The Classics major gives students an understanding of the cultures, languages, and literatures of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean world. Classics is a broadly interdisciplinary field. Most courses focus on ancient Greece and Rome, but students in the department also study the interactions among various ancient cultures, from the prehistoric Near East to the late antique Mediterranean, and the impact of classical cultures on later societies.
The department offers an array of options in major and minor courses of study, each emphasizing different sets of skills and different types of knowledge about classical antiquity.
The major in classics has three tracks, with distinct but overlapping emphases. In the Classical Languages and Literatures track, students acquire advanced reading knowledge of one or both classical languages (Greek and Latin) and study the literature of Greece and Rome in historical and cultural context. In the Classical Humanities track, students study Greek and Roman intellectual, literary and aesthetic achievements and their impact on later traditions, while also acquiring basic reading knowledge of one classical language. The Ancient Civilizations track emphasizes study of society, politics and history of Greece, Rome and other civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world in comparative perspective.
The classics department minor requires one lower-division Classics course or one third-semester Latin or Greek course, and four upper-division Classics, Latin or Greek courses.
One course from either A or B:
A. Lower division Classics courses
- CLAS 101g The Ancient World Units: 4
- CLAS 150gp The Greeks and their Legacies Units: 4
- CLAS 151gp The Legacy of Rome Units: 4
- CLAS 160gp Ancient Lives Units: 4
- CLAS 280gp Classical Mythology in Art and Literature Units: 4
B. Third semester Latin or Greek courses:
- GR 220 Greek III Units: 4
- LAT 222 Latin III Units: 4
Four upper-division courses (16 units) drawn from classics course offerings in Classics, Latin or Greek
Total: 5 courses
The interdisciplinary minor in Classical Perspectives provides immersion in foundational ideas, texts and histories of the Greco-Roman tradition that speak to more contemporary topics and areas of study. How did the Greeks and Romans view love and sexuality, justice and mercy, wisdom and honor, war and peace, glory and shame? What insights might classical perspectives provide into artistic and political choices, professional practices, ethical controversies and social issues in other ages; or, into the study of psychology, sex, gender and sexuality, international relations, race relations, cinema, the sciences, business, theatre or popular culture?
The interdisciplinary 20-unit minor is meant to be easily adapted to any student’s program of study and allows students to double-count General Education and Thematic Option Honors courses. Students choose 20 units from the list below in consultation with a Classics faculty member or staff adviser. No more than 12 units may be taken in any one USC Dornsife department or USC school.
TOTAL: five courses
Because of the great flexibility built into the Classics major and minor, students are encouraged to have their course schedule approved by the undergraduate adviser regularly (every semester for majors).
To monitor the fulfillment of degree requirement students should consult Isaura Peña in the USC Dornsife Office of Advising. To discuss long range plans and interests, students should meet with Professor Lucas Herchenroeder, Director of Undergraduate Studies.