Twelve (12) credits are required; students must earn a grade of at least C- in each course (per College policy, courses taken as “pass/low-pass/fail” may not be counted toward the major or minor).

All classical studies majors must complete five core courses:

  • Two semesters of ancient/biblical Greek or Latin, at any level. Most students will fulfill this requirement with two semesters of the same ancient language, which may also be used to fulfill the College’s second language requirement. A student who fulfills the language requirement with a single course by entering the sequence above the 100-level may take the second semester of this requirement in a different ancient language, including Biblical Hebrew (when offered by the religious studies department).
  • CLCV 203. Classical Mythology. This survey course provides an introduction to classical literature and culture, as well as an introduction to classical reception studies. Typically offered every fall semester.
  • CCLCV 111. Introduction to Classical Art and Archaeology or another material culture course approved by the department chair.
  • CLAS 401. Senior Seminar. The department’s senior exercise also fulfills the Writing Intensive Part II requirement.
  • Remaining credits will be fulfilled with a combination of departmental courses (CLAS, CLCV, GREK, LATN) and extra-departmental electives selected in consultation with each student’s adviser. These electives are customarily drawn from anthropology, art history, English, film studies, history, language & culture studies, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and women, gender & sexuality.

Classical studies majors choose one of these two concentrations:

  • Classical language. Students who choose this track complete at least six (6) credits worth of coursework in ancient/biblical Greek and/or Latin. Biblical Hebrew (when offered by the religious studies department) may be acceptable in combination with Greek or Latin, upon consultation with the major adviser. Credits earned in fulfilling the language distribution requirement for all majors, and toward the College’s second language requirement, may be applied to the six credits needed for this concentration.
  • Cultures & societies of the ancient Mediterranean world. Students who choose this track complete at least six (6) credits worth of coursework in English on various aspects of the many cultures and societies that compose the ancient Mediterranean world, e.g. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Jewish, and Christian cultures and societies.

The Plan B major: Under this plan, students may combine ancient Greek or Latin with any of the languages taught in the department of language and culture studies. A minimum of seven courses in a primary language and five in a secondary language is required, as well as two courses in a cognate field or fields (e.g., ancient art, Greek and Roman history, archaeology). A paper integrating the three fields of study must be completed in one of the primary language upper-level courses. Except under exceptional circumstances, this project will be undertaken in the primary language section’s senior seminar and must be done at Trinity College.


Honors. The award of honors is determined by the excellence of the candidate’s work in courses and in a senior thesis written under the direction of a faculty member in the department. To earn honors, a student must earn an average of A- or better in the courses completed in fulfilling major requirements and an A- or better on the thesis.

Preparation for graduate study. For students who wish to pursue graduate study, command of both classical languages is essential; a reading knowledge of French and/or German is also recommended. For courses in Biblical Hebrew, see the offerings of the religious studies department; for post-classical languages, see the language and culture studies department.

Study away. For special programs at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies at Rome, Trinity College’s Rome Campus, or summer excavations, see “Special Curricular Opportunities,” p.~\pageref{specialcurricularopps:specialcurricularopps}. The department also recommends programs in classics and ancient history offered by universities in the United Kingdom.

Prizes. Seven prizes are offered annually for achievement in Greek and Latin translation: the Williams Prize for First-Semester Greek; the Williams Prize for First-Year Greek; the Barbour Prize for Intermediate Greek; the Notopoulos Prize for Beginning Latin; the Notopoulos Prize for Intermediate Latin; the Goodwin Prize for Advanced Greek; and the Title Prize for Advanced Latin. In addition, three types of study away prize to fund J-Term and summer study are granted on the basis of an essay contest: the Williams Prize for Summer Greek Study, the Notopoulos Prize for Study of Ancient Italian Culture, and the Goodwin Prize for Study of Ancient Greek Culture. Two additional prizes are open only to senior majors: the Williams Professionalization Prize and the Notopoulos Presidential Fellow Prize. For further information, see the section on prizes.