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Our Programs

The Department of Classical Studies offers a wide variety of courses in the languages and culture of both the ancient world and modern Greece. Students may choose a major or a minor that emphasizes archaeology, classical civilization, or the language and literature of Latin and/or Greek (ancient or modern). While many of our courses involve language training, others are taught in English translation. We have close ties with other departments, including History, Philosophy, History of Art, Comparative Literature, and Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies. We encourage students to participate fully in the life of the Department and to use the Department’s many resources. We also provide many opportunities to pursue research, field work, and study abroad.

Internationally renowned for its scholarly excellence and its graduate programs, the Department of Classical Studies is also deeply committed to the education of undergraduates at the University of Michigan. Faculty and students work closely with the Kelsey Museum and its collection of antiquities and the Papyrus Collection in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

The library contains over 3,800 books, journals, recent commentaries and major works of reference, and provides ample work space for research. All Classics concentrators are allowed a key for access to this room and the Classics Reading Room. Search the Classics Library catalogue online.

Students may choose a concentration or a minor that emphasizes archaeology, classical civilization, or the language and literature of Latin and/or Greek (ancient or modern).

The Department of Classical Studies offers four programs within Classical Studies, and also co-sponsors programs in Classical Art & Archaeology and Greek & Roman History.

Great Books

These are texts which have proven central to that great conversation known as human civilization. Except in very rare circumstances, every first year Honors student must elect one Great Books course in each semester of the first year.

The Literature and Ideas requirement forms the foundation for an Honors education at University of Michigan. Literature and Ideas courses introduce students to a core set of texts from cultural traditions around the globe. These are texts which have proven central to that great conversation known as human civilization. Except in very rare circumstances, every first year Honors student must elect one of the following courses in each semester of the first year:

  • Fall Term, First Year
    Great Books 191 or Classical Civilization 101 (Honors section ONLY)
  • Winter Term, First Year
    Great Books 192 or Classical Civilization 102 (Honors section ONLY) or an approved alternative

The readings for Great Books 191 and Classical Civilization 101 (Honors section) overlap considerably, but the courses have somewhat different emphases. In addition to giving students a solid grounding in the texts that are considered part of the basis of Western Civilization, both Classic Civ 101 and Great Books 191 serve as meeting points that allow first-year Honors students to mingle and exchange ideas with each other and make new friends in the process.

Both courses stress academic writing, and the instructors pay attention to writing techniques and problems. Satisfactory completion of either one of these courses fulfills the introductory composition requirement. Honors students do not take English 124 or 125 for Intro Comp. Neither English Advanced Placement credit nor exemption from introductory composition based on transfer credit will satisfy the Literature and Ideas requirement. If you plan to be in both Honors and the Residential College, please visit our Joint Programs page for more information on how L&I fits with the first-year writing expectations for joint students.

Prior to the registration period for each term, a list of courses which fulfill the second half of the Literature and Ideas requirement is published on the Honors website. This list varies from term to term so you should check the current listing before taking a course for Literature and Ideas credit.

Departmental Library

The library contains over 3,800 books, journals, recent commentaries and major works of reference, and provides ample work space for research. All Classics concentrators are allowed a key for access to this room and the Classics Reading Room. Search the Classics Library catalogue online.

Contexts for Classics

Contexts for Classics is an interdepartmental faculty initiative founded in 2000 that aims to rethink the disciplines of Classical Studies from various critical, historical, and pedagogical perspectives.

Browse our website to find information about participating faculty members, events we sponsor, or classes we offer across the University that explore the relationship between antiquity and modernity and interrogate the construction of the Classical ideal.

We encourage you to get involved with CFC. Do you have an idea for an event? Would you like to join our email list to receive notices and stay informed about our events? Click here to contact us!

The Department works closely with the Kelsey Museum on various projects.