Additional information about the classics major, classics minor, and the BA/MA degree can be found on the online Academic Catalog.
The BA program in classics is flexible, accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Possible areas of study include Greek and Latin languages and literature, ancient history, classical art and archaeology, Greek and Roman civilizations, history of sexuality and gender, ancient philosophy, mythology, and classical reception.
- Twelve courses (36 credits) are required for a major in classics.
- All majors take six Greek or Latin language courses (with at least two courses in each language).
- The other six courses are chosen from among the department’s offerings (including courses cross-listed with Classics), 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. Among these, students are strongly encouraged to complete a course in ancient Greek civilization (usually 040.103) and a course in Roman civilization (usually AS.040. l04).
* Students who began at Hopkins prior to Fall 2020 can choose to follow the earlier requirements for the Classics major, instead. For details, please consult the department’s DUS.
A student with prior Latin or Greek proficiency may enroll directly in an intermediate or advanced level course, and the prerequisite lower-level courses may be waived, provided that this enrollment is first approved by the director of undergraduate studies, department chair, or the faculty member overseeing the course in which the student wishes to enroll. The student must still take six Greek and/or Latin courses in the department, according to the requirements given above, but a maximum of two waived courses may be counted toward the six further “Classics electives” required by the major, making it possible for students with experience in Latin or Greek to meet the program requirements more quickly. Advanced undergraduates may be eligible to participate in graduate seminars, with the approval of the student’s adviser and the professor.
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 PhD 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 their sophomore year.
Classics majors have the opportunity to graduate with honors by writing an honors thesis (15,000-20,000 words) in close consultation with a faculty member. Three credits of “honors thesis research” are awarded in the spring semester of the senior year. (These credits may not be used to fulfill the basic requirements for the Classics BA, which must be met independently of any honors thesis work.)
Entrance to the Classics Honors program is contingent on outstanding performance in previous classics courses. Students wishing to pursue an honors thesis are expected to consult with the director of undergraduate studies by March 15 of the junior year to allow for adequate advising, planning, and identification of an appropriate honors thesis advisor.
A typical timeline for honors thesis research is as follows: research begins in the summer before the senior year (or earlier); further research and writing continues through the fall, with a draft of the thesis submitted early in the spring semester and a final version submitted in April.
To minor in classics, the student must complete 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.