The Doors That a CNES (Classical and Near Eastern Studies) Degree Opens

"What can I do with my degree in Classical and Near Eastern Studies?"

General Considerations

Why get a degree in Classical and Near Eastern Studies? Why, for that matter, get a degree in the humanities in the first place?

Going at those questions in reverse order,

A degree in the humanities is worthwhile because training in the humanities provides students with the intellectual equipment needed for success in today's world.

Students sometimes think that to be successful, they have to study science, technology, or business to the virtual exclusion of all else — that the best a humanities degree can provide is a lot of useless knowledge.

Of course, science etc. has much to offer, especially in today's world. Still, that by no means implies the humanities don't. On the contrary, the humanities address issues and problems on everyone's mind. This they do in two, basic ways:

  • By offering enlightening perspective on today's headline issues
  • By supplying the intellectual tools needed to address those issues

Indeed, whether pursuing a professional degree or not, undergraduates should understand that the humanities generally, and CNES major tracks in particular (Arabic, Classics), provide highly sought-after training in:

  • critical thinking
  • writing
  • oral presentation

But there is more. Medical schools, while they look closely at a student's performance in the sciences, seek the intellectually well-rounded applicant, one whose additional major in Latin, Arabic, or any of our other major tracks (Classics, Greek and Latin; Classical Civilization) speaks to intellectual breadth. Put differently, on a long list of applicants, that CNES credential really sets the one possessing it apart.

That principal can be extended to a whole range of fields that place a premium on intellectual ability.

Specific Uses for Your Degree

  • GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS GENERALLY. Persons well-schooled in the languages and cultures of the Near and Middle East are much in demand by government, business, indeed, a variety of professional fields — see more on the "Arabic Program" page. But given the rigor of training we provide in Classics and Arabic, our students find that they have a lot to offer any field placing a premium on thinking and decision-making; see further also the program in Classics
  • LAW. First there are the connections between Roman law and the legal codes of a great many countries today, including the US. Then there is the law's reliance on Latin for much of its technical vocabulary. Nor should one overlook the sheer rigor of the training we offer, rigor of a type highly attractive to law schools. The program in Philosophy, Politics, and the Law (PPL), offers a Traditions of Western Law and Government track requiring, among other things, Latin. Hence the utility for aspiring lawyers of a double major: one of our Classics tracks along with PPL
  • EDUCATION. Teaching is an noble and satisfying profession, and Latin teachers are increasingly in demand. Classics combined with a selection of courses in education can get you started on such a career. We in CNES also provide attentive and thorough preparation for those desiring to enter a PhD program in the areas our department handles

Contact

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more. For contact information, visit our Contacts page.

Last Updated: 6/18/15