University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Classics

Undergraduate Degrees

The undergraduate classics major gives the student an understanding of the cultures, languages and literatures of ancient Greece, Rome and the Mediterranean world.

Classics is a broadly interdisciplinary field. Most courses focus on ancient Greece and Rome, but students in the department also study the impact of classical cultures on later societies and the interactions among various ancient cultures. USC is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies and the College Year in Athens program, and classics majors are encouraged to spend a semester in Rome or Athens. The classics major is also encouraged to explore courses in allied fields such as ancient philosophy, history, comparative literature, art history and archaeology.

Classics Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts

The major in classics has three tracks, with distinct but overlapping emphases. In the Classical Languages and Literatures track, students acquire advanced reading knowledge of one or both classical languages (Greek and Latin) and study the literature of Greece and Rome in historical and cultural context. In the Classical Humanities track, students study Greek and Roman intellectual, literary and aesthetic achievements and their impact on later traditions, while also acquiring basic reading knowledge of one classical language. The Ancient Civilizations track emphasizes study of society, politics and history of Greece, Rome and other civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world in comparative perspective.

All three tracks emphasize critical thinking as well as practice in written and oral presentation as hallmarks of a liberal arts education.

Requirements for tracks are as follows:

Track I. Classical Languages and Literatures

Recommended Preparation–any of the following:
CLAS 150 The Greeks and the West 4
CLAS 151 Civilization of Rome 4
CLAS 280 Classical Mythology 4
COLT 101 Masterpieces and Masterminds: Literature and Thought of the West 4
CORE 102 Cultures and Values: Thematic Option Honors Program 4
HIST 101 The Ancient World 4
Language Requirement
At least six semesters (or equivalent via placement) of Greek or Latin; three semesters of the other; four semesters of 300 or 400 level language total
Upper Division Requirements
Seven courses total; at least four of which must be upper division Greek or Latin, two additional upper division Greek, Latin, or Classics, and one capstone.
Capstone: (enroll in Classics 410ab)
Analytical paper, oral presentation, sight reading exam in either Greek or Latin
Track II. Classical Humanities

Breadth Requirement–any one of the following
CLAS 150 The Greeks and the West 4
CLAS 151 Civilization of Rome 4
CLAS 280 Classical Mythology 4
COLT 101 Masterpieces and Masterminds: Literature and Thought of the West 4
CORE 102 Cultures and Values: Thematic Option Honors Program 4
HIST 101 The Ancient World 4
Language Requirement
Completion of at least one Greek or Latin course numbered 200 or above.
Upper Division Requirements
Minimum seven courses, of which at least four must be from Greek, Latin, or Classics; two from Greek, Latin, or Classics or from the approved list of outside electives maintained by the major adviser; one capstone.
Capstone: (enroll in Classics 410ab)
Analytical or research paper; oral presentation; oral examination.
Track III. Ancient Civilizations

CLAS 101 The Ancient World, or 4
CLAS 150 The Greeks and the West, and 4
CLAS 151 Civilization of Rome 4
Upper Division Requirements
Minimum nine courses of which at least five must be upper-division courses in classics, Greek or Latin; three either upper-division courses in classics or from the approved list of outside electives maintained by the major adviser; and one capstone. One of the upper-division courses must include study of a classical civilization other than Greece and Rome.
Capstone: (enroll in Classics 410ab)
Research paper, oral presentation.

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Archaeology

See Religion for a complete listing.

Classics Minor

The classics department minor requires one language course at the 100-level or above.

One course from either A or B:

A.
CLAS 150 The Greeks and the West 4
CLAS 151 Civilization of Rome 4
CLAS 280 Classical Mythology 4
B.
Second and third semester Latin or Greek courses:
GR 150 Greek II 4
GR 220 Greek III 4
LAT 150 Latin II 4
LAT 222 Latin III 4
Four upper-division courses (16 units) drawn from classics course offerings in classics, Latin or Greek

Total: 6 courses

Minor in Critical Approaches to Leadership

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies for course requirements.

Honors Program

Candidates for honors must maintain a 3.5 GPA in major courses, including a grade of A or A minus in the capstone course. In addition, candidates for honors in the Classical Languages and Literatures track must pass a sight translation exam in either Greek or Latin; candidates in the Classical Humanities and Ancient Civilizations track must pass a comprehensive exam set by the department.

Students Anticipating Graduate Study in Classics

Students interested in attending graduate school in classics are advised to take as many courses in Greek and/or Latin as possible.