Apr 18, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog


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OFFICE: Arts and Letters 662
TELEPHONE: 619-594-5186 / FAX: 619-594-1004

Chair: Levitt, Risa, Professor of Religious Studies (B.A., York University, Canada; M.A., University of Toronto, Canada; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Smith, Joseph A., Associate Professor of Classics (B.A., University of Rochester; M.A., University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., University of Southern California)

Emeritus Faculty:

Eisner, Robert E., Ph.D., 1970-2003, Professor of Classics and Humanities

Genovese, E. Nicholas, Ph.D., 1970-2003, Professor of Classics and Humanities

Hamilton, Charles D., Ph.D., 1974-2001, Professor of History and Classics

Warren, Edward W., Ph.D., 1963-1990, Professor of Philosophy and Classics

The Major

Classics is the study of the languages, literatures, and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. These are the oldest European and American traditions of the humanities and the liberal arts. Classics literally means works of the first class or rank, and their profound truths and disciplined forms have ensured their lasting relevance.

All Classics majors take two or more years of Greek or Latin. They may choose the language emphasis that allows them to study one or both languages, or they may choose the broader emphasis in classical humanities. Classics majors have at their disposal the Burnett Classics Seminar Room with its library and media resources. In addition to small language classes, close academic advising, and the fellowship of a small department with diverse interests, Classics majors culminate their studies with a senior seminar.

Although the prime purpose of the Classics major is to satisfy a quest for the original intellectual and artistic values of Western civilization, graduates enjoy a range of professional choices in addition to academic careers in Classics and various humanities disciplines. Classics majors are well prepared for law school, and with supplementary coursework in business, economics, or information systems, a Classics graduate can be very competitive in the business world. Classics graduates also have an advantage as editors, librarians, journalists, and technical writers. Opportunities are available in public relations, government, and other fields where general knowledge, perspective, and a facility with language serve not only the public good but one’s own success.


All College of Arts and Letters majors are urged to consult with their department adviser as soon as possible; they are required to meet with their department adviser within the first two semesters after declaration or change of major.

Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Refer to section of catalog on Graduation Requirements for additional ways to satisfy competency.

Students electing the study of Greek or Latin to fulfill the language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences must successfully complete



  • The equivalent level of achievement

Usual Sequence of Course Work

The usual sequence of course work is either


High School Equivalents

High school courses for language(s) other than English may be used for purposes of placement in college courses and may be counted toward meeting the language requirement in various majors. These high school courses will not count as college credit toward graduation.

Secondary school language courses can be used as follows:

  1. The first two years of high school level language count as the equivalent of the first semester of a college level course.
  2. The first three years of high school level language count as the equivalent of the first two college semesters.
  3. Four years of high school level language count as the equivalent of three college semesters or five college quarters, thus fulfilling the language requirement.


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