Visit the Classics website.

Main office:
524 Herter Hall
413-545-0512

 

About the Department

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program

 

About the Department

The Classics Department of UMass Amherst was founded over thirty years ago to provide undergraduate and graduate students at the state’s flagship institution with access to the rich and diverse civilizations of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Many of the faculty have national and international reputations, particularly in Latin and Greek literature, Latin pedagogy, classical archaeology, and classical folklore. Faculty members are highly engaged in undergraduate teaching and advising. Nearly all classes are taught by faculty rather than by graduate students.


The department also has a nationally regarded graduate program offering a Master of Arts in Teaching Latin and Classical Humanities. Our MAT graduates enthusiastically go out to teach Latin in secondary schools all over the country and introduce the ancient western world to new generations of students. In short, the Classics Department provides the environment of a small liberal arts college within the context of a large state university.

 


Undergraduate Program

UMass Classics has a vibrant and rapidly growing undergraduate program. Our majors can choose from a wide variety of courses: in addition to offering all levels of ancient Greek and Latin, we provide dozens of courses in Classical Civilization in translation, such as Greek Mythology, Greek Drama, Greek and Roman Culture, Magic in Antiquity, Epic Poetry, Greek Religion, Women in Antiquity, World of the Etruscans, and Greek and Roman Painting, to name only a few. We have a strong Classics Honors Program, and our majors regularly produce outstanding senior honors theses and projects. Many students also participate in Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics undergraduate honor society. Our chapter manages a healthy mixture of classical study, social activity, and community service. Recent activities include a field trip the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; an annual book sale; and university service such as offering free tutoring in Latin and Greek.

In short, UMass undergraduates find Classics to be a stimulating and unique program. We have an excellent student-faculty ratio and particularly strong advising, so our students often find that they receive more personal attention from faculty than students in other departments do. Classics also offers many opportunities for study and excavation abroad in Greece, Italy, and many other countries.

Lastly, Classics is more useful than many people realize: prospective graduate programs and employers know that students with Classics degrees are highly self-motivated and on average have much better analytical and verbal skills than other applicants.

Students interested in declaring a major in Classics should contact Professor Brian Breed, the Undergraduate Program Director, by phone at 413-547-3479 or by email at bbreed@classics.umass.edu.

 


Undergraduate Program Director:
Brian Breed
537 Herter Hall
413-577-3479

 

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Graduate Program


The Master of Arts in Teaching Latin and Classical Humanities is the equivalent of an M.A. degree in Classics with supplementary graduate-level work in Education. The program leads to a middle- and high-school (grades 5-12) teaching certificate in Latin and Classical Humanities valid in 30 states within the Interstate Certification Compact.

The program offers coordinate study in educational theory and practice, Latin language and literature, methodology, and the development of middle- and high-school curricula in Latin and Classical Humanities. The core of the program is a series of seminars in which Classics faculty explore how the latest teaching trends and methodologies can best serve the needs and traditions of teaching Latin and Classical Humanities. These seminars give graduate students practical, hands-on experience in teaching, research, and developing teaching materials.

Students teach Latin at the University and at cooperating schools in western Massachusetts. They are thereby exposed to the full range of materials and methods for teaching Latin and Classical Humanities in middle and high schools. They also serve as teaching assistants in a University course in Greek civilization or Greek mythology. The department subsidizes memberships for students in classical associations and supports their attendance at annual meetings where they have opportunities to make presentations, share ideas with other teachers, and learn about the profession.

 

Graduate Program Director:

Teresa Ramsby
535 Herter Hall
413.545.4608


 

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