Undergraduate Program

Dear Student,

We are very happy to learn of your interest in studying Classical Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Classical Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering a broad range of courses on the languages, literature, history and culture of the ancient world.   Our majors are a small group of dedicated students who enjoy a challenge and find their work demanding but rewarding. The Classical Studies program strives to provide the nurturing atmosphere and personal attention associated with a small liberal arts college, in the context of a large university. We offer students an opportunity to work in small classes with a distinguished and dedicated teaching faculty and excellent fellow students. Public lectures, guest speakers, and social events that bring Classical Studies students and faculty together strengthen the program.  Our weekly student-faculty Classics Happy Hour at a local restaurant (a tradition for over 40 years) provides a way for students to gather and to meet with faculty in an informal setting. The Classical Studies library, which is situated in the hall by the faculty offices, is a center for our community: small seminars meet in it, and majors may often be found working together there.

Classical Studies at UCSC combines features of traditional programs, such as solid grounding in the ancient languages, with innovative, interdisciplinary approaches.  While the core of the program is focused on courses in the ancient Greek and Latin languages, it also includes courses in history, history of art and visual culture, linguistics, literature, philosophy, politics, religious studies, and theater arts, from the Bronze Age through the Early Christian era. Recent offerings have included everything from lower-division surveys in Classical Mythology and Greek and Roman History, to upper-division electives in Egyptian Hieroglyphics and seminars in the Social World of Roman Palestine and Modern Ancient Drama.  Students are encouraged to study the literary and material artifacts of Greece and Rome within the larger context of ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures.

We actively encourage our students to expand their horizons in interdisciplinary and international settings and by taking advantage of the UC Education Abroad Program and other international programs.  Over the years we have sent many students to work on archaeological excavations sponsored by other leading institutions.

The Classical Studies Program affords students the opportunity to give close, sustained attention to an area of study, from an almost unlimited variety of perspectives and with great attention to detail.  Many of our students have gone on to do graduate work in Classics and other fields.  The qualities required for success in our major, however, are also readily transferable to other careers: recent majors have gone on to launch successful careers in many fields, for example in teaching, law, publishing, writing, and business.

We invite you to come join us in the Classical Studies program here at UC Santa Cruz, a campus committed to quality undergraduate education.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Bassi
Classical Studies Undergraduate Director