FAQs

I didn't study Latin in high school. Can I still be a Classics major?

Absolutely! The department offers elementary courses in Greek and Latin. Many classes are also taught in translation.

Do I need to take Latin or Greek to study Classics?

Classics majors must complete at least three courses in Latin and/or Greek at the 201-3 or 300 level. Classics minors have the option to study a language.

What are the requirements for Classics majors?

Students may choose to concentrate in (1) Greek and Latin, (2) Latin, or (3) Greek. All tracks can be completed with a minimum of 12 courses beyond the language prerequisites. For more information, please see the major requirements.

What are the requirements for Classics minors?

Students may earn a minor in Latin, in Greek, or in Classical Studies. Each option allows students to survey aspects of classical culture and classical traditions or to take a more focused cluster of courses. For more information, please see the minor requirements.

Can I substitute classes from other departments to fulfill major/minor requirements?

Yes! Select courses offered by other departments (such as anthropology, philosophy, and political science) may count toward a classics degree. These courses are called “Classical Traditions.”

What research opportunities are there for Classics majors?

Classics majors are required to take a research seminar (Classics 395), which teaches the methods of proper scholarship. Students also have the opportunity to write a senior thesis, working closely with a professor to study a topic in greater detail. The University offers funding opportunities to projects which require travel or special accommodations.

 

What study abroad opportunities exist for Classics majors?

Students may study abroad for a summer, quarter, or entire year to contextualize primary sources studied in the classroom within their material cultures and landscapes. Students have recently enrolled in such programs as the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, the Arcadia Center for Hellenistic Studies in Athens, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The curricula of these programs include numerous visits to museums and archaeological sites.

In summer 2014, Professor Taco Terpstra is taking students to his excavation at the Villa San Marco in Stabiae. This opportunity allows students to become directly involved in the creation of scholarship.

For study abroad information see Weinberg's Study Abroad information.

Why should I study Classics?

The cultures of ancient Greece and Rome have had a profound influence on the development of Western civilization in literature, history, philosophy, art, and religion; the study of classics, therefore, strongly complements other disciplines. Students also acquire the transferable abilities to think critically and write effectively, useful in any endeavor. On top of that, the department is just plain fun!

For another perspective, check out an article written by a recent alumna.

What do Classics majors do after they graduate?

Our students are well prepared to succeed after college. Recent majors have gone on to graduate school and employment in fields as varied as medicine, law, art history, business, secondary education--and even Classics!

How can I get involved with Classics outside of the classroom?

Students may join Eta Sigma Phi, the national undergraduate honor society for students of ancient Greek and Latin. At Northwestern, Eta Sigma Phi is an active student group that sponsors intellectual and social events, trips to Chicago theaters and museums, free film screenings on campus, and an annual celebration and prize award ceremony. In spring 2014, the group will co-sponsor a marathon reading of the Iliad.

Students may also attend weekly brown bag lunches to learn about their professors’ research. They may also participate in internships at the Field Museum and National Hellenic Museum, for example, to complement their classroom education.

Can I write a senior thesis?

Absolutely! Many Classics majors choose to embark on a rigorous and rewarding project to demonstrate their classical scholarship, studying in depth a topic that interests them. Students writing a thesis work with one professor for two quarters, usually Fall and Winter of their senior year. Completing a thesis is one of the requirements for departmental honors.