College of Arts & Sciences

Modern and Classical Languages Department - Classics Program

Welcome to the Classics Program

We hope you will enjoy exploring our site, which will provide information about our program and photos of our excellent students working and enjoying each other’s company.

We are a program of six faculty. Two are full-time and four are part-time, and five hold the Ph.D. degree and one holds the M.A. degree in Classics or Classical Archaeology. Together, we have teaching and research interests and specializations that span the field of Classical antiquity, including Greek, Roman, and Etruscan language, literature, history, religion, mythology, philosophy, medicine, art and archaeology, gender and sexuality, and reception of the classics in modern culture.  We offer a major in Ancient Studies in two concentrations. The Classics concentration will combine courses in intermediate/upper level Latin and Greek language and literature, Classical literature in translation, Hebrew language, Bible and religious studies, ancient history of the Mediterranean and Near East, and ancient material culture.  As such, it will prepare students for secondary school teaching in Latin but it will also better prepare students for graduate study in Classical Studies and Classical Archaeology.  A second concentration in Ancient Cultures is interdisciplinary and flexible to allow specialization in a variety of areas that complement existing programs (e.g., Classics, Ancient Near East, Bible, Ancient History, Archaeology).  

We also offer minors in Ancient Studies, Classical Humanities, and Latin.  Our courses in Greek and Roman language, literature, and civilization complement courses in other disciplines so that students may combine their Latin major with a second major in English, Fine and Performing Arts, History, languages, Psychology, Theology, Philosophy,  and Elementary Education. In order to respond to the national need for qualified Latin teachers, we also offer Secondary Teacher Certification in Latin with the cooperation of our Education Department.

Our Classics program offers courses from the elementary to advanced levels of Latin and Greek language and literature. The program serves its majors and minors by offering a full range of advanced level Latin and Greek courses covering the works of major Latin and Greek authors and literary genres. These courses feature comprehensive exploration of Greek and Latin language and of classical society and culture and are designed to prepare majors and minors for graduate study in Classics. Our elementary and intermediate level Latin and Greek courses may be taken as prerequisite courses for advanced work in the languages, and they may also be taken to fulfill the non-native language general education program requirement. All Latin and Greek courses enable students to explore a wide variety of supplementary materials that focus upon mythology, religion, literacy and education, and political and social history.

We also offer courses in Greek and Roman culture and civilization, such as Classical Mythology, Classical Epic, Classical Tragedy, Ancient Medicine, and survey courses in Art & Archaeology of Greece and Rome along with specialized topics in Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Etruscans, and the Phoenicians. We offer two Honors courses that focus on Greece and Rome: Golden Age of Rome and Sexuality and Gender in the Ancient World. Knowledge of Greek and Latin are not required for any of these civilization courses, which may be taken to fulfill requirements for the major or minor, to fulfill the Art/Literature general education requirement, or as free electives. These courses are interdisciplinary and stress connections with other disciplines such as history, literature, philosophy, theology, gender studies, and the social and natural sciences. Among the highlights of our civilization courses are “hands-on” seminars at the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan galleries of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, where our students may see up close and handle Etruscan bones and artifacts, Greek vases, and Roman glassware. We also visit the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC to view the Greek and Roman collections.

We strongly encourage our Ancient Studies majors to consider applying for a semester of study at the Intercollegiate Center for Classics Studies in Rome (ICCS), which is administered by Duke University. ICCS offers its students the benefits of intensive study of Roman art, archaeology, and history and Greek and Latin literature.  Classics Program majors and minors may enroll in another accredited study abroad or study tour program in Greece and/or Italy (e.g., the CIP approved John Cabot University Program in Rome, Italy; and programs pending CIP approval such as the Fairfield University Program in Syracuse, Sicily and the American Institute of Roman Culture).

Our Classics Program majors have a strong affinity for research and, since 2001, several have presented scholarly papers at the meetings of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States. As well, several of our majors and minors have completed year-long departmental honors research projects and have received Summer Scholars grants to conduct research in Classics. Our majors graduate from our Classics Program well prepared for continuing work in Classics at the graduate level.  Several of our recent major graduates have enrolled in the Ph.D. and M.A. programs in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the University of Maryland, and Rutgers University. Some of our recently graduated majors and minors have also pursued successful careers in teaching Latin and English at the secondary level, law, publishing, museum work, and music.

Please enjoy browsing our site and learning more about our Classics Program. If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to contact the Classics Program Director, Dr. Maria Marsilio. We would be delighted to hear from you.