Our Programs: Classical Studies

Ancient Greece and Rome, and the ancient Mediterranean world at large, are central to Western culture. They have shaped the art and architecture, literature and philosophy, and also the social and political institutions of Western civilizations.

Rice’s well-known program in Classical Studies offers courses across the entire field of Greek and Roman culture, from the study of classical languages to Greek and Roman literature and the influence of Greece and Rome throughout history.

We offer a major that leads to a B.A. in Classical Studies as well as three different minors that allow students to pursue their interests in ancient Greece and Rome: the minor in Classical Civilizations, the minor in Greek Language and Literature, and the minor in Latin Language and Literature.

More information about the requirements for the major and these three minors in the program of Classical Studies can be found in the General Announcements or by contacting the Program Advisor, Hilary Mackie.

Students come to the study of ancient Greece and Rome with a whole spectrum of different interests. Some will want to concentrate on learning the ancient languages and reading classical texts in original Greek or Latin. Others will desire a broader introduction to the cultures of Greece and Rome and their legacy. With this in mind, Classical Studies provides maximum flexibility without sacrifice of focus. We cater to students who wish to prepare for graduate school in classics, and also to students who are interested in Greek and Roman culture for other reasons and wish to take a less specialized approach.

The Major

For the major, the Classical Studies program offers two specializations to satisfy the requirements for a B.A. The Classical Languages Specialization emphasizes the ancient languages and reading classical texts in the original; the Classical Civilizations Specialization allows for a broader set of approaches and does not include a language requirement.

For the Classical Languages Specialization, students must complete 30 semester hours (10 courses) listed under Greek, Latin or Classics, including six hours (two courses) at the 300 level or higher; two of the following four courses: CLAS 107 Greek Civilization and Its Legacy, CLAS 108 Roman Civilization and Its Legacy, CLAS 235 Classical Mythology, and CLAS 336 Introduction to Indo-European; one course in Greek at the 200 level or higher; one course in Latin at the 200 level or higher; and one course in either Greek or Latin at the 300 level or higher.

For the Classical Civilizations Specialization, students must complete 30 semester hours (10 courses) listed under Greek, Latin or Classics, including: six hours (two courses) at the 300 level or higher; and two of the following four courses: CLAS 107 Greek Civilization and Its Legacy, CLAS 108 Roman Civilization and Its Legacy, CLAS 235 Classical Mythology, and CLAS 336 Introduction to Indo-European.

The Minor

Students can also opt to enroll in one of our minors. The minor in Classical Civilizations does not include a language requirement, while the minors in Greek Language and Literature and in Latin Language and Literature offer students an exciting entry point into the classical world through the study of either ancient Greek or Latin. Few students might be aware of this, but knowledge of Latin, for instance, is an extremely helpful preparation for a career in law and medicine. And in contrast to the major in Classical Studies, which requires 30 credit hours (10 courses), the minors require 18 credit hours (6 courses).

In addition to courses listed under “Classical Studies,” some courses offered by the departments of Art History, History, and Philosophy also satisfy requirements for the classical studies major. For advice, consult any member of the classical studies faculty. Classical Studies majors will also, if they wish, have the opportunity to engage in research and write a senior thesis on a topic of the student’s choice and in close consultation with a faculty member. Faculty also help students arrange travel and study abroad to Greece or Italy, whether to work on a dig or to study at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.


STUDENT AWARDS AND PRIZES

The Kristine Wallace Prize

The Kristine Wallace Prize is awarded to a graduating major in Classics with an outstanding academic record who has contributed exceptionally to the program.