Norlin Library
Degrees Offered: BA MA PhD Minor

Classics at CU­ Boulder ranks among the most vibrant programs in humanistic studies at the university, and is a department in which students at every level are challenged to integrate the world of scholarship into their daily lives. Classics is multicultural, because it explores the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome as well as the many peoples with whom the Greeks and Romans interacted in Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East. Classics is interdisciplinary because faculty and students in the department cross the boundaries of literature, philosophy, material culture, history and religion to study the world of antiquity. The field also covers area studies because it encompasses the Mediterranean basin and the regions that border it. The department at CU­ Boulder offers courses in language and literature, ancient history, art and archaeology and philosophy within several programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With more than 100 undergraduate majors and minors pursuing one of the several tracks offered within the department, classics at CU Boulder is one of the most successful programs in the nation.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The University of Colorado Boulder Department of Classics offers a complete sequence of courses in ancient Greek and Latin and a variety of courses in English translation on the literature, philosophy, history, art and archaeology of the ancient world. These courses are for students who are looking to fulfill their requirements in the core curriculum or major in classics, desiring to learn an ancient language or just interested in the world of antiquity. The classics major and minor are very flexible; students can tailor them to their own needs and interests. Classics faculty care about their students, know who they are and do all they can to help them succeed. 

Graduates in classics leave the university with a wide range of job skills, including the ability to pay attention to detail, memorize facts and analyze and interpret. Students’ grasp of language is vastly improved due to the study of Latin and Greek, and thus many classics majors go on to graduate school in archaeology, English, history, comparative literature, philosophy, information science and museum studies.

Graduate Studies

The Department of Classics offers the following graduate degrees: a Master of Arts in Classics, with concentration in Greek or Latin, classical art & archaeology, classical antiquity or the teaching of Latin (MAT); and a Doctor of Philosophy in Classics.

MA Tracks

The Department offers the MA in four tracks, each designed to address differing academic aspirations. Students are admitted to the program in any of these tracks, but retain the right to change their designation until the end of their second semester. Any change in degree track thereafter may only be made upon written petition and with the approval of the graduate committee. Students who elect into the Master of Arts in Classics, with concentration in Greek or Latin, pursue intensive training in Greek or Latin language and literature, often with the goal of advancing to further study in classics at the PhD level. Students who enter the Master of Arts in Classics, with concentration in classical art & archaeology, receive comprehensive and rigorous training in the art, architecture and archaeology of the ancient and classical worlds, often with the goal of advancing to further study in classical art and archaeology at the PhD level. Students with a concentration in classical antiquity are granted the greatest range of choice in course work and exams. While accommodating as much study of Greek, Latin and classical art and archaeology as the candidate desires, it also allows specialization in ancient history, religion or philosophy, or a more interdisciplinary approach incorporating, for example, museum studies or anthropology. The Master of Arts in The Teaching of Latin (MAT) is recommended for students wishing to pursue a career in teaching. Classes in the classics MAT program may be taken concurrently with classes in the School of Education. 

PhD Track

The PhD in Classical Languages and Literatures is founded on mastery of Greek and Latin. It develops the student’s ability to pursue independent scholarly research through seminars and advanced work on special topics, all of which culminates with the dissertation.

Students take courses and seminars on major ancient authors and genres, Greek and/or Latin prose composition and such special topics as literary criticism, epigraphy, paleography and numismatics.

In addition to Greek and Latin language and literature, the department has strengths in ancient history and historiography, late antiquity, philosophy and Greek and Roman archaeology.

Research Opportunities

The Classics Department office is located in the Eaton Humanities building, which also includes a department library that doubles as a special study area. Classes are taught in state­of­the­art classrooms, in the CU Art Museum or on­site in foreign locations. The department also offers extra funding opportunities for classics majors. 

The Classics Department maintains an active archeological field school, providing opportunities for archeological experience and course credit for students. Excavation, survey, artifact analysis, drafting, registration, photography and electronic recordingpossibilities all form part of the field school’s offerings.

In addition, the Classics Department works with collections owned by the University of Colorado in classes and to create online exhibits that make rare artifacts available to the public at large. Faculty and students work together to conduct research on the artifacts and their broader implications.

CU­ Boulder boasts an active and thriving undergraduate Classics Club, which fosters community, offers special events such as trips to museums, plays or movies, provides tutoring in case of need and hosts special meetings with such groups as Study Abroad or Career Services. The department also offers extensive opportunities for study abroad, and maintains affiliations with the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS) and the College Year in Athens program (CYA). ICCS offers courses in Greek, Latin, ancient history, archaeology, art, Renaissance and Baroque art history and Italian, while CYA offers courses in ancient and modern Greek, Latin, ancient history, archaeology, modern Greek culture and eastern Mediterranean studies.