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Bachelor of Arts in Classics

Those interested in majoring in Classics are encouraged to declare by the beginning of their junior year, but are urged to discuss their plans with the undergraduate director as early as possible. Students who choose the Greek and Latin field of study (option 5 below) should begin the curriculum as soon as possible because it is difficult to complete the language requirements without an early start; those with no previous knowledge of Latin or Greek should begin study in the freshman year, in a summer program following freshman year, or at the beginning of the sophomore year.

To declare the major, a student must fill out the Declaration of Major on Axess and meet with the undergraduate director in the Department of Classics. At that time, the undergraduate director assigns the student a department adviser. To build a mentoring relationship, students meet with their adviser at least once a quarter. The student should then schedule an orientation with the student services officer. Each student's progress towards fulfillment of the major requirements is recorded in a file kept in the student services officer's office. It is the student's responsibility to work with the adviser to keep this file up to date.

A letter grade is required in all courses taken for the major. No course receiving a grade lower than 'C' is counted toward fulfilling major requirements. Enrollment in an independent study section (CLASSGEN 160) requires the prior approval of the undergraduate director, and a maximum of three such enrollments for a maximum total of 10 units may be counted toward the major.

The B.A. degree may be earned by fulfilling the requirements for one of the following fields of study. Option 6 below describes how to add a Philosophy and Literature focus to some of the maior plans.

  1. Classical Studies: This field of study is declared on Axess. Students are encouraged to meet with the undergraduate director to discuss options for pursuing a period of study in the Mediterranean region. This major is recommended for students who wish to study classical civilizations in depth but do not wish to study the languages to the extent required by options 4, 5 and 6. It is not suitable for students who wish to do graduate work in Classics or to teach Latin or Greek in high school, as the language work is insufficient for these purposes. Courses counted for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must complete at least 60 units of approved courses including:
    1. CLASSGEN 176. Majors Seminar (WIM).
    2. at least two courses in Latin or Greek at the 100 level or higher, or one course in one of the languages at the 100 level or higher, plus the series 1, 2, 3, or 51, 52 in the other language (or an equivalent approved by the department).
    3. remaining units fulfilled by courses with the prefix CLASSART, CLASSGEN, CLASSHIS, CLASSLAT or CLASSGRK (or IHUM 39A,B or IHUM 69A). Courses listed in the department's cognate course list may also count towards the major with prior written approval from the undergraduate director; written approval must be submitted to the student services officer for inclusion in the student's academic file prior to the end of the term in which the course is taken.
  2. Ancient History: This field of study is declared on Axess. Courses chosen must be approved in advance and in writing by the undergraduate director. Approval should be submitted to the student services officer for the student's academic file. With the written approval of the instructor and the undergraduate director, students may substitute graduate seminars in ancient history for some of these courses. Students are also encouraged to meet with the undergraduate director to discuss options for pursuing a period of study in the Mediterranean region. Courses counted for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must complete at least 60 units of approved courses and must satisfy four requirements:
    1. CLASSGEN 176. Majors Seminar (WIM).
    2. Core requirement: majors must take at least two survey courses in ancient history.
    3. Depth requirement: majors must take at least 33 units of ancient history and civilization courses, drawn from courses with CLASSHIS, CLASSGEN and CLASSART prefixes. IHUM 39A,B, Inventing Classics, or IHUM 69A, History of the World, may be counted toward this requirement. CLASSGRK and CLASSLAT courses may also count toward this requirement if approved by the undergraduate director.
    4. Breadth requirement: majors must take at least 4 units in each of the following areas: archaeology and art; comparative ancient civilizations; and historical and social theory. IHUM 39A,B, Inventing Classics, may be counted toward this requirement. The courses chosen must be approved in advance by the undergraduate director, and are normally chosen from the list of areas below, although courses listed in the department's cognate course list may be substituted for one or more of these courses with prior written approval from the undergraduate director. Written approval must be submitted to the student services officer for inclusion in the student's academic file prior to the end of the term in which the course is taken.
      1. archaeology and art: for example, any CLASSART course; IHUM 40B, ARCHLGY 1/ANTHRO 3, or any 100-level archaeology course.
      2. comparative ancient civilizations: majors must take a course on the ancient world outside the Mediterranean and western Asia, such as ANTHRO 3, 97/297, 142, 100A.
      3. historical and social theory: for example, ANTHRO 1/201, 90B; SOC 1, 140, 142, 170.
  3. Greek: This field of study is declared on Axess. Beginning courses in Greek, if required, may be counted towards the total of 60 units. Relevant courses in other departments of the humanities may count towards the major with the consent of the undergraduate director. Students are encouraged to meet with the undergraduate director to discuss options for pursuing a period of study in the Mediterranean region. Courses counted for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must complete at least 60 units of approved courses including:
    1. CLASSGEN 176. Majors Seminar (WIM).
    2. a minimum of 31 units in Greek courses at the 100 level or higher. It is recommended that one of these courses be CLASSGRK 175A, although this course should not be taken until students have completed three years of Greek.
    3. at least three courses with the prefix CLASSART, CLASSGEN, or CLASSHIS (also IHUM 39A,B or IHUM 69A). Courses listed in the department's cognate course list may be substituted for one or more of these courses with prior written approval from the undergraduate director; written approval must be submitted to the student services officer for inclusion in the student's academic file prior to the end of the term in which the course is taken.
    4. the introductory Latin sequence CLASSLAT 1, 2, 3, or 51, 52, or one 100-level course in Latin (recommended); or the Sanskrit sequence SPECLANG 183A,B,C.
    5. it is recommended that students take a course in ancient history.
  4. Latin: This field of study is declared on Axess. Beginning courses in Latin, if required, may be counted towards the total of 60 units. Relevant courses in other departments of the humanities may count towards the major with the consent of the undergraduate director. Students are encouraged to meet with the undergraduate director to discuss options for pursuing a period of study in the Mediterranean region. Courses counted for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must complete at least 60 units of approved courses including:
    1. CLASSGEN 176. Majors Seminar (WIM).
    2. a minimum of 31 units in Latin courses at the 100 level or higher. It is recommended that one of these courses be CLASSLAT 175A, although this course should not be taken until students have completed three years of Latin.
    3. at least three courses with the prefix CLASSART, CLASSGEN, or CLASSHIS. Courses listed in the department's cognate course list may be substituted for one or more of these courses with prior written approval from the undergraduate director; written approval must be submitted to the student services officer for inclusion in the student's academic file prior to the end of the term in which the course is taken.
    4. the introductory sequence CLASSGRK 1, 2, 3, or 51, 52, or one 100-level course in Greek (recommended); or the Sanskrit sequence SPECLANG 183A,B,C.
    5. it is recommended that students take a course in ancient history.
  5. Greek and Latin: This field of study is declared on Axess. Relevant courses in other departments of the humanities may count towards the major with the consent of the undergraduate director. Students are encouraged to meet with the undergraduate director to discuss options for pursuing a period of study in the Mediterranean region. Courses counted for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must complete at least 60 units of approved courses including:
    1. CLASSGEN 176. Majors Seminar (WIM).
    2. 30 units in Greek courses and the same number in Latin. It is recommended that students take either or both CLASSGRK or CLASSLAT 175A, although these courses should not be taken until students have completed three years of the respective language.
    3. it is recommended that students take a course in ancient history and/or the Sanskrit sequence SPECLANG 183A,B,C.
  6. Philosophy and Literature Focus: Students who wish to add a Philosophy and Literature focus to the Classical Studies, Greek, Latin, or Greek and Latin majors should also take the courses listed below:
    1. PHIL 81. Philosophy and Literature.
    2. PHIL 80. Writing in the Major (WIM) in the Philosophy department.
    3. one course in each of the following areas:
      1. aesthetics, ethics, and social and political philosophy (PHIL 170 series)
      2. philosophy of language, mind, metaphysics, and epistemology (PHIL 180 series)
      3. history of philosophy (above 100 level).
    4. two related courses in Classics or Philosophy. Students may double count a Classics course in Philosophy or ancient science for one of the two related courses provided that this course fulfills the Philosophy and Literature requirements and is approved by a member of the committee in Philosophy and Literature.
    5. Philosophy and Literature capstone seminar—This year's capstone seminars are COMPLIT 226/GERLIT 242: Narrative and Ethics (Winter), FRENGEN 284/ITALGEN 284: Poetry and Philosophy (Autumn), and RELIGST 271A: Dante's Spiritual Vision (Autumn). One of these courses must be taken in the student's senior year.

Note 1: University credit earned by placement tests or advanced placement work in secondary school is not counted towards any major program in the department; work done in other universities or colleges is subject to department evaluation.

HONORS PROGRAM

A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 within the major is required for students to enroll in the honors program. To be considered for honors in Classics, the student must select a professor who can supervise his or her honors thesis. A preliminary proposal, approved by the supervisor, is due April 15 of the junior year, and a final version is due at the beginning of the senior year. The proposal must outline the project in detail, list relevant courses that have been taken, and name the supervisor. The department gives approval only if a suitable faculty supervisor is available and if it is satisfied that the student has a sufficient basis of knowledge derived from department course work in the general areas the thesis covers, such as art, Greek, Latin, history, literature, or philosophy. If the proposal is approved, the student may sign up for CLASSGEN 199, Undergraduate Thesis: Senior Research, during the senior year for a maximum of 6 units per term, up to an overall total of 10 units. Honors are awarded only if the essay receives a grade of 'B+' or higher from the supervisor and a second reader, who is chosen by the department. In addition, students must graduate with a GPA of 3.6 or higher within the major to receive honors.

STUDY ABROAD

Funding—Undergraduates whose record in Classics indicates that they are qualified may apply for funding from the Department of Classics. Students must submit a proposal to the undergraduate director as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Grant Application; see the undergraduate page at http://classics.stanford.edu for the application. The proposal should include an itemized list of expenses based on the fees charged by the program, including room, board, tuition, and other expenses. Food expenses are not normally reimbursed unless they are an integral part of the program package. Limited funding is available each year; preference is shown to students with strong records.

Programs—

  1. Rome: Classics majors are encouraged to apply for the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, which is managed by Duke University for about 50 constituent colleges and universities (http://studyabroad.duke.edu/home/Programs/Semester/ICCS_Rome). It is open to Stanford majors in Classics, History, and Art History. All courses receive full credit at Stanford and may be applied to the respective major. Students interested in this program should consult the undergraduate director and the ICCS representative in the Department of Classics as early as possible in their career at Stanford to plan their course preparation and application. Competition is strong, and applicants are expected to have taken one or more courses in Roman history and at least one year of Latin before they arrive in Rome. Brochures are available at the department office. ICCS now also offers a program in Sicily, http://studyabroad.duke.edu/home/Programs/Semester/ICCS_Sicily.

    Other programs offer a quarter, semester, or summer session in Rome. Interested students should consult with the Bing Overseas Studies Program (http://bosp.stanford.edu).

  2. Greece: students are encouraged to apply for the summer session at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (http://ascsa.edu.gr). The school is recommended principally for Classics majors with at least two years of ancient Greek. A student wishing to apply should prepare by taking courses in Greek history, archaeology, and art; beginning modern Greek is strongly recommended. Applicants should see the undergraduate director early in the academic year. Other programs such as College Year in Athens (http://cyathens.org) offer a quarter, semester, or summer session in Greece. Interested students should visit the Bing Overseas Studies Program in Sweet Hall.

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