οὐκ Ἀθηναῖος οὐδ᾽ Ἕλλην ἀλλὰ κόσμιος. "I am not an Athenian or a Greek but a citizen of the world." -- Socrates (quoted by Plutarch)

Why Study Foreign Language?

The ancient Greeks and Romans began and indeed greatly advanced what is known as Western civilization. They were as concerned about the fundamental issues of life, love and death as we are today. The program is designed to introduce students to the most important areas of classical civilization including art, history, philosophy, language and literature. A separate major in the Latin language is available.



The major in classical civilization requires 30 hours. Classical Mythology, Roman Life, Greek Civilization and Roman Civilization are the required core courses. Six electives are chosen from the following Pre-classical Art, Greek Art, Art of Etruria and Rome, Early Christian and Byzantine Art, Ancient Greece, Roman Revolution: From Gracchi through Caesar Augustus, History of Ancient Philosophy, or any classical civilization, Greek or Latin courses not used to fulfill a foreign language requirement. Although not required, Latin and Greek language courses are highly recommended.

Why Major in Classics?

A degree in Classical Civilization covers a variety of different disciplines including, archaeology, historiography, literature, philosophy, and textual criticism. Its courses emphasize creativity, reading, interpreting, and writing, asking you to view material empathetically and from multiple perspectives and to create conclusions that acknowledge life’s complexities and nuances. Through interesting and engaging content you develop a disciplined and organized approach to learning; you grapple with life’s big questions; and you develop flexibility in considering problems and devising solutions.

A degree in Classics offers you the opportunity to develop transferable skills in a range of areas. You will be a problem-solver and critical thinker who can analyze information, draw conclusions, see different sides of an argument, and persuasively communicate. You will learn to collaborate, to have a greater awareness of yourself and of the world, and to tolerate ambiguity. You’ll be able to build sound arguments and to conduct independent research.

All of the above is valued highly by employers:

"The big benefit of a bachelor’s degree is soft skills,” says Marie Artim, Enterprise’s vice president for talent acquisition. As examples she mentions critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving. “We recognize that great talent can come from all types of institutions," Artim says, "all types of majors and backgrounds" (“Why Thousands of College Grads Start their Careers at a Rental-Car Company,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/10/2019).

Classics graduates have gone into a variety of careers, including the following:

  • accountancy and finance
  • administration
  • armed forces
  • business
  • entrepreneurship
  • graduate school Archaeology, Classics, History, Philology, Philosophy
  • intelligence
  • journalism
  • law
  • local government
  • marketing
  • medicine
  • museums
  • non-government organizations
  • recruitment
  • social work 
  • teaching, elementary, high school, or college

Sample Program

Following is a typical program for a student with two years of high school Latin. Other programs may be constructed and individual courses selected will depend on the minor chosen, personal interests, career objectives, elective possibilities and high school preparation. The numbers in parentheses indicate credit hours.

First Year

Elementary or  Intermediate Latin (6)
Greek and Roman Literature (6)


Second Year

Intermediate Latin or Latin Literature (6)
Classical Mythology (3)
Ancient Philosophy (3)


Third Year

Elementary Greek (8)
Latin Literature (3)
Ancient History (3)
Roman Life (3)

Fourth Year

Intermediate Greek (6)
Art History (3)
Latin Literature (3)

Philip S. Peek, Chair

Classical Studies Program
World Languages and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Bowling Green State University