Skip to main content

Classical Studies

[ major | minor | graduate program | courses | faculty ]

CAESAR Programs Advising
Institute of Arts and Humanities
Ridge Walk Academic Complex, Arts and Humanities Building, Room 655

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Classical Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary examination of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the era of the Bronze Age to the great transformations of late antiquity. The program centers on the cultures of Greece and Rome and is inclusive of other cultures of the region. In the Classical Studies Program students study the ancient world through a diverse disciplinary lens, with courses offered in history, literature, philosophy, political science, visual arts, and more. Students have two options to major in the Classical Studies Program: a language emphasis track, which focuses on Greek and Latin texts in their literary, intellectual, and historical context; or the cultures emphasis track, which uses texts in translation for the study of antiquity. A minor is also available.

The Major Programs

Classical studies offers a choice between two tracks for a major: A language emphasis track and a cultures emphasis track. For both tracks, a major in classical studies consists of a choice of twelve upper-division courses (forty-eight units) approved for the program and listed below. All courses used to meet requirements for a major in classical studies must be taken for a letter grade and be passed with a grade of C– or better.

Language Emphasis

This track is intended for students who are interested in intensive language study of Greek and Latin. For this track, before commencing upper-division work in Greek and Latin literature (LTGK and LTLA), students must complete LTGK 1-2-3 and LTLA 1-2-3 or demonstrate the equivalent with transfer credit.

Six of the twelve upper-division courses must be distributed between upper-division LTLA and LTGK courses, three in one language and three in the other. CLAS 109 or CLAS 110, as well as Greek or Latin reading courses in other departments, are acceptable as well. The remaining six courses may be selected from the list of approved courses in anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, political science, theatre and dance, and visual arts. These courses must be from at least two departments.

Graduate courses may be taken by undergraduates with consent of the instructor. The faculty of the program welcome qualified undergraduates in graduate courses.

Language emphasis track requirements

 Eight lower-division courses:

  • Six foundational language courses—three Greek and three Latin (LTGK 1-2-3 and LTLA 1-2-3) or equivalent
  • Two additional lower-division courses (from the list of courses approved by Classical Studies Program)

Twelve upper-division courses:

  • Six language-based courses in both Latin and Greek (typically three LTGK 100–199 and three LTLA 100–199)
  • Six electives from at least two different departments (from the list of courses approved by Classical Studies Program)

Cultures Emphasis

The purpose of this track is to offer a pathway for students who are interested in a cross-disciplinary study of antiquity but do not wish to pursue intensive language study.

This track requires three lower-division courses which could be completed through two alternative paths. One path, which does not include any language studies, requires two survey courses (LTWL 19AB-BC-AC or HUM 1-2 or MMW 11-12) plus any lower-division classes from the list of approved courses. The other path, meant for students who are interested in pursuing a reduced load of language studies, consists of a sequence of three courses in one language (LTGK 1-2-3 or LTLA 1-2-3).

The emphasis in this track is on a broad, well-rounded acquaintance with classical civilizations and exposure to a variety of disciplinary approaches. To that end, students will be expected to take their twelve upper-division electives from at least three different departments, as per our course listings. There is no restriction on how many courses from each department should be taken.

Cultures emphasis track requirements

Three lower-division courses:

  • Option 1:
    • Two survey courses (HUM 1-2 or MMW 11-12 or two LTWL 19 courses = 19A-B, 19B-C, or 19A-C)
    • One additional survey course (from the list of courses approved by Classical Studies Program)
  • Option 2:
    • A sequence of three language courses (LTGK 1-2-3 or LTLA 1-2-3)

Twelve upper-division courses:

  • Twelve electives from at least three different departments (from the list of courses approved by Classical Studies Program)

The Minor Program

A minor in classical studies consists of seven courses (twenty-eight units) from those listed below, of which at least four must be upper division. A knowledge of the ancient languages is not required. All courses used to meet requirements for the minor in classical studies must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C– or better.

Classical Studies Courses

Lower-Division Courses

ANTH 3. Global Anthropology (4)

CLAS 87. Freshman Seminar (1)

HILD 10. East Asia: The Great Tradition (4)

HILD 20R. World History I: Ancient to Medieval (4)

HILD 40. Anthropocene 1: The Neolithic (4)

HUM 1. The Foundations of Western Civilization: Israel and Greece (6)

HUM 2. Rome, Christianity, and the Middle Ages (6)

HUM 3. Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern Europe (4)

LTGK 1. Beginning Greek (4)

LTGK 2. Intermediate Greek (I) (4)

LTGK 3. Intermediate Greek (II) (4)

LTLA 1. Beginning Latin (4)

LTLA 2. Intermediate Latin (I) (4)

LTLA 3. Intermediate Latin (II) (4)

LTWL 19A-B-C. Introduction to the Ancient Greeks and Romans (4-4-4)

MMW 11. Pre-History and Ancient Foundations (4)

MMW 12. Classical and Medieval Traditions (6)

MMW 13. New Ideas and Cultural Encounters (6)

PHIL 31. Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (4)

TDHT 21. Ancient and Medieval Theatre (4)

VIS 21A. Introduction to the Art of the Americas or Africa and Oceania (4)

VIS 21B. Introduction to Asian Art (4)

Upper-Division Courses

Classical Studies

CLAS 109. Greek Seminar (4)

CLAS 110. Latin Seminar (4)

CLAS 119. Early Christianity (4)

CLAS 120. Classical Diversities (4)

CLAS 121R. World Wisdom Traditions (4)

CLAS 196A-B. Directed Honors Thesis in Classical Studies (4)

CLAS 198. Directed Group Study (4)

CLAS 199. Independent Study (4)


HIEU 102. Roman History (4)

HIEU 103. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (4)

HIEU 104. Byzantine History (4)

HIEU 106. Egypt, Greece, and Rome (4)

HIEU 108. Sex and Politics in the Ancient World (4)

HIEU 122. Greek History from the Bronze Age to the Peloponnesian War (4)

HIEU 123. Greek History from Socrates to Cleopatra (4)

HIEU 160. Topics in Greek History (4)

HIEU 161. Topics in Roman History (4)

HIEU 199. Independent Study in European History (4)

HINE 100. The Hebrew Bible and History (4)

HINE 115. Death and Dying in Antiquity (4)

HINE 171. Topics in Early Judaism and Christianity (4)


LTGK 101. Greek Composition (4)

LTGK 102. Greek Poetry (4)

LTGK 103. Greek Drama (4)

LTGK 104. Greek Prose (4)

LTGK 105. Topics in Greek Literature (4)

LTGK 198. Directed Group Study (4)

LTGK 199. Special Studies (2 or 4)

LTLA 100. Introduction to Latin Literature (4)

LTLA 102. Latin Poetry (4)

LTLA 103. Latin Drama (4)

LTLA 104. Latin Prose (4)

LTLA 105. Topics in Latin Literature (4)

LTLA 198. Directed Group Study (4)

LTLA 199. Special Studies (2 or 4)

LTWL 100. Mythology (4)

LTWL 106. Classical Tradition (4)

LTWL 158A. Topics in the New Testament (4)

LTWL 158B. Topics in Early Christian Texts and Cultures (4)

LTWL 158C. Topics in Other Christianities (4)

LTCS 180. Programming for Humanities (4)

Making of the Modern World

MMW 121. Exploring the Pre-Modern World (4)


PHIL 100. Plato (4)

PHIL 101. Aristotle (4)

PHIL 102. Hellenistic Philosophy (4)

PHIL 110. History of Philosophy: Ancient (4)

PHIL 199. Directed Individual Study (4)

Political Science

POLI 110A. Citizens and Saints: Political Thought from Plato to Augustine (4)

Visual Arts

VIS 120A. Greek Art (4)

VIS 120B. Roman Art (4)

VIS 120C. Late Antique Art (4)

Graduate Classes

HIGR 260. Topics in Greek History (4)

HIGR 261. Topics in Roman History (4)

LTCO 210. Classical Studies (4)

PHIL 210. Greek Philosophy (4)

PHIL 287. Greek Reading Group (1-2)

PHIL 288. Latin Reading Group (1-2)

PHIL 290. Directed Independent Study (2-4)

Additional courses counting toward a major in classical studies are offered on a year-to-year basis, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As these often cannot be listed in advance, interested students should consult the program faculty for an up-to-date list.

Honors in Classical Studies

Honors is intended for the most talented and motivated students in classical studies. Requirements for admission to the honors program are

  • Junior standing
  • An overall GPA of 3.5
  • A GPA in the major of 3.5

Qualified students majoring in classical studies may apply at the end of their junior year to the program faculty on the basis of 1) a thesis proposal (three to four pages) worked out in advance with a classical studies faculty member and 2) a recommendation from that faculty member. It is strongly advised that the proposal be based upon a class paper or project from a course taken toward completion of the major.

The core of the honors program is an honors thesis. Four units of CLAS 196 may be counted toward the major in place of one of the courses in English translation. A thesis completed by the end of the senior year will be read and evaluated by the thesis adviser and another member of the program faculty. If the thesis is accepted and the student maintains a 3.5 GPA, departmental honors will be awarded. The level of honors—distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction—will be determined by the program faculty.

Transfer Students

The Classical Studies Program welcomes transfer students. Students with questions about transferring into the Classical Studies Program should review “Admission as a Transfer Applicant” and feel free to contact the faculty adviser for the program with any questions.