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Classical Studies Advising


The classical studies major includes introductory courses in classical civilization taught in English; language courses in Latin and/or ancient Greek; an intermediate methods course on Greek or Roman history; and a capstone research seminar. Study abroad in Greece or Italy is encouraged and financially supported. Many students work developing open educational resources under faculty direction in a series of digital projects, Dickinson College Commentaries and Dickinson Classics Online. The goals of the major are: possess a solid basic knowledge of the classical world; be able to ask and research questions about the classical world effectively; understand, explain, and apply insights from classical texts to other eras, including our own; translate and analyze Latin and/or Greek texts in the original languages up to at least the upper-intermediate level.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

Any Latin (LATN) or Greek (GREK) course (Flowchart for Language Placement)

CLST 100 Greek and Roman Mythology
An introduction to the study and interpretation of Greek and Roman myths, as they appear both in ancient sources and in later music, sculpture, painting, and literature.

110 Introduction to Greek Civilization
Reading and discussion of key literary, philosophical, and historical works of ancient Greece, including works by Homer, Thucydides, Plato, the Greek tragedians and comedians. 

140 Ancient Worlds on Film
An introduction to ancient Greek and Roman history and civilization (excluding mythology) through viewing popular films about this period and reading the historical and literary sources on which those films are based.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements


CLST 100 Greek and Roman Mythology

CLST 110 Introduction to Greek Civilization

CLST 150 Public Speaking: Secrets from the Classical Tradition

LATN 233 Roman Historians

LATN 234 Ovid

GREK 233 Herodotus

GREK 234 Greek Tragedy


CLST 140 Ancient Worlds on Film

Social Sciences:

CLST 253 Roman History

Writing in the Discipline:

CLST 251 Greek History

CLST 253 Roman History

LATN 243 Lucretius

Language requirement:

LATN 202 Introduction to Roman Poetry<

GREK 202 Introduction to Greek Poetry

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


Honors within the major is determined by the quality of the senior thesis, which must display outstanding writing and analytical skills, and mastery of the research subject and its context. In addition to the written thesis, honors in Classical Studies considers GPA within the major, the oral presentation of the thesis project, and the fielding of questions, but is neither precluded nor guaranteed by them. On the basis of a composite of these factors, the Classical Studies faculty may decide to award honors to deserving students. Students interested in honors must present a prospectus by fall pause of their senior year and must earn a grade of “A” in CLST 390: Senior Research Colloquium. Normally, the thesis project will extend the research pursued in CLST 390. Various types of senior thesis are possible, including a traditional research project, a translation with commentary of a Greek or Latin text, or a digital project. Students are encouraged to talk to their advisors no later than the third week of their senior year for guidance to help them craft a thesis project able to meet the standards. It is assumed that substantial work will be completed over the winter break of the senior year. The complete draft of the thesis is due by spring break of the senior year, to allow for revisions based on feedback from the faculty. Students who receive honors will be notified before the Thursday preceding graduation.

Independent study and independent research

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

Co-curricular activities/programs

The Classics House (five beds)

The annual Classics Festival for area high school Latin students. Dickinson students act as judges. 

Eta Sigma Phi honor society

Latin club for school students (meets Mondays 4:30-5:30)

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.

Additional Remarks

Student-Faculty research is emphasized by the department: 

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.