Be a thinker for progress

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Majoring in classics is a superb instrument in exploring the broad liberal arts landscape. It combines rigorous technical training, an immersion in outstanding literature and art, and deep historical, philosophical and theological study. Perhaps the oldest of academic fields, it inspires and informs contemporary research and provides avenues to many different careers and professions. And the career options are endless — the study of classics at UVM leaves students ready to pursue a variety of fruitful careers in a most informed state of mind. Explore careers in the Classics.

The UVM Classics department offers three majors: Greek, Latin, and Classical Civilization. The Greek and Latin majors are language intensive and provide superb preparation for students interested in going to graduate school in Classics or a related field (like archaeology, linguistics, or ancient philosophy), or to become a secondary school teacher. The Classical Civilization major also provides excellent all-around preparation, but offers students a bit more flexibility. For example, all Greek and Latin language courses count towards it as do some related courses taught in other departments. Many students double-major in Classical Civilization and another field of interest.


Learning Goals and Requirements for Majors in Classical Civilization

  • That students possess a broad and detailed knowledge of Greek and Roman history (chronology, institutions, major figures and events, cultural practices and values) and that they be able to situate classical authors, literary genres, and particular works within an historical context;
  • That they understand the nature of evidence and can use and evaluate it appropriately (e.g., primary v. secondary sources, evidence from art and archaeology, the transmission history and state of extant authors' works, etc.);
  • That they have an informed appreciation of the pervasive influence of the Greek and Latin Classics over the centuries up to and including the present day.

Requirements for Classical Civilization (B.A.) 

Learning Goals and Requirements for Majors in Greek and/or Latin

  • That students have a good working knowledge of the morphology, vocabulary, syntax, and idiom of ancient Greek/Latin prose and poetry;
  • That they have accurate knowledge of, and sensitivity to, the historical and literary context of key works of Greek/Latin literature (e.g., authors, genres, periods, characters/persons, reception/influence);
  • That they are familiar with the methods of analysis (both literary and historical) used in interpreting ancient literature.

Requirements for Greek (B.A.) 
Requirements for Latin (B.A.) 
List of Related Courses (PDF)
Self-Paced Greek Contract and Self-Paced Latin Contract


Beyond the classroom

actors performing HelenUVM faculty and students in the department actively share the richness of classical heritage through community collaborations. A recent example is a newly crafted production of Euripides’ “Helen," in honor of retiring faculty member Z. Philip Ambrose.

“We thought there would be public interest in staging ancient Greek drama in Burlington, and we think ‘Helen’ is a good test of that,” explains Franklin. “In its own day it was considered somewhat avant garde, a quasi-comedic whitewash of Helen of Troy who, instead of abandoning Menelaos to run off with Paris and cause the Trojan War, remains virtuous and is sent by the gods for safe-keeping in Egypt. The play shows that not all tragedy is ‘doom and gloom’ –it can also be fun and thought-provoking."

This production, presented March 22-25 at the Black Box Theater in Burlington, featured a new translation written by UVM classics faculty members and some of Ambrose’s former students—two of whom are now teaching in the department (Professor Mark Usher and Associate Professor Angeline Chiu). Classics students were  primary performers and crew members—members of the greater Burlington community contributed music and acting skills to the production. 

A Magnet School for Classics Majors

Residents of Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut who wish to major in Latin and/or Greek at UVM are eligible for a substantial “Tuition Break” (around $7,800.00 on average) through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Regional Student Program. Students must be enrolled each term in at least one class that contributes to a Greek or Latin major. The discount should be applied automatically for entering students who have declared a Greek and/or Latin major. Current UVM students who change their major to Greek and/or Latin must alert the Registrar’s Office that they are now eligible for the NEBHE Tuition Break. The Tuition Break cannot be applied retroactively to semesters already completed. We are happy to advise prospective students: please contact to schedule a telephone appointment.


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