Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics

Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages and Cultures

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Why Choose Classical Languages and Cultures?

  • To learn more about the foundations of Western Civilization.
  • To learn how the Greek and Latin languages have shaped English.
  • To study multiple aspects of ancient societies in an integrated manner.
  • To study how classics shapes American political thought and history.
  • To develop the skills of critical thinking and effective writing employers demand.
  • To learn to appreciate material culture in its social and historical context.
  • To improve research skills.
  • To prepare for graduate school in classics or to teach high school Latin

Classics is the foundation of Western Civilization, from Bronze Age Greece to the Fall of Rome. It encompasses a wide variety of subjects, including language, literature, history, history and philosophy of science, political science, philosophy, art history, archeology, and mythology.

Studying classics will teach you to think holistically about societies in the past. At the same time, you can see parallels in modern society. Our Founding Fathers looked to the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome to draft the documents by which we Americans live. Ninety percent of English words over two syllables come from Latin. The majority of medical and scientific terms are based on Greek and Latin. Classics can help you discover and rediscover new things in every aspect of your life.


Careers

“We can’t overestimate the value of a Classics major.” — The Princeton Review

A classical languages and cultures major can prepare you for many different careers. This program encourages you to write effectively and to learn how to develop your own ideas. You will learn to think critically about a topic or problem, analyzing its elements, and writing clear and effective evaluations. These are skills required by most professions.

After graduation, you will be equipped to look for employment in diverse fields and to move into different fields as your career develop. Possibilities include the following:

  • Education
  • Science and technology
  • Museum work
  • Writing and publishing
  • Archeology
  • Government and foreign service positions
  • Business

Graduate and Professional School

Studying classics has been correlated with higher scores on the standardized exams required of students applying to law school (LSAT), graduate school (GRE), and medical school (MCAT). Classics majors are, therefore, able to choose from a wide variety of professional careers.

Recent graduates have gone on to graduate programs in classics and to teach high school Latin. Others have gone on to law school and careers in the business world. The classical humanities major also equips you for a career that requires additional graduate or professional education. It provides an excellent foundation for many professions, including the following:

  • Education
  • Law
  • Business, especially international business
  • Medicine

Pre-Law Program

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical languages and cultures and complete the pre-law program of study at the same time. You simply take the pre-law courses as your electives. With careful planning and the proper preparation, you can do this in four years.

Combining these two programs of study may also improve your career options. Increasingly, law schools are looking for well-rounded students who have the strong critical thinking, writing, and communication skills the classics major provides.

For further information, contact the Pre-Law Program or Ava Chamberlain, Chair, Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics.

Pre-Med Program

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical languages and cultures and complete the pre-med program of study at the same time. You simply take the pre-med courses as your electives. With careful planning and the proper preparation, you can do this in four years.

Combining these two programs of study may also improve your career options. Increasingly, medical schools are looking for well-rounded students who have both strong science training and broad interpersonal and intercultural skills.

For further information, contact the Pre-Health Program at cosm-prehealth@wright.edu or Ava Chamberlain, Chair, Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics.

Teaching

Primary and Secondary School Teaching

At Wright State, you can be trained to teach Latin on the K-12 level. You will major in Latin and complete the necessary teacher education courses simultaneously, and graduate fully prepared for the job market.

For more information, contact Dr. Rebecca Edwards and check out the program description of the Latin licensure program.

College and University Teaching

Teaching cassics at the college and university level requires graduate education, a master's degree at a minimum and most commonly a doctoral degree (Ph.D.). Applying for graduate school requires careful planning and preparation. If you are interested in pursuing graduate work in classics or a related field you should discuss with your faculty advisor a variety of issues:

  • Areas of specialization
  • Language requirements
  • Applying to the right schools
  • Taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Obtaining letters of recommendation
  • The job market

For more information about schools which offer advanced degrees in classics, visit the website of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

View the classical languages and cultures program profile for sample occupations, average salary, and employment projections.


Real-World Experience

Classical languages and cultures majors are encouraged to enhance their programs of study by pursuing opportunities for experiential learning, such as the following:


Academics and Curriculum

The core of the classical languages and cultures major consists of the Greek and Latin languages.If you wish to major in classics, you must take one or both of these languages. You will also take courses in ancient history, art history and archeology, literature, mythology, and other specialized subjects.

  • Wright State Core: The Wright State Core includes three classes that provide you with a foundation for future study in cassics. All are recommended for classics students:
    • Introduction to Greek and Roman Culture (CLS 1500) provides an overview of Greek and Roman history and culture. Fulfills the history requirement in the Core curriculum (Area 3).
    • Introduction to Classical Mythology (CLS 1600) provides an overview of Greek and Roman Mythology. Fulfills the arts and humanities requirement in the Core curriculum (Area 4).
    • Great Books (CLS 2040) introduces students to a sample of literature from ancient Greece and Rome. Fulfills the arts and humanities requirement in the Core curriculum (Area 4 IW)
  • Foreign Language: Students majoring in departments in the College of Liberal Arts must take one foreign language through the 2020 level. The Latin and/or Greek courses required of all Classics Majors fulfill this foreign language requirement.
  • Classics Electives: Language courses beyond the required 2 ½ years may be used as electives.
  • Capstone Project: All classics majors have to complete a capstone project (CLS 4100) during either their junior or senior years. You will work closely with a professor on an advanced research project, in conjunction with enrollment in an upper-level classics course. Students completing a departmental Honors project may substitute 3 hours of CLS 4970 for CLS 4100.

View Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages and Cultures program information and requirements in the Academic Catalog.

Classical Languages and Cultures Major Checklist (PDF)

Classical Languages and Cultures Course Descriptions


Admission

  • New students: Review the college admission requirements and complete the admission application. Identify that you will be majoring in classical languages and cultures.
  • Transfer students: Contact the Transfer Admissions Office, as well as the department chair, Dr. Ava Chamberlain, to explore how this major can work for you.
  • Current students: If you wish to change majors, go to the WINGS Express major/minor change request form and change your major. If you are an undecided/exploratory student, talk to the department chair, Dr. Ava Chamberlain, to learn how this major can work for you.

 


Take the Next Step

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