by April 10 of their junior year, and must have approval from the director of undergraduate studies and department chair.