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Classical Languages and Literature

Equip yourself for the information age: develop critical thinking and analytical skills, advanced learning strategies and problem solving skills.

  • Learn how to understand, analyze and think about language in a sophisticated way.
  • Read some of the greatest works of literature in their original languages!

  • Develop your English through vocabulary building and awareness of grammar.

  • Acquire a grip on about 80% of the vocabulary of the modern Romance languages.

  • Examine and study texts from the ancient world, on stone, papyrus and parchment, and learn about the multicultural world of the Mediterranean, traces of which are all around you!

The skills taught in Latin and Greek are useful in many ways. The critical thinking and analytical skills (gleaned from a thorough knowledge of Latin and Greek) will benefit you in any class you take at the university. Students interested in subjects in the sciences and engineering will find the development of these skills invaluable. All students can benefit from improved English skills, particularly those students interested in Communications, Journalism, Law, and all the Humanities. Many students find Latin and Greek so helpful and fascinating that they choose these languages as a major or minor. Learning Latin and Greek is no more difficult than learning Spanish or French. We teach time-saving language learning strategies and skills in a highly structured format. As these are ancient languages, we focus primarily only on reading texts. Our department provides free "drop-in" tutoring available to all students in the Elementary Latin and Greek Courses.

This major requires study of both classical Greek and Latin; the student chooses one language as the primary language for the purpose of determining requirements. The student takes a minimum of nine courses (of at least three credits each) including: 

  1. In the primary language, at least three courses at the 400-level or above.
  2. In the primary language, at least three courses at the 300-level or above.
  3. In the secondary language, at least one course at the 400-level or above. (300-level courses can't be used in the secondary language).
  4. One introductory courses selected from CLARCH (221 or 222), CLCIV (101, 102 or 302), or HISTORY (200 or 201).
  5. At least one upper-level (300- or 400- level) course in Greek or Roman civilization, archaeology, or history.  Minimum of three credits.

Three credits of Independent Study (GREEK 499 and LATIN 499) may be used with written approval of the department advisor.

Honors Major

In addition to the major requirements stated above, Honors candidates must take one course, at or above the 420-level, in either Greek or Latin. Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing an Honors thesis (Greek or Latin 495); this thesis must be based upon texts in the original ancient languages; the thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Candidates must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their major advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year.

Download the Checklist for your major!