Classics Major, B.A.–Classical Archaeology

This concentration focuses on the material remains of prehistoric and classical antiquity, while also providing a background in civilization, history, and at least one classical language. The program of study is designed to give students a basic knowledge of the art and architecture of the Greeks and Romans and to introduce them to the use of archaeology in the reconstruction of the past, including Egypt and the ancient Near East.

Majors in classical archaeology may not elect a minor in the classical language that they use to satisfy their major requirements, although they may elect a minor in the other classical language. Students interested in majoring in classical archaeology should consult the department as early as possible.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the classical archaeology program, students should be able to:

  • Recognize and discuss the main monuments of the Graeco-Roman world and place them within their broader historical context
  • Read either Latin or ancient Greek and interpret the literature of that language at a level appropriate for continuation in graduate school
  • Analyze and assess the material remains of classical antiquity, employing current and standard archaeological methods and theory
  • Carry out independent research projects. They will be able to propose a useful research topic, gather evidence (employing both ancient materials and secondary scholarship, as appropriate), formulate theses based on the evidence, and set out the evidence, arguments for and against the theses, and conclusions. They will be able to do this employing the methods and conventions of modern scholarship.


In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
CLAR 244IDEAs in Action General Education logo Greek Art and Archaeology3
or CLAR 262
or CLAR 375 Archaeology of Cult
CLAR 247IDEAs in Action General Education logo Roman Art and Archaeology3
or CLAR 245
CLAS 391IDEAs in Action General Education logo Junior Seminar3
Four additional courses in Classical Archaeology (CLAR), including two numbered between CLAR 400 and CLAR 699 112
Three courses in one of the following configurations:9
Three courses in Classical Civilization (CLAS), including at least one numbered 200 or above. CLAS 125 and CLAS 126 do not satisfy this requirement. 1
Three courses in GREK or LATN at any level.
Three courses combining GREK or LATN at any level and CLAS courses at any level, excluding CLAS 125 and CLAS 126. 1
Total Hours30

A first-year seminar may be used to fulfill this requirement. 

Classical Archaeology (CLAR) course descriptions.

Special Opportunities in Classics

Honors in Classics

Classics majors wishing to take part in the departmental honors program during their senior year must have a grade point average of at least 3.3 at the beginning of their senior year and maintain an average no lower than this through their final semester in order to be eligible for honors consideration.

The program consists of two courses, CLAS 691H and CLAS 692H, taken sequentially in the fall and spring semesters. CLAS 691H involves a directed reading in Greek, Latin, or archaeology in a general area of the student’s interest and is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member chosen by the student to serve as the honors advisor. Requirements of the course include the preparation of a thesis prospectus with accompanying bibliography and a preliminary oral examination by the student’s thesis committee. A grade for CLAS 691H is assigned on the basis of the total semester’s work. CLAS 692H entails the writing of the thesis under the direction of the honors advisor and a final oral defense before the candidate’s committee. This body, in turn, reports its judgment to the department. If a degree with honors is to be awarded, a recommendation for either honors or, for particular merit, highest honors is made.

Additional Opportunities

The Department of Classics supports a number of activities, including informal reading groups; the local chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national undergraduate classics honorary society; and annual oral performances and prize competitions in reciting and translating Greek and Latin texts. Several of the prize competitions involve substantial cash awards. Opportunities for undergraduate research include especially the senior honors thesis and participation in archaeological fieldwork as research assistants. The department encourages majors and minors to take part in summer archaeological field projects. Other opportunities for study abroad include the programs of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and the College Year in Athens, and the exchange with King’s College London. A number of departmental fellowships and other funding opportunities can help support participation in archaeological field projects and other research projects. Lastly, the Duke–UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology provides archaeology students access to coursework, seminars, excavations and other research opportunities, academic advising, and avenues for curricular and extracurricular interaction across both institutions. For further information about prizes, fellowships, and opportunities for research and study abroad, see the departmental website.

Department of Classics

Visit Program Website

212 Murphey Hall, CB# 3145

(919) 962-7191


Donald C. Haggis

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Al Duncan

Director of Archaeology Program

Jennifer Gates-Foster