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, culture, and religion 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 BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Classics & Religion will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic & Historical Interpretation, as well as some requirements in Scientific and Social Inquiry, Diversity, Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship, 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, cocurricular experiences.

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 five courses:

  • CAS CG 101
  • CAS CL 101
  • CAS CL 102
  • CAS CL 321
  • CAS CL 322


  • CAS CL 216
  • 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
  • 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 (works read in translation), 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 Classics & Religion, 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 with a minimum of two examiners. The thesis should exhibit knowledge of primary and secondary sources, with bibliography (if a research paper), or the equivalent at the discretion of the readers, and ordinarily it should not exceed 10,000 words. For students completing a written honors project, the submission of a detailed outline by the end of the fall semester is also required.

In order to qualify for an honors track, 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.