Classics Major, B.A.–Classical Civilization

This concentration is designed to provide students with a broad, basic knowledge of the classical world and with skills in analysis, written and oral communication, and logical argument that will be applicable in any profession. The civilization program is not designed to lead to graduate work in classics, although students do sometimes go on in the field, and it is often taken as part of a double major.

Majors in classical civilization 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 considering a major in classical civilization should consult the department as soon as possible.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • Read and translate either Latin or Greek at an intermediate level.
  • Outline the main periods and events in ancient history and discuss in detail several specific periods in that history. They will be able to relate the literatures of Greece and Rome to the historical developments.
  • Analyze and assess the various types of evidence that survive from the ancient world, including written texts, historical materials, ancient art, and a range of material remains. They will be able to employ current and standard methods and theory in such analyses. They will be able to write essays and expository papers in which they demonstrate these abilities.
  • 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
CLAS 121IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Greeks H3
CLAS 122IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Romans H3
CLAS 391IDEAs in Action General Education logo Junior Seminar3
One of the following courses:3
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Greek Art and Archaeology
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Roman Art and Archaeology
One GREK or LATN course numbered 204 or higher3
Four additional courses chosen from the following list:12
Any CLAR or CLAS course at the 200 level or above
Any GREK or LATN course numbered 221 or higher
Courses in ancient history at the 200 level or above (list below)
Courses in ancient philosophy at the 200 level or above (list below)
Courses in comparative classics (list below)
Additional Requirements
GREK 101, GREK 102, and GREK 203; or LATN 101, LATN 102, and LATN 203 1
Total Hours27

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.


The first three levels of GREK or LATN can count toward the General Education Foundations requirement.

The department course listing shows course descriptions for Classical Archaeology (CLAR), Classics in English/Classical Civilization (CLAS), Greek (GREK), and Latin (LATN).

Ancient History

HIST 225IDEAs in Action General Education logo History of Greece3
HIST 226History of Rome3
HIST 421Alexander3
HIST 422Ancient Greek Warfare H3
HIST 423Archaic Greece, 800-480 BCE3
HIST 424Classical Greece (Sixth-Fourth Centuries BCE)3
HIST 425Roman History, 154 BCE-14 CE3
HIST 427The Early Roman Empire, 14 CE-193 CE3
HIST 428The Later Roman Empire, 193 CE-378 CE3

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Ancient Philosophy

PHIL 210IDEAs in Action General Education logo Wonder, Myth, and Reason: Introduction to Ancient Greek Science and Philosophy H3
PHIL 411IDEAs in Action General Education logo Aristotle3
PHIL 412IDEAs in Action General Education logo Plato3

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Comparative Classics

ASIA 522IDEAs in Action General Education logo Beauty and Power in the Classical Indian World3

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

Hérica Valladares