Classics

Through consultation with the undergraduate advisor, the bachelor’s degree in classics is tailored to the student’s interests in the field. Major and minor programs can be arranged with a concentration in either Latin or Greek or a combination of the two, with a focus on classical literature, culture, and thought (including mythology, literature, philosophy, religion, art, archaeology, and history) or with a particular emphasis on classical history, art, and archaeology. Prospective majors and minors should consult with the undergraduate advisor.

The undergraduate degree in classics emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • the fundamental outlines of the history of Greek and Roman literature, from Homer to the end of classical antiquity; 
  • the historical and cultural contexts of particular works; and
  • the art, religion, and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome and their roles in world cultural history.

In addition, students completing the degree in classics are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • read, understand, and interpret written documents and works of literature in ancient Greek or Latin where relevant, as well as in translation;
  • communicate in spoken and written form with adequate clarity and complexity for the relevant audience; and
  • read and think critically.

Interested students are encouraged to consult classics.colorado.edu/undergraduate for more information.

Course codes for this program are CLAS, GREK, and LATN. 

Bachelor's Degree Program(s)

Bachelor’s Degree in Classics

Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below, including at least 18 credit hours of upper-division courses.

Track I: Greek, Latin, or Greek and Latin

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours 

  • Greek and/or Latin—30
    Note: Students should designate either Greek or Latin as the primary field of language study. The introductory sequence, 1013-1023 or 1014-1024, of the primary language does not count toward the major. If a student also takes the second language, all credits taken in that language as well as any other Greek and Latin credits above the 1000-level count toward the major. If a student has learned the equivalent of the introductory sequence in the primary language before beginning language study at CU and begins language instruction in the department at the 2000-level or above, all credits in both languages immediately count toward the major. 
  • Electives (classical literature, culture and thought or ancient history, art and archaeology courses listed under Tracks II and III)—6

Track II: Literature, Culture, and Thought

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours 

  • Classical literature, culture, and thought (CLAS 1010, 1030, 1100, 1110, 1115, 1120, 1140, 2020, 2100, 2110, 2610, 3820, 4040, 4110, 4120, 4130, 4140, 4840; HEBR 1030; PHIL 3000) —18
  • Ancient history, art, and archaeology (CLAS 1051, 1061, 1509, 2009, 2019, 2041, 3039, 3049, 4021, 4031, 4041, 4061, 4071, 4081, 4091, 4109, 4119, 4129, 4139, 4149, 4169, 4199, 4209, 4219, 4761, 4849; HIST 3011)—12
  • Greek and/or Latin—6
    Note: Students should designate either Greek or Latin as the primary field of language study. The introductory sequence, 1013-1023 or 1014-1024, of the primary language does not count toward the major. If a student also takes the second language, all credits taken in that language as well as any Greek and Latin credits above the 1000-level count toward the major. If a student has learned the equivalent of the introductory sequence in the primary language before beginning language study at CU and begins language instruction in the department at the 2000-level or above, all credits in both languages immediately count toward the major. 

Track III: History, Art, and Archaeology

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours 

  • Ancient history, art, and archaeology (CLAS 1051, 1061, 1509, 2009, 2019, 2041, 3039, 3049, 4021, 4031, 4041, 4061, 4071, 4081, 4091, 4109, 4119, 4129, 4139, 4149, 4169, 4199, 4209, 4219, 4761, 4849; HIST 3011)—18
  • Classical literature, culture, and thought (CLAS 1010, 1030, 1100, 1110, 1115, 1120, 1140, 2020, 2100, 2110, 2610, 3820, 4040, 4110, 4120, 4130, 4140, 4840; HEBR 1030; PHIL 3000)—12
  • Greek and/or Latin—6
    Note: Students should designate either Greek or Latin as the primary field of language study. The introductory sequence, 1013-1023 or 1014-1024, of the primary language does not count toward the major. If a student also takes the second language, all credits taken in that language as well as any Greek and Latincredits above the 1000-level count toward the major. If a student has learned the equivalent of the introductory sequence in the primary language before beginning language study at CU and begins language instruction in the department at the 2000-level or above, all credits in both languages immediately count toward the major. 

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in classics, students should meet the following requirements:

  • Declare the classics major by the beginning of the second semester. 
  • Students must consult with a major advisor to determine adequate progress toward completion of the major.

Minor in Classics

The department offers a minor in classics for students who would like to study the world of antiquity, but don't have the time to devote to a major. Students are subject to the College of Arts and Sciences minor requirements, including:

  • A minimum of 18 hours, all with a grade of C- or better, in the minor
  • A minimum 2.00 GPA for courses in the minor
  • A minimum of 9 upper-division hours in the minor

The specific requirements for completion of the classics minor are as follows:

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours

Track I: Greek and/or Latin Language and Literature

  • Greek and/or Latin—12
    Note: Students should designate either Greek or Latin as the primary field of language study. The introductory sequence, GREK 1013-1023 or LATN 1014-1024, of the primary language does not count toward the minor. If a student also takes the second language, all credits taken in that language as well as any other Greek and Latin credits above the 1000-level count toward the minor. If a student has learned the equivalent of the introductory sequence in the primary language before beginning language study at CU and begins language instruction in the department at the 2000-level or above, all credits in both languages immediately count toward the minor. 
  • Electives (classical literature, culture, and thought; or ancient history, art, and archaeology courses listed under Track II)—6

Track II: Classical Studies

  • Classical literature, culture, and thought (CLAS 1010, 1100, 1110, 1115, 1120, 1140, 2100, 2110, 2610, 3330, 3820, 4040, 4110, 4120, 4130, 4140, 4840; PHIL 3000)—6 or 9
  • Ancient history, art, and archaeology (CLAS 1041, 1051, 1061, 1509, 2009, 2019, 2020, 2100, 2110, 3039, 3049, 4021, 4031, 4041, 4051, 4061, 4081, 4091, 4119, 4139, 4149, 4169, 4199, 4761, 4849, HIST 3011)—6 or 9
  • Greek and/or Latin—3
    Notes: Students must elect 6 hours each in the Classical Literature, Culture, and Thought group and the Ancient History, Art, and Archaeology group. 3 remaining hours may be elected in either group.
  • Note: Students should designate either Greek or Latin as the primary field of language study. The introductory sequence, GREK 1013-1023 or LATN 1014-1024, of the primary language does not count toward the minor. If a student also takes the second language, all credits taken in that language as well as any Greek and Latin credits above the 1000-level count toward the minor. If a student has learned the equivalent of the introductory sequence in the primary language before beginning language study at CU and begins language instruction in the department at the 2000-level or above, all credits in both languages immediately count toward the minor. 

Graduate Degree Program(s)

Master’s Degrees in Classics

Candidates may choose to emphasize Greek, Latin, classical art and archaeology, classical antiquity, or the teaching of Latin (MAT). Visit classics.colorado.edu/graduate-degrees-classics.

It is expected that students opting for the teaching of Latin either have achieved accreditation at the secondary level or are planning to do so through the School of Education. The MA degree alone does not satisfy the state requirements for certification.

Degree Requirements. Candidates for the MA degree in Latin or Greek are required to complete at least six graduate level courses in Greek and/or Latin and to pass a written examination in translation of the major language. Students intending to pursue the PhD in classics are strongly advised to develop proficiency in both Latin and Greek, and to acquire a reading knowledge of German, French, or Italian.

Candidates for the MA degree in classical art and archaeology are required to complete at least two graduate-level courses in Greek and/or Latin and five graduate-level courses in ancient and/or medieval art and archaeology (of which at least one must be at the 5000-level or above [not 4000/5000] and one must be a preapproved nonclassical course). In addition, they must pass written examinations on Greek and Roman art and archaeology. Students intending to pursue the PhD in classical archaeology are strongly recommended to develop proficiency in both Latin and Greek and to acquire a reading knowledge of German, French, or Italian. With the approval of the associate chair for Graduate Studies, graduate-level classes in Greek or Latin may be substituted for classical archaeology or history.

Candidates for the MA degree with emphasis on classical antiquity are required to complete at least two graduate-level courses in Greek and/or Latin and must pass a written examination in two of the following fields: history, art and archaeology, religion and mythology, philosophy and political theory, and Greek or Latin translation.

Candidates for the MA Plan I (24–27 hours of course work at the 5000-level or above, plus 3–6 credit hours of thesis) take an oral comprehensive examination in defense of the thesis. Candidates for the MA Plan II (30 credit hours at the 5000-level or above, without thesis) must have departmental approval and pass an oral comprehensive examination covering their course work and reading lists for their exams.

Candidates for the MA degree with emphasis on the teaching of Latin must pass a written examination in Latin translation and an oral comprehensive examination on teaching methods and their own Latin teaching project. Thirty hours of course work, including one Latin workshop and a special project, are required. Plan I is not offered for the MA degree with emphasis on teaching.

Doctoral Degrees in Classics

Candidates for the PhD in classics must meet the following requirements (see classics.colorado.edu/classics/phd):

  1. A minimum of 42 hours of course work at the 5000 level or above (excluding thesis and accelerated courses). Course work completed in the MA program at the University of Colorado, or up to 21 hours of graduate credit transferred from another institution, may be applied toward this requirement. Courses should be distributed as follows:
    a. Four 7000-level graduate seminars (at least one each in Greek and Latin).
    b. Two courses in ancient history and/or classical archaeology.
    c. One course in either Greek or Latin prose composition.
    d. Two courses in special fields such as epigraphy, law, linguistics, literary theory, medieval studies, palaeography, papyrology, philosophy, or religion, as approved by the associate chair for graduate studies.
  2. A minimum of 30 hours of doctoral dissertation credit with no more than 10 of these hours in any one semester. No more than 10 dissertation hours may be taken preceding the semester of taking the Oral Comprehensive Examination. Up to 10 hours may be taken during the semester in which the student passes the comprehensive examination.
  3. A reading knowledge of German and one other modern foreign language (normally Italian or French). Proficiency is tested by a one-hour written translation test using a dictionary. Students may take a Foreign Language Exam at any time by arrangement with the associate chair for graduate studies. Students are encouraged to pass both modern language exams before the end of the third semester and required to do so before the end of the fourth semester in the PhD program.
  4. Preliminary Examinations in Greek and Latin. Two written examinations of three hours each, each consisting of two hours of translation and one hour of analysis of texts. The translation portion of each exam will consist of two out of three prose passages and two out of three verse passages for a total of about 100 lines. On each exam, four of the passages for translation (two prose and two poetry) will be drawn from the relevant reading list posted on the department’s website; the other two will not. Each written examination will be followed by a one-hour oral examination that covers the range of Greek or Latin literature represented by the reading list and tests the candidate’s general knowledge of the primary sources and literary history. There will be two administrations of each exam per year, in the fall and spring. Students are required to pass both exams by the end of the second semester in the PhD program (or the second semester beyond the MA). Successful completion of the MA in Track I or the equivalent at another university, as determined by the graduate committee, will satisfy one of these examination requirements.
  5. Comprehensive Examination. Two written examinations of three hours each on two topics or authors chosen in consultation with faculty members selected by the student and approved by the graduate committee, to be chosen from the following broad areas: language and literature, ancient history, archaeology, philosophy, or religion. In selecting the topics for these examinations, students are required to demonstrate balance in the fields of Greek and Roman culture, as determined by the graduate committee. The written comprehensive examinations will be administered twice per year, typically during the last two weeks of the term. Successful completion of the written examination is followed by a two-hour oral exam on Greek and Roman culture within the area of the student’s chosen specialization, which should coincide with the student’s intended dissertation topic. Students are required to complete these exams by the end of their fourth semester in the PhD program.
  6. Dissertation Prospectus. To be circulated to the dissertation advisory committee for approval by the end of the fifth semester in the PhD program.
  7. Dissertation. To be completed by the end of the eighth semester in the PhD program.
  8. Final Examination (upon submission of dissertation). Two hours of oral defense of the dissertation.