Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies

By studying the classics, you will engage with the founding cultures of the Western tradition: the languages, literatures, history and archaeology of ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

You will learn about all aspects of life in Greco-Roman antiquity—aesthetic, spiritual, moral and intellectual—and the knowledge you gain will enhance your appreciation of a range of disciplines, from art and architecture to philosophy and religion, from history and politics to ethics and religion.

Reflecting the richness and diversity of the field of classical studies, our undergraduate program offers three tracks, depending on what you wish to focus on:

We also offer, with the English department, an independent concentration in classical and English literature. If you're interested in teaching Latin at the secondary school level, we collaborate with the Education Program to offer Latin teaching licensure.

The study of Latin and Greek and of the social and intellectual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome will enhance your skills in other languages even as it deepens your appreciation for the contemporary world—and your role as a citizen in it. It is an ideal starting point for further study in an array of fields, such as comparative literature, archaeology, fine arts, linguistics, philosophy and history, to name a few. It will also give you an excellent foundation for pursuing a career in business, education, government, law, library science and medicine.

Why Brandeis?

In keeping with the Brandeis commitment to teaching, our faculty are dedicated educators and mentors. Our department is as close-knit as it is vibrant, so you'll work closely with your professors as they communicate their passion for the ethics, politics, art, literature, and history of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds to you. We offer numerous ways to enhance your scholarship, including internships, fellowships, and opportunities to study abroad.

In addition to the impressive 800-piece collection of classical artifacts on campus, the universities and museums of nearby Boston and Cambridge are an amazing resource for further study.

Academics and Research

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Academic Collaboration

Classical studies is an interdisciplinary field and intersects with other programs and departments on campus. This means that you'll enjoy an intellectually and experientially diverse range of learning opportunities. What's more, our courses call on a variety of skill sets, including drawing, collaborative translating, performing an ancient play in its original language and even building a catapult! 

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Student Research

If you are motivated to delve deep into a topic and analyze a body of material from the field in a creative and original way, you may consider writing a senior essay or senior thesis. This is a highly rewarding experience that requires commitment and perseverance. A senior thesis can be excellent preparation for graduate studies in the field.

We offer other avenues for conducting research, as well:

Faculty and Student Excellence

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Distinguished Faculty

Our highly productive and accessible faculty publish and lecture widely, and are recognized for their teaching:

  • Joel P. Christensen, chair of the department, is the 2013 recipient of the Society for Classical Studies Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Collegiate Level.

  • Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow received the 2016 award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the Archaeological Institute of America and also won the Society for Classical Studies Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Collegiate Level in an earlier year.

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Student Awards

We offer several prizes that support excellence and rigor in the study of classics:

Internships and Other Opportunities

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Internships

We encourage you to complete internships in a museum, for example, or in Brandeis' Classical Studies Artifact Research Collection. If you are interested in museum work, artifact preservation and conservation, creation of a digital object database, photography or collection management, this internship is for you. Other potential internship sites in the area include the Museum of Fine Arts or other local historical museums. 

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Study Abroad

We encourage you to spend a summer or semester studying abroad. Brandeis works with several programs that will take you to Greece, Italy or the United Kingdom to study classics.

Brandeis also offers many fascinating opportunities to do fieldwork:

Careers, Graduate Study and Alumni

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Graduate Study

A major in classical studies will prepare you for graduate study in literature, history, fine arts, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, religion—not to mention classics itself. Even if you don't pursue an advanced degree, the degree will provide you with the knowledge, ethics and critical thinking necessary to be an informed citizen in our complex, global society.

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Real Jobs

Our graduates go on to exciting positions in a wide variety of professional fields, including business, education, government, law, library science and medicine. Our alumni include:

  • A doctor of internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center

  • Editor-in-chief of New York Press

  • A consultant at Random Walk Computing

  • A photographer

  • Communications coordinator at the American Federation of Arts

  • An academic librarian