Ancient Civilization Major

students in classroom

This major is sponsored by the School of Art and Art History and the Departments of Classics, History and Religious Studies. The major concentrates on the ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world and draws on courses offered by various departments of the University. It is not primarily a preparation for a graduate degree program in classics; nevertheless, it provides a sound basis for preparing teachers at the secondary school and junior college levels. It also provides a sound basis in liberal arts for preprofessional training in law, medicine, or the other professions.

In addition to the normal college requirements for the B.A., the following are the specific requirements of the major:

  • Ancient art or material culture (6 s.h.)
  • Ancient history (6 s.h.)
  • Ancient philosophy or religion (6 s.h.)
  • Classics (either "classics in English" courses, or Latin or Greek language courses, 9 s.h.)
  • Appropriate courses in art, history, philosophy, religion, or linguistics (3 s.h.)

Of the required 30 semester hours, at least 15 must be at the advanced level. These include courses in English numbered CLSA:3000 and above and Latin and Greek language courses at the intermediate and advanced levels CLSG:2001-2002.

To comply with the Regents' Policy on Student Outcomes Assessment, the Department of Classics has established the following method of assessing the level of achievement of students completing our two departmental majors. In the semester that a student plans to graduate, he/she must enroll in CLSA:3982 Classics Portfolio. Every student will maintain a portfolio to account for progress in attaining the objectives of the major. The required portfolio is submitted to the undergraduate advisor by midterm of the semester in which he/she intends to graduate. Formal approval of the portfolio is required for graduation.

The portfolio for majors in Ancient Civilization will include the required coversheet, the completed exit survey, and a paper or papers on some aspect of the ancient world, totaling 10-15 pages in length. At least one of these papers should demonstrate proficiency in correct use and documentation of primary and/or secondary source materials. Download the coversheet here: Microsoft Word file or pdfSee the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the exit survey. The portfolios will be filed, so please simply clip all the documents together, rather than putting them into any sort of binder. Upon successful completion of these requirements, a grade of Satisfactory will be entered for the portfolio course.

The Department of Classics offers students majoring in Ancient Civilization the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Departmental honors students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.50 in their first three years of classics courses. To graduate with honors in the major, they must complete two courses in honors reading during their final year, one each semester of the year, earning 3 s.h. of credit for each course. The readings and discussions must be on an ancient author or a field in ancient history or literature chosen by the student and his or her instructor. At the end of the second semester, the student presents a departmentally-approved, substantial research project, which is evaluated for honors by two members of the department.

Egypt and the Ancient Near East track

Along with the Ancient Civilization major, students may choose to take the Egypt and the Ancient Near East track, which concentrates on the civilizations of the east Mediterranean, specifically Egypt and the cultures of Asia Minor, from the earliest times through late Antiquity. Click here for more information.

Ancient Mediterranean Religions track

This track is intended for students who wish to study the ancient religions of the Mediterranean basin from the 10th Century B.C. through the 8th Century A.D.  It offers an innovative curriculum for exploring and comparing the many religions of that region (Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Islamic) and their associated literatures, cultures, and languages.  Click here for more information.

If you have questions about our undergraduate program or about the application procedure, please contact Rob Ketterer, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Course Selection Requirements


Course # Hours Title
ANTH:3275, CLSA:3596 3 The Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
ANTH:3276, CLSA:3235 3 Greek Archaeology and Ethnohistory
ANTH:3277, CLSA:3240 3 Roman Archaeology
ARTH:2320, CLSA:2226 3 Introduction to Ancient Art
ARTH:3161 3 Themes in Ancient Art
ARTH:3320, RELS:3704 3 Egyptian Art
ARTH:3330, CLSA:3227 3 Classical Greek Art
ARTH:3340 3 Greek Vase Painting
ARTH:3350, CLSA:3232 3 Art of Early Rome: Patrons and Politics
ARTH:3360, CLSA:3233 3 Art of the Ancient Roman Empire
ARTH:3370, CLSA:3234 3 Art and Culture in Ancient Pompeii


Course # Hours Title
CLSA:1117 3 The First Caesars: Julius Caesar to Nero
CLSA:1830 3 Greek Civilization
CLSA:1840 3 Roman Civilization
HIST/CLSA:2461, RELS:2361 3 Middle East and Mediterranean: Alexander to Suleiman
HIST:3151, CLSA:3151 3 Roman Law
HIST:3405, CLSA:3144 3 Engineering and Technology in Ancient Mediterranean
HIST:3436, CLSA:3836 3 Food in Ancient Mediterranean Society
HIST:4400, CLSA:4400 3 The Roman Empire
HIST:4401, CLSA:4101 3 Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East
HIST:4403 3 Alexander the Great
HIST:4404 3 The World of Ancient Greece
HIST:4406, CLSA:4106 3 Warfare in Ancient Mediterranean Society
HIST:4407 3 The Hellenistic World and Rome


Course # Hours Title
CLSA/HIST:2461, RELS:2361 3 Middle East and Mediterranean: Alexander to Suleiman
CLSA:3338, PHIL:3110 3 Philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome
CLSA:3340 3 Magic in the Ancient World
CLSA:3416, RELS:3716 3 Greek Religion and Society
PHIL:3111 3 Ancient Philosophy
PHIL:4152 3 Plato
PHIL:4153 3 Aristotle
RELS:1001 3 The Judeo-Christian Tradition
RELS:1070 3 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
RELS:1080 3 Introduction to the New Testament
RELS:2182, CLSA:2482 3 Ancient Mediterranean Religions
RELS:2320 3 Jesus and the Gospels
RELS:2912 3 The Bible in Film: Hollywood and Moses
RELS:3103 1-3 Biblical Archaeology
RELS:3105 3 The World of the Old Testament
RELS:3243, CLSA:3443 3 Early Christianity: From Jesus to the Rise of Islam
RELS:3245, CLSA:3445 3 Mythology and Other Worldly Journeys
RELS:3247, CLSA:3247 3 Banned from the Bible: Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha
RELS:3320, CLSA:3420 3 In Search of the Good Life
RELS:3340, CLSA:3440 3 Recovering Eden: Afterlife in Early Judaism & Christianity
RELS:3716, CLSA:3416 3 Greek Religion and Society
RELS:4352, CLSA:4452 3 The Dead Sea Scrolls


Course # Hours Title
ARAB:2001 5 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I
ARAB:2002 5 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II
ARAB:2030 2 Formal Spoken Arabic
ARAB:3011 3 Advanced Modern Standard Arabic I
RELS:4001 4 Biblical Hebrew I
RELS:4002 4 Biblical Hebrew II
SOAS:2902, CLSA:2902 4 First-Year Sanskrit: Second Semester
SOAS:3901, CLSA:3901 3 Second-Year Sanskrit: First Semester
SOAS:3902, CLSA:3902 3 Second-Year Sanskrit: Second Semester
CLSA prefix - Classics in English courses
CLSG prefix - Greek courses
CLSL prefix - Latin courses


A course in material culture, history, philosophy, religion, or linguistics chosen in consultation with the advisor.