BA in Classics & Religion

This major gives students an understanding of a range of religious movements, beliefs, texts, and practices, along with specific knowledge of the development of religions in the Greco-Roman world, including the relationship of Greek and Roman religious ideas and practices to Judaism and Christianity. Students learn to read, analyze, and discuss, within their cultural milieux, primary texts (in English translation) related to religions in ancient and later times. The joint major in Classics & Religion allows students to understand religion as a social and intellectual phenomenon in its many manifestations over a broad range of human history. It provides an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue further studies in myth studies, history, religion, theology, and other humanistic disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Students majoring in Classics & Religion 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.


All first-year, first-time students 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 & Religion 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 and religion requires a minimum of twelve courses; six in classics and six in religion*. All required courses are 4 credit hours.

Classics Requirements

  • One of the following four courses:
    • CAS CL 101 The World of Greece
    • CAS CL 102 The World of Rome
    • CAS CL 321 Greek History (formerly CL 221)
    • CAS CL 322 Roman History (formerly CL 222)
  • CAS CL 216 Greek and Roman Religion
  • Four courses at or above the 200 level chosen, in consultation with an advisor, from the offerings under Classical Civilization* and/or classical languages

Religion Requirements

  • CAS RN 200 Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Religion
  • Five 4-credit courses at or above the 200 level chosen, in consultation with an advisor, from courses offered by the Department of Religion

While this major does not require work in Greek or Latin, second- and third-year classical language courses are counted toward this major. Students are encouraged to consider the study of a classical language and reminded that both Greek and Latin fulfill the CAS foreign language requirement. Students interested in a major in classics and religion must consult an advisor in both the Department of Classical Studies and the Department of Religion.


*Required classics courses are divided into four categories: classical civilization, ancient Greek, modern Greek, and Latin. Refer to the Classical Studies programs section of this Bulletin for the full list of courses and their categories that may be used to fulfill the requirements stated above and for information on the CAS foreign language requirement for classics majors and minors.

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 in the spring of their junior year, and must have approval from the director of undergraduate studies and department chair.