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Classics and Ancient Studies


Requirements for the Majors in Classics and Ancient Studies

Fulfilling the Foreign Language requirement

Students may fulfill the foreign language requirement in Greek by completing Greek V1202, or in Latin by completing Latin V1202, or by completing one course in Greek or Latin at the 3000 level or above. In rare instances, the language requirement may be fulfilled by passing an exemption examination with a sufficiently high grade. This examination tests the student's knowledge of grammar and her ability to translate written Greek or Latin.

Major in Classics


The major in Greek is fulfilled by taking Greek V 3996x Major Seminar, one term of Greek V3996 (senior thesis); either Greek W 4139, Elements of Greek Prose Style or one term of Greek W 4105-6, History of Greek Literature,* as well as five other courses above the elementary level in Ancient Greek.


The major in Latin is fulfilled by taking Latin V 3996x Major Seminar, one term of Latin V3996 (senior thesis), either Latin W 4139 Elements of Latin Prose Style or one term of Latin W 4105-6, History of Latin Literature,* as well as five other courses in Latin.

*Students planning to go on to graduate study in classics are strongly urged to take both semesters of Greek or Latin W 4105, W 4106. Majors in Latin, especially those who have begun their study in high school, are strongly advised to take at least two semesters of Greek.

In addition, one semester of ancient history appropriate to the major and two relevant courses in ancient art, classical civilization or literature, ancient philosophy, or religion are required for either the Greek or the Latin major. Students who do not opt to take a term of either Greek or Latin W4105-6 are required to take CLLT W4300, The Classical Tradition, as one of their three required courses in translation.

A student may elect to major in both Greek and Latin (Classics) by completing the major requirements in one language and five courses above the elementary level in the other.

Major in Ancient Studies

Each student, after consultation with the Barnard Chair, chooses an advisor whose field is closely related to her own and with whom she will plan her senior essay.

A total of 36 points are required in the major, including at least four courses in one geographical area or period; courses in at least three departments to ensure proper interdisciplinary training and expertise; the elementary sequence of a relevant ancient language; the appropriate history course; ANCS V 3995 The Major Seminar, and at least the first semester of Ancient Studies ANCS V 3998, V 3999 (senior essay). Ancient language courses may be used toward the major requirement; however, where a second ancient language is offered, one second-year sequence must be offered for a student to gain credit for the first year. As noted above, an annual list of the courses meeting the requirements for Ancient Studies in any particular year appears separately on the website.

Requirements for the Minors in Classics, Modern Greek, and Ancient Studies.

Minor in Classics

The minor in Greek or Latin requires five courses above the elementary level.

Minor in Modern Greek

The Minor in Modern Greek requires five courses above the elementary level. Modern Greek courses are taught entirely at Columbia.

Minor in Ancient Studies

The minor in Ancient Studies requires five courses that focus on either the Greek or the Roman Worlds. At least one course in either Greek or Roman history is required. The student then selects four other courses in translation that concentrate either on Greece or on Rome or combine a study of the two cultures. Interested students should consult the department and the Classics and Ancient Studies website on selecting a complimentary and coherent set of courses for this minor.