Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Classics offers four undergraduate majors and three minors. In recent years there have been 50-60 majors, about two thirds of the them in Classical Civilizations and almost all the rest in Classical Languages. Prospective and current majors receive personalized advice both from Student Affairs Officer Cassandra Dunn and from the Undergraduate Major Advisors (faculty members who meet with each major at least once per semester). There is an active organization of undergraduates interested in Classics, serving non-majors as well as majors. We also offer an undergraduate event email list for all interested students, whether majors or not.

The undergraduate teaching of the Department forms a major part of its mission, as is articulated in two components of the mission statement of the Department of Classics, which are repeated here:

  • To give students across the University access to the literature, history, archaeology, mythology and philosophy of the ancient Greek and Roman world through an array of undergraduate courses on classical culture in translation. These courses introduce students to texts, artefacts, and ideas that are worth studying both in their own right and as abidingly influential elements in the imagination and history of later cultures. Such study deepens students' understanding of present-day issues by inculcating a sense of historical perspective that takes account of both the differences and the continuities between contemporary and ancient cultures.
  • To enable undergraduates to immerse themselves in the language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome through its majors in Greek, Latin, and Classical Civilizations. These majors equip students with knowledge and analytical skills that can be applied in many areas (e.g., law, politics, business, biosciences, computer science and media) as well as providing essential preparation for graduate study in Classics, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and other fields.

Prospective and current majors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the learning goals articulated for each major.

Major in Classical Civilizations

The major in Classical Civilizations provides a highly flexible framework for study of many aspects of classical antiquity by itself and in comparison to other cultures, embracing work in the Department of Classics and in several other departments. Students picking this major may include several semesters of Latin or Greek in their program or they may take only courses that present material in English translation. See the requirements for the Classical Civilizations major. (This major does not prepare a student for application to graduate programs in Classics.)

Major in Classical Languages

The major in Classical Languages provides a solid preparation in both ancient Greek and Latin and provides the prerequisites for application for graduate study in Classics at many universities. See the requirements for the Classical Languages major.

Major in Greek or Major in Latin

These majors provide advanced preparation in either ancient Greek or in Latin. Students intending to apply for graduate study in Classics are advised to select the Major in Classical Languages, but these majors may be suitable preparation for other purposes (for instance, a major in Latin is excellent preparation for Medieval Studies). See the requirements for the majors in Greek or Latin.

Honors Work in Classics

Majors with a high GPA in their Classics courses may elect to do Honors work in their final semester, including the writing of an Honors thesis. See the requirements for Honors work in Classics.

Minors in Classics, Greek Studies, or Latin Studies

Non-majors who do a significant number of courses in Classics, Greek, or Latin may qualify for a Minor. See the requirements for Minors in Classics.

See also our Statement of Program Learning Goals for Undergraduate Students

Declaring a Major

Undergraduate Opportunities for Research and Study Abroad

Applying to Berkeley