Mission Statement

The Classics Program in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies offers students the opportunity to study, and to develop life-long interest in, the languages, literatures, thought, and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world (Greece, Rome, areas affected/influenced by them) and their influence on later ages. By grappling with the familiar and the unfamiliar, with civilizations that are simultaneously part of us and distinctly other, Classics majors, whatever their career goals, are uniquely challenged to broaden their perspectives, to hone their critical-thinking skills, and to improve their speaking and writing skills.

Majors and Minors in Classical Studies


Pont du Gard, Nîmes, France

Pont du Gard, Nîmes, France

Classics at BU involves in-depth study of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Mediterranean worlds under faculty as expert in their respective fields as they are dedicated to their teaching. We work closely and intensively with students not simply on their language skills (ancient Greek and Latin, all levels) but on the cultures that used them and spread them from Scotland to Egypt, from present-day Morocco to the Persian Gulf. We also work closely with students to advise them how best to leverage a degree in Classical Studies toward a rewarding career.

Our courses run from two-semester elementary language course to advanced language and literature courses to a variety of courses in culture and civilization and at a variety of levels. All our instruction is done by highly qualified professors, in classes where each student's learning needs and capacities receive focused attention. Each instructor also covers survey courses designed to serve a broad range of students, including those who are not Classics majors.

Major Tracks

Classics, Greek and Latin is designed to provide thorough and rigorous training in ancient Greek and Latin, the principal languages and literatures of the ancient Mediterranean world and beyond. Our majors have found doors opening for them in a variety of fields: teaching, scholarship (including PhD work in Classics, archaeology, etc.), careers of all sorts. Specializing in one of the two languages, ancient Greek or Latin, students enrolled in this major take at least four semesters in that language plus at least two semesters of study in the other. Their program is rounded out with coursework in ancient civilization, history, culture, and so on. 

See also our dedicated Greek and Latin pages.

Classical Civilization is a flexible program, putting together studies of Greek, Roman, and Mediterranean history, culture and literature from various departments and including medieval and Near Eastern elements, without requiring Latin or Greek language study though we always encourage it. 

Street Musicians, Naples Archaeological Museum

Street Musicians, Naples Archaeological Museum

Latin is designed to provide thorough and rigorous training in ancient Latin. Majors may leverage the training this major provides toward advancement in a variety of fields, including teaching. (Majors of ours have gained admission to Master of Arts in Teaching [MAT] programs in Latin.) Or the enrichment Latin majors gain can supplement training in other disciplines, including Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Either way, this major holds many possibilities for students.

Students majoring in Latin will take a minimum of five courses beyond the 102 level, one course in Roman History, plus additional courses in culture, civilization, and so on to round out their program. 

Minor Tracks

We also offer three minor tracks: in Greek, in Latin, in Classical Civilization.

Last Updated: 9/14/15