What can I do with a classics degree?

The short answer is: just about anything. Given the great range and depth of knowledge required of the field—language, culture, philosophy, history—the study of classics at UVM leaves students very well prepared to lead fulfilling, informed lives and to pursue a variety of fruitful careers.

Many UVM classics majors go on to graduate study in classics, philosophy, comparative literature, history, art history, or medieval studies; others enter the professions of law, business, or medicine; still others are employed immediately in secondary education, museums, publishing houses, journalism, and a wide range of business endeavors. But because of the broad interdisciplinary focus of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum, classics majors are equipped with a broad range of transferable skills, enabling them to succeed in any profession.

Classics majors tend to be successful because they master grammar and syntax, expand their vocabulary, and learn intellectual rigor, communication skills, and analytical skills. They also possess the ability to handle complex information, and, above all, a breadth of view which few other disciplines can provide. 

  • Mark Lippman

    Making the classics come alive

    UVM classics alumnus Michael Lippman (M ‘98) recently received the Society for Classical Studies 2018 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level. He was a relative latecomer to the discipline having majored in English and history at Emory University. When he decided to concentrate on the classics, his former teacher Alden Smith advised him to go to UVM. (Now a professor of classics at Baylor University, Smith had received his masters in classics at UVM and highly recommended the program).

    Lippman realized he had some catching up to do in his Latin and Greek. After completing a year of intensive language studies, he arrived at UVM where he acquired the basic background in Classical literature and history. “It was essentially a crash course in all the things I would have learned as an undergrad. It put me on a solid footing for launching my academic career.”

    At UVM, Lippman found a tightly-knit department centered on the individual student, and his two years in Burlington was a formative experience. He studied under several prominent professors at UVM including Robert H. Rodgers, Barbara Saylor Rodgers, Robin Schlunk and Z. Philip Ambrose, who was his advisor on his thesis "Telemonian Ajax in the Iliad.  He also remembers very influential marathon reading sessions with Professor of Classics Jacques Bailly, who had just begun his teaching at UVM. “It was after the semester closed--we'd get our coffee in the morning and read The Illiad eight hours straight for about 3-4 days.” 

    “UVM was where I learned to make my way in the profession,” he recalls. “I was a graduate instructor, so I had the opportunity to teach there. The Rogers’ both supported my interest in teaching self-paced Latin and Greek language studies.”

    Read more of Mark's story.



A degree of difference

Graduates from the department routinely go on to advanced study in the classics or related fields. A small sample of these institutions include:

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