Classical Studies

2014-15 General Catalog

Department of History
201 Humanities
(831) 459-2982



Program Description

“Classics” is a traditional designation for the study of the literature, history, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Classical studies at UCSC combines features of traditional programs, such as solid grounding in ancient Greek and/or Latin, with innovative, interdisciplinary approaches (literary theory, gender studies, performance, and film).

Classical studies is an interdisciplinary field. While the core of the program is focused on courses in the ancient Greek and Latin languages it also includes courses in history, history of art and visual culture, linguistics, literature, philosophy, politics, religious studies, and theater arts. Students are encouraged to study the literary and material artifacts of Greece and Rome within the larger context of ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures.

The classical studies program offers an opportunity to work in small classes with a dedicated teaching faculty and excellent fellow students. Classical studies is an excellent preparation for further study in a wide variety of graduate and professional programs including comparative literature, English, philosophy, law, and publishing.

The basic requirements for the classical studies major allow a variety of emphases and concentrations. For example, students with an interest in contemporary philosophy and political theory might want to concentrate in Greek, taking upper-division courses in Greek, history, philosophy, and politics. Students with an interest in European literature might want to concentrate in Latin, taking upper-division courses in Latin, history, and literature in translation. Students planning on pursuing a classics degree at the Ph.D. level should concentrate most of their coursework in the Greek and Latin languages themselves.

Classical studies is administered by the Department of History. For additional information on curriculum and advising, go to

Requirements for the Major

A prerequisite for the classical studies major is the lower-division sequence in elementary Greek or Latin language (Greek 1 and 2 or Latin 1 and 2). A minimum of 40 upper-division units must be completed within the classical studies major course requirements.  The major requires a total of 10 courses plus a senior comprehensive examination and must include the following:

  • one lower-division survey of ancient history or literature in translation;

  • three upper-division courses in Greek or Latin literature;

  • six additional approved upper-division courses (which may include additional courses in Greek or Latin literature);

  • enrollment in a 2-credit comprehensive examination preparatory course, History 199F, is required in the same quarter that the senior comprehensive examination will be given. The preparatory course will be taken with the chair of the student’s examination committee.

Comprehensive Requirement. Classical studies majors are required to pass a senior comprehensive examination. Each student shall identify a minimum of two classical studies faculty members to serve on the examination committee, one of which shall be designated as the committee chair. Please consult the classical website for a more detailed description of this requirement at

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement in classical studies is satisfied by completing two upper-division courses in Greek literature or Latin literature from the following list: Greek Literature 102, 103, 104, and 105; or Latin Literature 102, 103, and 104.

Honors in the Classical Studies Major. All students who announce candidacy during the academic year are reviewed for honors or highest honors in the major. The classical studies faculty advisers determine honors based upon courses applied toward the classical studies major. Performance in courses taken elsewhere and being transferred toward the major will be considered when applicable. The minimum standard applied is excellence in most courses for honors, and excellence in all courses for highest honors. Summer, fall, and winter graduates will be reviewed at the end of each of their respective quarters. Spring graduates will be reviewed as of the spring announcement of candidacy deadline.

Requirements for the Minor

A minor in classical studies requires the lower-division sequence in elementary Greek or Latin language (Greek 1 and 2 or Latin 1 and 2) and Greek or Latin Literature 100 plus any four of the upper-division courses listed as satisfying the classical studies major requirements.

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Revised: 09/01/14