The major in Classical Studies emphasizes preparation in Latin and Greek in order to read the ancient texts in the original. Through a combination of courses in Latin and/or Ancient Greek, with courses in Classical Civilization, which require no ancient languages, a student gains the knowledge and skills to live a good and fulfilling life. Courses in Classical Mythology, in Classical Literature in translation, in Classical Archaeology, and in Ancient History are listed under Classical Civilization. The foreign language requirement may be fulfilled in either Latin or Ancient Greek by completing a language course at the intermediate level (LATN 202, GREK 202) or above. Because of the cumulative nature of language study, the department urges exposure as early as possible to the elementary languages and a continuation of high school studies as early as possible in the college career. 

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

A major in Classical Studies consists of ten courses, in one of four possible combinations based on a language foundation in either Latin OR Greek. Please see the Academic Bulletin for detailed options.

Test scores and credits that may affect course selection.

High School Latin Study
A student who has taken Latin for at least three years, including the last two years in high school, should request Latin 201. A student with less or less recent Latin should request Latin 101, or else 102 (Spring only) on consultation with a member of the classics department. Students are urged to consult with a member of the department via email if they have any questions or concerns, or in person during the Placement Exam period of Orientation.

Advanced Placement scores: course credit and/or placement
A student who has achieved a grade of 4 or 5 on an AP test in Latin will be granted credit for college work; he or she will also receive placement in the appropriate Latin course. A student who has scored a grade of 3 on the AP test will receive placement only, and should request Latin 201.

SAT II Latin Subject Test
A student who has achieved a score of 700-800 should request Latin 201. A student who has achieved a score of 600-699 should request Latin 102 (Spring only). A student who has achieved a score of less than 600 should request Latin 101.

To continue studying Ancient Greek
Students who wish to continue studying Ancient Greek should confer with a member of the department via email or in person during the Placement Exam period of Orientation.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Classical Studies.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Language requirement:
Students must successfully complete a language course at the intermediate level - GREK 202, LATN 202 (previously GREK 112, LATN 112).

Humanities (Division I A):
CLST 241, Ancient Philosophy

Humanities (Division I B):
CLST 110 Introduction to Greek Civilization
LATN 233, Roman Historians
LATN 234, Ovid
GREK 233, Herodotus
GREK 234, Greek Tragedy

Arts (Division I C):
CLST 100, Greek and Roman Mythology
CLST 140, Ancient Worlds on Film

Social Sciences (Division II):
CLST 253, Roman History

Writing in the Discipline (WID):
LATN 234, Lucretius, and any 300 level Greek or Latin course

Note: If one of these courses is used for Division II, the student cannot use another History course to fulfill that requirement.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

First year:
Latin or Greek 101-102; CLST 100 and 110

Latin or Greek 201-202; CLST 140 and 253

Two courses in Latin or Greek at the 200 level

300 level Latin or Greek, CLST 390

During first-year advising, faculty and interested students will determine which track is most appropriate through


Honors may be granted in Classical Studies for a two-semester project that results in a well-researched, sophisticated, finely crafted thesis within the range of sixty to one hundred pages. Students are self-selected but acceptance as an Honors candidate is based on the judgment of the department faculty and their assessment of the student's academic ability and potential for successfully completing the project. They will work closely with one advisor but will receive guidance and resources from other members of the department. Only the best projects will be granted Honors, but any student who completes the project will receive credit for the two semesters of independent study. For a detailed project schedule, see the faculty in the Classical Studies department.

Independent study and independent research

Independent studies are available. Contact the department chair for details.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Many majors have taken advantage of the Intercollegiate Center in Rome and the College Year in Athens (instruction in English by American professors under the American system), Durham University, and Advanced Studies in England (ASE). Four-week summer immersion courses taught in ancient Greek or Roman lands are offered occasionally. Students may also participate in archaeological survey, excavation and museum research at Mycenae with Prof. Christofilis Maggidis.

Additional Remarks

Career opportunities: Our graduates are teachers, physicians, lawyers, professors, business executives, computer experts, directors of museums, and actors, to mention only a few. The careers of our graduates reflect our commitment to an education in the classics as a promising road to future success. The department endeavors above all to provide a liberal arts education with the special skills that give its alumni powerful advantages in almost any career a person may choose.

Flowchart for Placement Information