The Department of Classics offers a rigorous yet flexible BA program, giving students strong grounding in the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome while also accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Classes are small and students work closely with their professors and instructors.
The department offers undergraduate courses in ancient Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, as well as a variety of courses on the history, civilization, religion, art, archaeology, philosophy, law, and mythology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.
Classics majors are also encouraged to spend a semester or summer overseas in Italy or Greece, and also have the option of working toward a five-year BA/MA co-terminal degree.
Learning Goals for Classics Majors
Upon graduating with a BA degree in classics at Johns Hopkins, students will:
- Read a minimum of the two ancient languages (ancient Greek or Latin) at an intermediate level of competence: translating accurately, moderately difficult ancient texts in the relevant language(s); and to identify and effectively use appropriate lexical and grammatical tools as necessary.
- Analyze and interpret the products of cultural activity from the ancient Mediterranean world (principally written texts and visual or material objects) in their original contexts.
- Express their analyses and interpretations in precise, organized, reasoned, persuasive language, in writing or orally as necessary.
- Locate, read, understand, and incorporate into their written or oral analyses modern scholarship, in at least two modern scholarly languages, on whatever question they are addressing. These two modern languages are normally English and either French, German, or Italian.
- Have had the opportunity to pursue a substantial independent research project under faculty guidance. Normally this project takes the form of a BA honors thesis; for students enrolled in the concurrent BA/MA program, it takes the form of a master’s thesis.
The Department of Classics is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and can provide information on other yearlong, 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. Contact the director of undergraduate studies to find the program that best suits your interests.
Additional information can be found on the Office of Study Abroad website.