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Classics Major Requirements

(See also Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

The department offers undergraduate courses in 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. These courses are open to all students in the university, regardless of their academic year or major field of interest.

The B.A. program in classics is highly flexible, accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Possible areas of emphasis include language and literature, ancient philosophy, art and archaeology, and ancient history.

Certain courses taken in other departments may count toward the major, with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS). Advanced undergraduates may participate in graduate seminars, with the approval of the DUS and the professor. With assistance from their faculty advisors, students are required to build an intellectually substantial and coherent curriculum and must take all courses for a letter grade and earn a C or better in major requirements. Students are strongly encourage to complete a course in ancient Greek civilization (usually 040.103) and a course in Roman civilization (usually AS.040. l04).

The requirements for the Classics major are:

Greek or Latin Language Courses
Six Greek or Latin language courses (with at least two courses in each language)18
Classics Electives
Six courses offered through the Classics Department or cross-listed in Classics18
Total Credits36

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.

Sample Program of Study

This sample program assumes no previous language experience; students who know some Latin and/or Greek may begin at a higher level with faculty approval.

Many Classics majors study abroad during the junior year; for these students, the four-year plan may vary in shape depending on the courses offered by the study abroad program chosen. Students intending to pursue graduate study in classics will need to do more work in Greek and Latin language than the major minimally requires: most graduate programs expect successful applicants to have studied one 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.

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.040.103 or 104 (Classics elective #1)3Classics elective #23
 6.5 6.5
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.040.111 (Classics elective #3)3 
 6 3
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Classics elective #43 
See below regarding study abroad during the junior year3 
 7 4
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Classics elective #53Classics elective #63
 3 3
Total Credits 39

Honors in Classics

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.

The Evangelia Davos Prize

The Classics Department awards the Evangelia Davos Prize each year to the classics major or minor whose work in Greek studies is outstanding.

Study Abroad

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.

BA/MA Program

The department offers a master’s degree for current Hopkins undergraduate students. Admission to the BA/MA program is restricted to current Johns Hopkins University undergraduate classics majors and is based on outstanding performance in previous classics courses. See the program  page for more information.