Why Classics?

Good practical reasons

Classics majors' scores rank among the highest of all undergraduate majors on the GRE and LSAT tests.

Classics majors have an extremely high success rate in applications to graduate schools, law schools, and medical schools.

Classics majors learn transferable skills: abstract thinking, deep knowledge of the elements of language, grammar, and syntax, writing and reading skills, vocabulary building, experience with the foundational texts of the Western literary tradition that have influenced most all of subsequent literary and philosophical thought.

Latin majors (with teaching certification in the case of public schools) are often able to move quickly into secure teaching positions in the secondary schools.

There remains a small but dynamic market for PhD-qualified students in university and college teaching; our undergraduate program has sent a significant percentage of its students to graduate programs for advanced study.

The Classics Department offers a small and congenial academic home in a large university. Major classes are small, averaging between ten and twenty-five, and you will get to know both your fellow students and your professors well. We take an interest in your progress, both before and after you graduate.

Good impractical reasons

The Classics major is our oldest academic discipline; a "classical education" has the reputation still, as it always did, of broad literacy and sure intellectual competence. Classics majors are smart.

Latin and Greek literature. Read either in translation or in the original languages, Graeco-Roman literature offers exceptionally rich material. Homer, Aristotle, Plato, Sappho, Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Thucydides, the Greek of the New Testament, Cicero, Catullus, Horace, Livy, Virgil, Tacitus, and many more continue to compel our attention and inspire our imaginations.

The Greeks and Romans, particularly, have at one time or other faced nearly all the issues and problems we face, and the study of their responses, for better and worse, is essential to our better understanding of our world as it has come to be. Classical Studies remains, then, not only intrinsically interesting, but an essential element of a modern liberal arts education.

A few nice comments from graduating seniors

"The professors knew my name here, and this is stuff I love doing."

"Personally and intellectually fulfilling - what I really loved."

"Fantastic"

"The faculty go out of their way to care for your priorities as a student...it was everything I thought it would be and more."

"Great network of support and marvelous teaching."

"Outstanding faculty, encouraging and available."

"I feel I've really learned something, rather than just enough to get a job."

"Really excellent teaching."

"I learned many skills and ideas that could be used in other contexts as well, including law."