The Department of Classics regularly offers undergraduate courses in Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, as well as a variety of courses (on a rotating basis) in the history, civilization, religion, art, archaeology, philosophy, law, and mythology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. These courses are open to all students in the University, regardless of their academic year or major field of interest.
Learn more about the interdepartmental major in Archaeology
The B.A. program in classics is highly flexible, accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Twelve courses (36 credits) are required for a major in classics. All majors take a minimum of four language courses (Greek and/or Latin), two of which must be at the 200 (intermediate) level or above. Majors must also take at least two history courses, for example the introductory Greek and Roman Civilization courses (040.111 and 040.112). The other six courses are chosen from among the department's offerings, in consultation with the student’s adviser in the Classics Department, so as to build an intellectually substantial and coherent curriculum that fits the student's interests. Certain courses taken outside the Classics Department may count toward the major, with the adviser's approval. Advanced undergraduates may be eligible to participate in graduate seminars, with the approval of the student’s adviser and the professor. The major also requires a reading knowledge (i.e., second-year proficiency) in French or German or Italian.
Students planning to pursue graduate study in classics will need to do substantially more work in Greek and Latin than the minimum requirements listed above: most Ph.D. programs expect successful applicants to have studied one ancient language for at least three years and the other for at least two. Therefore, students interested in graduate work should be engaged in a language-intensive curriculum by the end of the sophomore year.
Under this program senior classics majors have the opportunity to write an honors thesis in close consultation with a faculty member. This work of guided research and writing counts for three credits and is outside the requirements of the major. This program awards a B.A. with honors.
The Department of Classics is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and can provide information on other year-long, semester-long, or summer programs in Greece and Italy (e.g. the College Year in Athens and the summer session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens). Interested students, especially classics majors and minors, are encouraged to consider these options for studying overseas.
The requirements for the minor in classics are extremely flexible: six courses (18 credits) from among the department's offerings. These courses are selected, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Classics, to meet the needs and interests of the student. Minors may wish to pursue the study of one ancient language or create a curriculum that meshes with their other academic pursuits. Interested students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Classics.
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Admission to the B.A./M.A. program is based on outstanding performance in previous Classics courses.
Students considering a five-year program are expected to declare their interest during the spring semester of their junior year. Prior to application, students must consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, their faculty advisor, and the department administrator. A formal graduate application must be submitted no later than November 15 of the fall semester of the senior year in order for admission to the program in the spring of the senior year, thus meeting the requirement for concurrent status. In the student's senior (fourth) year, they are to devise a program that would best prepare them to do advanced work in their final (fifth) year, in particular addressing any weakness in one or the other classical language. The student is to complete the requirements for the B.A. in their fourth year. For the M.A. the following additional work is required:
Four semesters (12 credits) of Latin and/or Greek, six credits of which must be above the intermediate level (Latin 040.207, Greek 040.205),
Two graduate seminars in the Classics Department,
Demonstrated reading knowledge of one of three modern languages: French, German, or Italian,
A thesis of 20,000 to 25,000 words representing original research. The thesis will be supervised by a member of the Classics Department faculty and graded by the supervisor and a second reader from Classics or an outside department.
Exceptionally well-prepared students may apply for the B.A./M.A. program, with prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Department Chair, in the spring of their junior year. In this case it is possible to complete the bachelor's/master's degree in four years. These students are expected to express their interest to the department by the fall term of their junior year; the application deadline is March 15 of the spring semester of the junior year.
The B.A. and M.A. degrees are conferred concurrently at the end of the M.A. year. Please note that the department does not award degrees during the summer; students are expected to complete the degree requirements in conformance with the university Graduate Board spring deadlines. Specific departmental and Graduate Board deadlines are communicated to the student in due course.
Each year the Classics Department awards the Evangelia Davos Prize to an undergraduate major or minor in Classics whose work in Greek studies has been outstanding. This cash prize was established in 2007 by a gift from Peter Davos ’00 (B.A. Classics) and is named in honor of his aunt.
To date, the Evangelia Davos Prize winners are as follows:
- 2007: Helena Franceschi
- 2008: Rebecca Gordon
- 2009: Elspeth Berry
- 2010: Zachary Epstein-Peterson
- 2011: Robert Powers
- 2012: Nancy Hoffman
- 2013: Nissa Cheng
For a listing of courses offered through the Department of Classics, see the JHU Online Academic Catalog. For current course offerings and archived listings from recent semesters, see the current course schedule for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and click on “Classics.”
For additional information on undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, including information on departments and programs of study, calendars, and admissions information, please see the main pages for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
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