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Classics | Courses | Faculty

524 Herter Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Lisa Marie Smith
Office: 524 Herter Hall
Phone: (413) 545-0512

Faculty: Professors Kitchell, Philippides, Wallace; Associate Professors Breed, Felton, Keitel, Ramsby; Assistant Professors Mueller, Tuck; Associated Faculty: Professors La Follette (Art History); Moebius (Comparative Literature); Barton, (History); Harris (English); Matthews (Philosophy).

The Field

Classics is an interdisciplinary field, embracing every aspect of the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome and the formidable influence of those cultures on the subsequent development of western civilization. Classics provides valuable insight into the ways in which the past has shaped the world’s present languages, literatures, religions, political and scientific thought, and artistic traditions. The first requirement of a student in Classics is a knowledge of the original language. All Classics majors, therefore, are expected to complete a five-semester sequence in one of the classical languages. Students may take ancient Greek or Latin.

The Major

Students who major or double-major in Classics must complete at least 10 courses (30 credits) in Classics, Greek, or Latin in addition to the university General Education courses. Approved courses in other departments or in the Five Colleges may be substituted. Only three of these credits may be taken Pass/Fail, and normally a grade of C or better must be earned in each course.

Students interested in a Classics major should contact a member of the department, or seek advice from the Chief Undergraduate Adviser, tel. 545-0512. Students may obtain a full descriptive brochure with the exact requirements for the major from a rack on the fifth floor of Herter Hall or from Arts and Sciences Advising. The brochure describes the programs of the Classics Department, as well as career opportunities for those majoring or double-majoring in Classical Studies.

Every student majoring in Classics, in consultation with the Chief Undergraduate Adviser, chooses a faculty member for regular advice on course selection, career choice, graduate level studies, internships, and study abroad.

Study abroad, especially in Greece or Italy, is strongly recommended for majors in classics. The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome offers a semester (either fall or spring) in residence in Rome, Italy. Valuable summer programs are sponsored by the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The Department of Classics is affiliated with both organizations.

Classics students have the opportunity to participate in archaeological excavations, both in the U.S. and abroad. The department sponsors its own excavation and field school program at Murlo (Siena), Italy, under the direction of Assistant Professor Anthony Tuck. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this educational opportunity. Internships, both short-term and long-term, are available in a wide variety of businesses, art and history museums, and archives.

A separate major, Classics and Philosophy, is jointly administered by the Departments of Classics and Philosophy.

Career Opportunities

A major in classics, the oldest discipline in the liberal arts, is excellent preparation for any occupation or profession, including business, government, law, politics, management, computing, publishing, seminary, medicine, and teaching. The study of Classics is especially valuable for vocations requiring refined analytical and verbal skills. The major also prepares a student for graduate work in all areas of classical studies: archaeology, language and literature, ancient history, and museum studies.

There is currently, throughout the United States, a critical shortage of qualified teachers of Latin at the secondary level. Because teaching at the high school level in public schools requires a teaching certificate, prospective teachers of Latin should concentrate in the Greek and Latin Languages area (see above) and continue their studies at the Master’s level, either at the university or elsewhere, in Latin and Classical Humanities. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not grant teaching certificates without an M.A. degree or its equivalent.

The Minors

The Classics Department offers minors in three areas: Greek Language, Latin Language, and Classical Civilization. Each acquaints the student with an important facet of Greek and/or Roman society. The minors are designed not only to be useful and enjoyable, but also to furnish a sound foundation in each of the three areas. They also offer an easy transition from the minor to the major.

Students interested in a classics minor should consult with the Chief Undergraduate Adviser.

The Greek Minor: at least 18 credits, to include the completion of one course in Greek at the 300 level, and one classics course.

The Latin Minor: at least 18 credits, to include the completion of one course in Latin at the 300 level, and one classics course.

The Classical Civilization Minor: at least 18 credits in classics courses including CLSICS 100, 102, or 200.

Students wishing to transfer credits from other institutions to meet the requirements for a minor at the university, to substitute equivalent courses, to obtain an authorizing signature, or simply to get information about a minor, should consult the Chief Undergraduate Adviser, tel. (413) 545-0512.

Classics | Courses | Faculty