All Courses

View all courses of instruction in the Bulletin.

Questions

Interested in learning more about our undergraduate program? Contact us here!

Please direct questions about the major or minor to any Classical Studies faculty member. Our Undergraduate Advising Head is Cheryl Walker, who can be reached at x6-2190 or cwalker@brandeis.edu.

Forms to complete when declaring your major or minor are available in the Office of Academic Services, Kutz 108.

Assessment of Learning Goals

Download the Assessment of Learning Goals for CLAS (PDF)

Major and Minor


Image of chariot race tomb painting

A major in classical studies prepares students for a wide number of professional fields, including law and medicine, as well as graduate study in literature, history, fine arts, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, religion and classics itself. The requirements for the major are flexible so that students can focus their program around a particular interest like art and archaeology, history or literature.

Becoming a Major in Classical Studies

Many of the courses in the Department of Classical Studies fulfill general university requirements: School distribution requirements (in three of the schools), writing intensive courses, and foreign language proficiency. Classical Studies affords students many opportunities to explore interdisciplinary connections between Greece and Rome and with many other civilizations, both ancient and modern.

Besides the intense study of two ancient languages and literatures, the department offers comprehensive courses in the art, archaeology and history of the Greeks and Romans. We encourage students who have had some background in Greek and Latin to resume their study of those languages as soon as possible after entering Brandeis, as those skills are more difficult to retrieve after a passage of time.

Brandeis has a placement test to determine the level of instruction at which a student should begin his/her study of Latin. The test, which cannot be "self-scored," can be downloaded from the website of the Office of the University Registrar, and students should follow the submission directions indicated. Even students who have had no background in Greek or Latin languages should try to begin one of them as soon as possible after entering Brandeis as each is a window on an entire civilization.

Core Requirements

  • Required of all majors: A minimum of nine semester courses in classical studies, to include one course in Greek or Latin, level 30 or higher; one course in history appropriate for the language chosen (for Greek, CLAS 100A; for Roman, HIST 103); one course in the art and archaeology of the appropriate culture (for Greek, CLAS 133A; for Roman, CLAS 134B).
  • Graduation with honors in classical studies may be achieved by completing a senior essay in one semester (CLAS 97A or B; LAT 97A or B; or GRK 97A or B) or by taking a year-long course (CLAS 99D or LAT 99D or GRK 99D) culminating in a senior thesis. One semester course credit from this year-long two-semester course may be counted towards the nine required courses with the consent of the thesis advisor.
  • We strongly urge classical studies majors to work in both Greek and Latin languages since both define our field of study. In special circumstances students may petition for exemptions within the spirit of the disciplines of classical studies.

We encourage students to think creatively about their programs. An approved summer archaeological excavation, study tour or museum internship, completed for credit, may be counted as fulfilling one course requirement for the major.

The Education Program (q.v.) can provide licensure (formerly certification) for teaching Latin and classical humanities in high schools in Massachusetts and several other states, including Connecticut and New York. Such licensure can be obtained concurrently with the Brandeis bachelor's degree by additionally completing approved courses in the Education Program. Interested students should meet with the program director of Education early in their course of study to ensure sufficient time to take the course sequence.

Classical studies majors must choose one of three tracks of study. The track in classics includes both Greek and Latin languages and literatures, whereas the track in Greek or Latin Literature requires just one core language and literature. The track in Classical Archaeology & Ancient History places less emphasis on language and more upon courses in ancient history, ancient art, and archaeology. Various archaeological excavation programs (with departmental approval) may be substituted for some required courses.

Classics Track

In addition to the core requirements, students especially interested in classical languages and philology are required to complete the following courses:

  • Five additional language courses numbered 30 or higher with at least two in each language (Greek and Latin).
  • A second survey in Greek or Roman history. If CLAS 100A (Greek history) completed the core requirement, HIST 103 (Roman history) must also be taken, and vice versa.

Greek or Latin Literature Track 

In addition to the core requirements, students focusing on one classical language and literature are required to complete the following courses:

  • Three semester courses in Greek or Latin numbered 30 or higher.
  • A combination of three semester courses selected from courses taught in or cross-listed by the Department of Classical Studies, where such courses have a significant classical component, as approved by the student's departmental advisor.

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History Track

In addition to the core requirements, students engaged in the study of classical civilization and culture are required to complete the following courses:

  • A second survey in Greek or Roman history. If CLAS 100A (Greek history) completed the core requirement, HIST 103 (Roman history) must also be taken, and vice versa.
  • A second survey in the Art and Archaeology of Greece or Rome. If CLAS 133A (Greek art) completed the core requirement, CLAS 134A (Roman art) must also be taken, and vice versa.
  • A topics course (CLAS 115, 145, etc.).
  • A combination of three semester courses selected from courses taught in or cross-listed by the Department of Classical Studies, where such courses have a significant classical component, as approved by the student's departmental advisor.

Independent Concentration in Classical and English Literature

A student interested in an independent major in classical and English literature may petition for such through the Office of Academic Services. Generally, an independent major in classical and English literature requires a minimum of five courses in English, five courses in Greek and/or Latin at level 30 or higher, and a senior essay.

 

Becoming a Minor in Classical Studies

Five courses are required. These may be any combination of ancient language courses at level 30 or higher and any CLAS or cross-listed courses. Three of the five courses in the minor must be taught by members of the Department of Classical Studies.

N.B.: All Classical Studies courses (CLAS) are taught in English, with assigned reading materials in English.

 

Greek and Latin Tutoring

Peer tutoring in Ancient Greek and/or Latin is readily available on a "by appointment" basis through the Office of Academic Services and their Brandeis University Group Study (B.U.G.S.) program.

Check the Undergraduate Group Study website for current information or contact Laura Doane, Brandeis Tutorial Coordinator.

Photo Credit: Chariot Race, tomb painting in front of funerary stele, 5th century B.C.E., Museum, Paestum (Photographic Credit: Barbara McManus, 1979), courtesy of the VRoma Project.