Doing Classical Studies
Classical studies is the set of practices through which the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome are studied, interpreted, and interrogated in a living dialogue—sometimes by reading, discussion, and writing, sometimes by an internship in the Penn Museum or by studying abroad or digging in the ground.
Penn's Classical Studies department offers a variety of undergraduate courses and degree options, ranging from the foreign language requirement and general sector courses to a minor (6 units) or major (12 units) in Classical Civilizations, Classical Languages and Literature, Mediterranean Archaeology, and Ancient History.
Our ambition for students
Our goal is for you to become a versatile and constructive thinker, and writer, about how the deep past of ancient Greece and Rome has shaped—and itself has been reshaped by—the vital concerns of the present, often in controversial ways.
Approximately half our majors are double-majors: recent students have combined Classical Studies or Ancient History with a major in Anthopology, Biology, English, History, History of Art, Political Science, Psychology—and others.
Our students go forward from Penn ready to perceive, interpret, and respond to the present world as they find it while drawing on the significant knowledge and skills they have acquired through their critical engagement with the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.
For help with selecting courses, to discuss declaring a major or minor, or to learn more about pursuing graduate studies in Classical Studies and related fields, please email the undergraduate chair, Prof. James Ker, or come to the daily drop-in office hours (MTWRF 12-1) in 263 Cohen Hall.