Be a thinker for progress

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481_main umm classics
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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 the major in Classics with concentrations in either Classical Languages or Classical Studies. The Classical Languages concentration provides intensive training in Greek and Latin, and provides 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 Studies concentration also provides excellent all-around preparation, but offers students the chance to focus on ancient history, culture, literature and philosophy.

Major requirements


Learning Goals and Requirements for the Classical Studies Concentration

  • 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.


Learning Goals and Requirements for the Classical Languages Concentration

  • 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.



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. 


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  • Government and Foreign Service
  • Law
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Secondary Education

Graduate Schools

  • The University of Chicago
  • University College of London
  • Indiana University
  • New York University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Cal. Berkeley
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Duke University
  • Cornell University
  • University College of Dublin
  • Florida State University