What is 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.
How Can I Tell If I Would Like Classics?
Students of this major have an interest in the classical civilizations of Rome and Greece. These students are able to analyze ancient thoughts and cultures and critically compare them to our times. This student must be interested in learning the languages of the ancient civilizations. The classics are of interest to students seeking a strong liberal arts background, a background that can lead to many types of jobs and graduate studies. Many classics students will continue their studies into graduate school.
What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.
Greek Civilization, History and Mythology
Comedy, Tragedy and Satires in Translation
To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.
What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?
- Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
- Choose a complementary minor.
- Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
- Develop your computer skills.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Study abroad.
- Join professional associations.
- Get involved in student clubs.
- Participate in community organizations.
- Seek out leadership positions.
- Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
- Network with others in fields that interest you.
What Are Some Possible Career Options?
Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be. The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Classics majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study, options include:
Teacher of Latin and Greek
To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
Come visit the Career Resources Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.
See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn.
Internship and Career Opportunities for Classics majors from Indiana University
The booklet has apparently been taken off the University of Texas’s website, but it’s available as a googledoc. It looks a little funky, but scroll through and you’ll find a sampling of career options for Classics and History majors.
Career Information from the University of Kent at Canterbury
Gives some career information relating to what Classical & Archaeological Studies graduates can do after they graduate.
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.
This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.
Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.
Graduate Programs in Classics
Williams College in Massachusetts provides some resources for those planning graduate study in Classics.
Preparing for Graduate School
Describes central components for applying to Ph.D. programs in Classics and discusses current trends in graduate studies for this area.
Advice on Preparing for Graduate Study in Classics
Good advice for grad school is also at the Columbia University Classics web site.
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest.
UCSB Career Services “Job Search” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, Industry Specific, and UCSB Careers By Majors.
When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.
The American Philological Association
The APA Placement Service serves candidates in the fields of classical studies and archaeology who are on the job market as well as institutions seeking to hire such candidates. The APA welcomes job listings that reflect the full range of opportunities for students and teachers of classical studies and archaeology today, from employers seeking scholars of language, literature, and material culture (and combinations of those areas) for academic positions as well as for nonacademic employment.
A degree in the Classics provides skills that can be used almost anywhere – even in the US government!
American Classics League
The American Classical League was founded in 1919 for the purpose of fostering the study of classical languages in the United States and Canada.
American Philological Association
Founded in 1869 by "professors, friends, and patrons of linguistic science," the APA is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations.
Association of Ancient Historians
The Association of Ancient Historians was founded with two essential objectives. The first of these is to foster a regular forum for scholarly interaction among historians of the Ancient Mediterranean--especially among those who study the Greeks and Romans.