The Department of Classics provides the experience of a small liberal arts school in the stimulating atmosphere of a Research-1 university. Our majors and minors are grounded in the most traditional subjects: languages, literature, history, philosophy, art, archaeology and religion. Our students are encouraged to test that knowledge in modern theoretical classes in women’s studies, gender and sexuality, anthropology, religious studies, and even ancient magic.
In Classics, faculty and students get to know each other well. For example, professors lead study abroad trips, where instruction combines with first-hand experience of these rich cultures. Watch for City of Athens and City of Rome courses, which feature these trips. Students are encouraged to use the lounge and small study area in the department on the second floor of the Jefferson Building in downtown Iowa City. The many nearby coffee houses, book stores and art galleries provide an intellectually engaging ambience in which students can meet and explore their interests further.
There are coffee hours held every semester where faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and friends of classics, meet and talk. These coffee hours are the occasion for student and faculty readings of Latin and Greek, sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi, the classics honors society. The department maintains the classics-info listserv to notify students of university events of special interest to classicists, opportunities for study abroad, archaeological digs, jobs, further education, and to remind students of deadlines. Email the webmaster to be added to the list.
Study in Classics provides a solid foundation for graduate work in classics, law, history, art, philosophy, archaeology, anthropology, comparative literature and religion.
There is an acute, nation-wide shortage of Latin teachers. Students double-majoring in Classical Languages (Latin) and Education (for certification) will frequently have several positions to choose from by the time they graduate.
There are two majors, Classical Languages, which is centered on Latin and Greek, and Ancient Civilization, which is an interdisciplinary major not requiring these languages. In addition, students majoring in Ancient Civilization may choose to specialize with the Egypt and the Ancient Near East track or Ancient Mediterranean Religions track.
A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is also available. It is designed for students who have a B.A., but do not have enough Latin and/or Greek to continue on in graduate school, seminary, or other programs.
If you have questions about our undergraduate program or about the application procedure, please contact Rob Ketterer, Director of Undergraduate Studies.