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 major 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.

More information about the requirements for the Major in 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.

Accordingly, 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.

In addition to courses listed under “Classics,” some courses offered by the Art History, History and Philosophy departments 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 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.