Classics

What is a Major in Classics?

Classics is the study of Greek and Roman culture as revealed through its literary, historical, philosophical, and scientific writings from Homeric to Byzantine times. Classics is a broad and interdisciplinary field that includes the study of language, literature, religion, mythology, gender, society, medicine and law. Classicists study the achievements of the Greeks and Romans: their democratic ideals, their religious beliefs and their humanistic philosophy. Greater awareness of Greek and Roman culture gives classicists a better understanding of contemporary cultures.

At UCSB, the Department of Classics offers course studies in three emphases: Classic Language and Literature, Greek and Roman Culture, and Classic Archaeology. Students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Classics must take the Language and Literature emphasis. Coursework includes reading and translating texts, analyzing their syntax and style, discussing their historical context, and exploring their influence on their own and subsequent cultures.

The Greek and Roman Culture emphasis enables students to explore a broad range of subjects—literature, history, philosophy, art history, religion, social history—through courses about the ancient world with readings in English translation. This emphasis is ideal for the student with interdisciplinary interests seeking an undergraduate degree with a strong liberal arts major. The Classical Archaeology emphasis brings together classical art history, classical archaeology, anthropology, and ancient history into a coherent program of study. This emphasis is for students with an interest in archaeology looking for a strong liberal arts major, or for students planning to pursue graduate studies in Classical Archaeology.

Major, General, and Career Information

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