Classics

The Classics Department offers a rigorous but flexible B.A. program, giving students strong grounding in the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome while also accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Classes are small and students work closely with their professors and instructors. Undergraduate students may have the opportunity to enroll in graduate seminars and are encouraged to spend a semester or summer overseas in either Italy or Greece. Along with the Department of Near Eastern Studies, the Classics Department also co-administers the archaeology major.

Academic Details

Overview of the Undergraduate Curriculum

All majors take a minimum of four language courses (Greek and/or Latin), two of which must be at the intermediate level or above. Majors must also take at least two ancient history courses as well as a range of classes in classical art, archaeology, and culture.

Honors Opportunities

The Classics Department offers both an honors option as well as a 5-year B.A./M.A. program. In order to earn honors, senior classics majors have the opportunity to write an honors thesis in close consultation with a faculty member. This work of guided research and writing counts for three credits and is outside the requirements for the major.

Students interested in the 5-year B.A/M.A. program are expected to declare their interest during the fall semester of their junior year and will be admitted on the basis of outstanding performance in previous classics courses. The requirements for the B.A. are completed in the student’s fourth year, while the fifth year is devoted to the M.A. During that time, students take graduate-level coursework and complete a thesis representing original research. The B.A. and M.A. degrees are conferred concurrently at the end of the M.A. year.

Student Stories

Research

Robert Powers, a B.A./M.A. student in classics who graduated in 2012, wrote his M.A. thesis on contemporary playwrights who have produced stage adaptations of various ancient Greek myths. As part of his research, Powers taught a special intersession course and workshop at Johns Hopkins in which other students wrote short film or theater scripts based on ancient myths. The plays were staged and screened on the Johns Hopkins campus as “Promiscuous Prometheus” in February 2012.

Philosophy and classics double major Grady Stevens ’13 used his Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award to examine the evolution of the concept of justice in Greek thought from the fifth through the fourth centuries BCE. To read more about the project, visit the award’s website.

Internships

A number of classics students with an interest in ancient art and archaeology have held the prestigious Hall Fellowship at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.

Study Abroad

The Department of Classics is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, which offers year-long, semester-long, or summer programs in Greece and Italy (e.g. the college year in Athens and the summer session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Resources

Related Student Groups

Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations Club (AACC)

Prometheus (Johns Hopkins undergraduate philosophy journal)

Hellenic Students Association

Campus & Baltimore Resources

Johns Hopkins Archeological Museum

The Walters Art Museum

Majors & Minors Programs