Combining personalized instruction and in-depth encounters with ancient culture

The Department of Classics provides the close-knit experience of a small liberal arts school in the stimulating atmosphere of a Research-1 university. Our majors and minors are grounded in the most traditional subjects: languages, literature, history, philosophy, art, archaeology and religion. Our students are encouraged to push and expand our traditional understanding of the ancient world through modern theoretical and thematic classes in race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, anthropology, religious studies, sustainability, and even ancient magic.

Why We're Unique

In the Department of Classics at UI, faculty and students get to know each other well. For example, professors lead study abroad trips (link to our study abroad page) , where instruction combines with first-hand experience of these rich cultures. Watch for City of Athens and City of Rome courses, which feature these trips. Students are encouraged to use the lounge and small study area in the department on the second floor of the Jefferson Building in downtown Iowa City. The many nearby coffee houses, book stores and art galleries provide an intellectually engaging ambience in which students can meet and explore their interests further.

Engage With Us

The department holds coffee hour events every semester where faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and friends of Classics meet and talk. These coffee hours are the occasion for student and faculty readings of Latin and Greek, sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi, the classics honors society. The department maintains the classics-info listserv to notify students of university events of special interest to classicists, opportunities for study abroad, archaeological digs, jobs, further education, and to remind students of deadlines. Email the webmaster to be added to the list.

Impact Your Future

Study in Classics provides a solid foundation for graduate work in classics, law, history, art, philosophy, archaeology, anthropology, comparative literature and religion. We’ve successfully placed graduating students in graduate and law schools around the country and are pleased to provide students with experiences that prepare them for this atmosphere. Students double-majoring in Classical Languages and Education will frequently have several positions to choose from by the time they graduate.

Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Civilization

The Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Civilization is a flexible program that allows students to study ancient Greece, Rome, the Near East, and Egypt from 3000 BCE to 800 CE. Ancient Civilization majors work primarily in the English language, with their studies distributed between the areas of literature, history, religion, philosophy, art, and archaeology.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • knowledge of major literary works and written sources from the ancient Mediterranean world (either in translation or their original language);
  • familiarity with the physical world (both public and private) in which ancient Mediterranean people lived through the study of their art and archaeology;
  • confidence in the religious and ethical mindset of ancient peoples through a broad understanding of mythology, religion, and philosophy; and
  • understanding of the impact that the political, intellectual, and social environments of the people from the ancient Mediterranean have on our own modern culture.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages

The Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages cultivates and hones students’ skills in Classical languages like ancient Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Students can study a wide variety of linguistic and cultural aspects of the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, the Near East, and Egypt from 3000 BCE to 800 CE.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • confidence when reading the ancient Greek, Latin, and/or Hebrew languages at an intermediate to advanced level;
  • knowledge of major literary works and written sources of the ancient Mediterranean world;
  • transferable linguistic and analytic skills by studying the ancient languages that stand behind the vocabulary and structure of English and the Romance languages; and
  • understanding of the impact that the political, intellectual, and social environments of the people from the ancient Mediterranean have on our own modern culture.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Minor in Ancient Civilization

Because much of our modern society is strongly influenced by the past, a minor in Ancient Civilization is an ideal combination with any major, especially students focusing in English/Creative writing, Religious Studies, Anthropology, History, Political Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, Psychology, and much more. Minors can work entirely in the English language, with their studies distributed between the areas of literature, history, religion, philosophy, art, and archaeology.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • knowledge of a variety of literary works and written sources from the ancient Mediterranean world in translation, acquired through coursework in history, culture, mythology, religion, or philosophy;
  • familiarity with the physical world (both public and private) in which ancient Mediterranean people lived through the study of their art and archaeology; and
  • understanding of the impact that the political, intellectual, and social environments of the people from the ancient Mediterranean have on our own modern culture.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Minor in Classical Languages

A minor in Classical Languages is an excellent way to solidify your skills in the modern English language, while expanding your interest in ancient Mediterranean cultures. Students gain a solid understanding of both ancient Greek and Latin.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • confidence when reading the ancient Greek and Latin languages at an intermediate to advanced level;
  • knowledge of major literary works and written sources of the ancient Mediterranean world; and
  • transferable linguistic and analytic skills by studying the ancient languages that stand behind the vocabulary and structure of English and the Romance languages.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Minor in Greek

A minor in ancient Greek is an excellent way to formalize intermediate abilities in the language achieved while completing the World Languages GE or exploring an interest in reading famous authors and philosophers (Homer, Plato, etc.) in their native language.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • confidence when reading ancient Greek at an intermediate to advanced level;
  • knowledge of major literary works and written sources from the ancient Greek world; and
  • understanding of the impact that the political, intellectual, and social environments of the people from ancient Greece have on our own modern culture.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Minor in Latin

A minor in Latin is an excellent way to formalize intermediate abilities in the language achieved while completing the World Languages GE or exploring an interest in reading famous authors and philosophers (Ovid, Cicero, etc.) in their native language.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • confidence when reading Latin at an intermediate to advanced level;
  • knowledge of major literary works and written sources from the Roman world; and
  • understanding of the impact that the political, intellectual, and social environments of the people from ancient Rome have on our own modern culture.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Minor in Health and the Human Condition

A minor in Health and the Human Condition adds a humanistic component to the study of medicine, combining science-based coursework with multi-cultural and historical approaches to the field. Minors study various important topics such as global health inequities, gerontology, contraception and birth control, and ancient science.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • comprehension of the history and philosophy behind modern medicine and the human body; and
  • familiarity with multi-cultural and temporal perceptions of healing, aging, and approaches to medicine.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Certificate in Medieval Studies

The Medieval Studies Certificate is an interdisciplinary program designed to offer students an introduction to the history and culture of the Middle Ages and to provide them with the tools necessary to pursue a more advanced study of these periods in a number of disciplines including: languages and literatures, philosophy, history, and art history.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • a broad understanding of the historical significance of the centuries that span the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the modern era; and
  • the ability to analyze modern areas as law, religion, philosophy, language, art, and music as they developed from the Middle Ages onward.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Classics

This program is designed for students who have a B.A. but do not have sufficient skills in Latin and/or Greek to continue on in graduate school, seminary, or other programs that require multiple years of both languages. Students in the Post-Baccalaureate program will take 3 courses a semester from the graduate or undergraduate classes offered at The University of Iowa in areas that are appropriate for the student's long-term goals. The program is typically one year in length, but students may continue if it is deemed appropriate by the faculty.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • intermediate to advanced comprehension of classical languages like ancient Greek and Latin; and
  • improvement in writing and communication skills for graduate school applications or other advanced studies focusing on the ancient world.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.