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Study Abroad

For many majors in Classics, travel, study, and excavation abroad are an integral part of their University experience. With advance preparation and careful financial planning, several majors each year are able to live, study, travel, or excavate in Italy, Greece, or other countries in Europe or the Near East. The Department enthusiastically endorses such travel and readily offers advice on available programs. Students who participate in such programs describe their experiences in glowing terms, both for the educational advantages they offer and the personal growth they afford. Several kinds of study abroad are available through UMass Classics and through the University. Course credits transfer and count toward UMass graduation.

Poggio Civitate Archaeological Excavations are located approximately 25 km south of Siena, Italy. The site was witness to the development of one of the earliest attested Etruscan proto-urban environments. In the late 8th century BCE, aristocrats undertook the construction of a large building complex at the site consisting of a large residential structure, a monumental industrial building and an early Tripartite temple. Each of these buildings was opulently decorated with terracotta sculptures and represents some of the largest buildings known in the Mediterranean for their time period. Thus the site of Poggio Civitate is one of the most important for the study of archaic Etruscan culture. During the summer excavation season, the site is host to an international cast of scholars who travel to Poggio Civitate to conduct research, which has resulted in the publication of hundreds of books and articles on the site. For additional information about the site, please contact Anthony Tuck by phone at 413-545-4373 or by fax at 413-545-6995. 

The Kea Archaeological Research Survey is a collaborative international project exploring the reliability of surface survey as an archaeological method using the North West area of Kea, Greece as a test case. KARS Field School takes place on the picturesque Cycladic Island of Kea, which is located one hour by ferry from the Athenian port of Lavrion. The first week of the Field School is spent touring major archaeological sites including the Acropolis in Athens, Ancient Corinth, the Panhellenic site of Nemea, and the Bronze Age citadel at Mycenae. On Kea the students are an integral part of a large research project working hands on with ancient artifacts daily and training in archaeological finds processing, data collection, and recording methods. While on the island they have several tours and lectures from a variety of experts who participate in the project and the students have the opportunity to work with these specialists during the project on artifacts such as pottery, lithics, and architecture. For more information, contact Joanne Murphy, KARS Director, or Shannon Hogue, Field School Manager.

Among the study abroad programs highly recommended by the Department are the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (the ICCS or "Centro") and College Year in Athens. For summer study in Greece, the Department recommends the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (the ASCSA), which is open to advanced undergraduates.

The Department also encourages students to consider a junior semester or year abroad with the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

For advice on any of the above programs, or for information on summer programs and excavations, please see your adviser or contact the Undergraduate Program Director. Starting September 6, 2022, the UPD will be Professor Brian Breed (


Photo of the Tiber at sunset, early spring semester 2020, courtesy of Classics major Timothy Horton, Class of 2021