Villanova's Classical Studies program is concerned first and foremost with the Greek and Latin languages and literatures, but also embraces the study of ancient history, art and archaeology, philosophy, political thought, and religion.
Why pursue Classical Studies?
Whether pursued as a major or minor, or studied as an elective, Classical Studies provides a great foundation for an undergraduate liberal arts education. Some Classical Studies students choose to pursue graduate study in the field, some choose to teach Classics in secondary schools, while others pursue careers in such fields as law, medicine, and business.
Path to a Ph.D.
The Greek and Latin track in our M.A. program is useful for students wishing to pursue further graduate study of the Classics in a Ph.D. program. Professors who are also published scholars teach students the protocols of academic writing and research, working closely with them in small seminars.
Teaching in Secondary Schools
Both the B.A. and the M.A. in Classical Studies are important for those interested in teaching secondary-school Classics. Latin, especially, has regained popularity at this level, and qualified teachers are in demand. The National Committee for Latin and Greek (www.promotelatin.org) sponsors a National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week in early March each year and The American Classical League (www.aclclassics.org) posts searchable job openings for the entire United States.
The Classical Studies program offers Latin Teaching Certification in conjunction with the Education Department.
Professional Schools and Other Careers
Now more than ever, employers and professional schools are attracted to students who have received a rigorous classical education, one that enhances their writing and thinking abilities, their powers of analysis, their breadth of vision, and their problem-solving skills. Having a background in Classics strengthens your cv for graduate and professional work in any area and also enhances your performance on graduate and professional exams.
One of the most important--but most neglected--benefits of a classical education is that it helps students develop their own philosophy of life. The classics pose life's central questions with power, concision, and beauty: what is it to be human? what is it that matters most, and how do we best live our lives? The classics help develop our quality of mind and add to our storehouse of wisdom, which one of the seven sages of ancient Greece, Bias of Priene, called the most precious possession we can take on our journey through life.
A Second Major or a Minor
Many students find Classical Studies to be an excellent option for a double major or a minor, especially since so many of our courses can also count towards the core curriculum requirements. The interdisciplinarity of the Classics, as well as its seminal importance for many disciplines, broadens the vision of students majoring in a host of other fields. Here are just some of the aspects of the classical world which are relevant to other disciplines:
- Philosophy: the writings of Plato and Aristotle
- English: influences of the classical world on British writers
- Theology: the context of the beginnings of Christianity
- History: the ancient Greek and Roman period
- Political Science: the beginnings of Greek democracy and law
- Biology: the Latin and Greek etymology of medical terms
- Theatre: Greek and Roman tragedy and comedy
- Art History: classical art and archaeology
- Engineering: classical architecture
- Modern Languages: foundation for Romance languages, comparative linguistics
In the field of Classical Studies, there is truly something to interest everyone.