What does it mean to study Classics?
Classics is in many things: it is great history about democracy, republics, and empire, about war and peace; it’s great literature, from epic to tragedy and comedy, history and satire, philosophy and the novel. It is myth studies, political science, art history, religion, psychology, linguistics, and medicine; it is even the powerful arts of persuasion and rhetoric. We explore them all. We look to the past to see the present.
You can major or minor in Classical Civilization, Ancient Greek, Latin, and Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as joint concentrations in Classics and Archaeology, Classics & Religion and Classics & Philosophy. The Department also offers minors in Modern Greek and in Myth Studies.
What can I do with a degree in Classics?
A major in the ancient languages can lead to a career in Classics at the secondary school level or at the university. This can mean going on for the PhD to teach in a college or university, or to get a MAT in Latin to teach in middle or high school. Even with a BA, you can teach in private schools.
But the vast majority of our majors and minors pursue careers in a vast range of fields from business to government or prepare you for law school and even medical school. Here’s a list of some recent alumni:
Fun Fact: Did you know that Dr. Fauci has a Classics degree?
How will Classics prepare me for a job?
As studies verify time and again, Classical Studies give you the skills that employers seek (2021 American Academy of Arts and Sciences “State of the Humanities 2021: Workforce & Beyond”). These are the powers to read and analyze complex texts, to write about them with insight and intelligence, and to learn about other peoples and modes of thought through the acquisition of foreign languages (ie ancient Greek, Latin, and/or modern Greek).
Why is studying Classics still important today?
Classics gives you stories that will stay with you for a lifetime. In our courses, you will engage with some of the most profound thinkers and writers of human history, but you will bring a critical eye to that tradition, questioning and examining it, and you will learn about the contributions of the “forgotten” voices from the past, of enslaved people, of women, of conquered foreigners, and of other marginalized peoples.
In our courses, you will investigate that past, both in its glory and in its problems. You will gain access to the thoughts, achievements, and ways of life of the ancient Greeks and Romans and also explore abuses of the classical tradition when enlisted to promote racism and elitism.
In our courses you will explore questions that will help you think about who we are and what we value.