Major in Classical Studies

The Major in Classical Studies can take any one of three different tracks:

  • Track 1: Classical Languages and Literature caters to students for whom Latin and/or Greek are central to their coursework.
  • Track 2: Classical Civilizations is the most flexible track: it can accommodate many different combinations of courses, with no language requirement. At the same time, however, students are encouraged to pursue a concentration in one or more of the following specific areas: archaeology, history, intellectual culture, language, literature, reception.
  • Track 3: Mediterranean Archaeology centers on the content and methods of archaeology and material culture. 

Note on choice of major: Students who intend to do graduate work in literary studies, ancient philosophy, archaeology, or ancient history should gain facility in both Latin and Greek. Those who intend to teach Latin in secondary schools are encouraged to take at least one year of Greek.

Track 1: Classical Languages and Literatures

Cluster 1 (Core Introductory Courses)

2 required courses providing a chronological and cultural survey: ANCH 026 Ancient Greece and ANCH 027 Ancient Rome.

Cluster 2 (Fields of Classical Studies)

Any 4 courses at the 100-level, in Ancient History (ANCH), Classical Studies (CLST), Greek (GREK), or Latin (LATN); courses in other departments by approval of the Undergraduate Chair.

The purpose of this requirement is to introduce students to different fields of study within classical studies. Each 100-level course delineates a different area such as the study of myth, reception, archaeology, philosophy, imperial history, and ancient language (Latin, Greek).

Cluster 3 (Advanced Topics)

Any 6 courses at the 200-level or above, of which 4 must be at the 300-level or above, in Ancient History (ANCH), Classical Studies (CLST), Greek (GREK), or Latin (LATN), and 3 must be 300-level courses in Greek (GREK) or Latin (LATN); courses in other departments by approval of the Undergraduate Chair.

The purpose of this requirement is to allow students to explore one or more specialized topic at the intermediate (200-) and advanced (300-) levels, often with a research component, and focusing on advanced reading in Greek and/or Latin.

Honors Option

CLST/GREK/LATN 399 Independent Study (fall), which may be counted toward Cluster 3. This option requires the proposal of a Senior Research Paper.

Track 2: Classical Civilizations

Cluster 1 (Core Introductory Courses)

2 required courses providing a chronological and cultural survey: ANCH 026 Ancient Greece and ANCH 027 Ancient Rome. 

Cluster 2 (Fields of Classical Studies)

Any 4 courses at the 100-level, in Ancient History (ANCH), Classical Studies (CLST), Greek (GREK), or Latin (LATN); courses in other departments by approval of the Undergraduate Chair.

The purpose of this requirement is to introduce students to different fields of study within classical studies. Each 100-level course delineates a different area such as the study of myth, reception, archaeology, philosophy, imperial history, and ancient language (Latin, Greek).

Note: Each student in the Classical Civilizations major will be encouraged to pursue a concentration in one (or a combination) of the following specific areas: archaeology, history, intellectual culture, language, literature, reception. The student should consult closely with the Undergraduate Chair in devising a coherent course plan that will allow this concentration.

Cluster 3 (Advanced Topics)

Any 6 courses at the 200-level or above, of which TWO [previously four] must be at the 300-level or above, in Ancient History (ANCH), Classical Studies (CLST), Greek (GREK), or Latin (LATN); courses in other departments by approval of the Undergraduate Chair.

The purpose of this requirement is to allow students to explore one or more specialized topic at the intermediate (200-) and advanced (300-) levels, often with a research component, but without any specific language requirement.

Honors Option

CLST 399 Independent Study (fall), which may be counted toward Cluster 3. This option requires the proposal of a Senior Research Paper.

Track 3: Mediterranean Archaeology 

Cluster 1 (Introductory)

2 required courses providing a chronological and cultural survey: ANCH 026 Ancient Greece and ANCH 027 Ancient Rome.

Cluster 2 (Fundamentals)

4 courses as follows: 

  • CLST 111 Introduction to Mediterranean Archaeology
  • 1 introductory course in mediterranean archaeology at the 100- or 200-level
  • 1 archaeological science course (e.g., CLST 366 Archaeology and Science; ANTH 230 Forensic Anthropology; ANTH 415 Archaeology of Animals; and comparable courses with approval)
  • 1 required theory course (e.g., CLST 257 Religion and the Polis; ANTH 541 Cultural Heritage and Near Eastern Archaeology; ANTH 431 The Archaeology of Ancient Economies; and comparable courses with approval) 
Cluster 3 (Advanced Study)

Either any 6 courses in mediterranean archaeology at 200-level or above, of which 4 must be at the 300-level or above.

 Or (language option) any 4 courses in mediterranean archaeology and 2 courses in an ancient language (typically Greek [GREK] or Latin [LATN]); of these 6 courses, 4 must be at 300-level or above.

Note: Cluster 3 requirements can regularly be fulfilled not only by ANCH and CLST courses, but also by courses at the 300-, 400-, and 500-levels (and above) in Art History (ARTH), Anthropology (ANTH), and other departments dealing with archaeology and/or ancient material culture; and also graduate-level courses (by instructor approval) in the graduate program in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW), such as the AAMW proseminar (AAMW 526), offered each fall and including a comprehensive introduction to the Penn Museum as well as seminar discussion on method, theory, and ethics in Mediterranean archaeology. For further advice, please discuss with the undergraduate chair as well as with faculty specializing in archaeology.

Field-work requirement

The Department will organize a field school each year for those in the Mediterranean Archaeology track. A museum internship may be substituted for this field school with the permission of the Undergraduate Chair. Museum internships are encouraged at any point in the Track.

Honors Option

CLST 399 Independent Study (fall), which may be counted toward Cluster 3. This option requires the proposal of a Senior Research Paper.