About the Program
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The major in Classical Languages provides training in both ancient Greek and Latin, enabling students to encounter texts such as Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid in their original form. Students can begin their study of the languages in our department or build on knowledge acquired elsewhere.
Declaring the Major
To declare the major, meet with the Classics undergraduate advisor, who can help you create a course plan and complete the declaration. You may also want to review the Letters & Science advising site for a guide to declaring a major. For a detailed list of requirements, please see the Major Requirements tab.
Students who are declared majors in Classical Languages and who have a GPA (both general and departmental) of at least 3.6 are eligible for honors in Classical Languages. The honors program consists of a two-semester course sequence, either GREEK H195A and GREEK H195B or LATIN H195A and LATIN H195B, that is designed to support the writing of a thesis. This thesis, which will be evaluated by an honors committee of three members, may either build on work in a previous upper division course used in fulfillment of the Classical Languages major or may be a newly conceived project. It is due the Monday of the 13th week of the semester in which the relevant H195B is taken.
Further details can be found online at Classics Undergraduate Honors. Please consult with a Classics undergraduate advisor to begin planning to participate in Honors.
There is no minor program in Classical Languages. Students who wish to pursue a classical language at the minor level should consider the Greek or Latin minors. See below.
Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Classics
In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.
- All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit (except for courses taken in Spring 2020), other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
- No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.
For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
Summary of Degree Requirements
|Prerequisite: Successful completion of one UCB Greek or Latin course.|
|Lower Division: Classics 10A & 10B (CLASSICS 17A,17B or R44 can substitute upon approval)||8|
|Elementary Language: Two or four courses (Can be replaced by high school or transfer credit upon completion of a placement exam.)||0-20|
|Basic Reading: Four courses||16|
|Senior Reading: Two Upper Division Greek, Latin or one of each||8|
|Upper Division: One CLASSICS course||4|
|CLASSIC 10A||Introduction to Greek Civilization 1||4|
|CLASSIC 10B||Introduction to Roman Civilization 1||4|
Classics 10A can be substituted by Classics 17A or R44 and Classics 10B can be substituted by 17B or R44. Subject to advisor approval.
To completed, if possible, by the end of the student's junior year.
|Select one of the following:|
and Elementary Greek
|The Greek Workshop |
|Select one of the following: 1|
and Elementary Latin
|The Latin Workshop |
Elementary language requirements can also be met with a placement exam and high school or college transfer credit.
|GREEK 100||Plato and Attic Prose||4|
|LATIN 100||Republican Prose||4|
Two courses Greek 101 or 102 and Latin 101 or 102
|Select one of the following:|
|Drama and Society |
|Select one of the following:|
|Lyric and Society |
|Select two of the following:||8|
|Homer  1|
|Drama and Society  1|
|Archaic Poetry |
|Greek Drama |
|Hellenistic Poets |
|Attic Oratory |
|Plato and Aristotle |
|Vergil  1|
|Lyric and Society  1|
|Roman Drama |
|Lucretius, Vergil's Georgics |
|Latin Epic |
|Latin Prose to AD 14 |
|Post-Augustan Prose |
|Medieval Latin |
|Readings in Medieval Latin |
Excluded if used to fulfill Intermediate Reading Requirements.
Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.
For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages.
University of California Requirements
All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley.
The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.
Berkeley Campus Requirement
All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.
College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements
The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.
The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.
In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.
College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements
The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.
120 total units
Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units
- Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.
Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.
Senior Residence Requirement
After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.
You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.
Modified Senior Residence Requirement
Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.
Upper Division Residence Requirement
You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.
Summary of Modifications
L&S College Requirements: Reading & Composition, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language, which typically must be satisfied with a letter grade, can be satisfied with a Passed (P) grade during Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 if a student elects to take the course for P/NP. Note: This does not include Entry Level Writing (College Writing R1A).
Requirements within L&S majors and minors can be satisfied with Passed (P) grades during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. This includes prerequisites for majors. Contact your intended or declared major/minor adviser for more details.
Departments may create alternative methods for admitting students into their majors.
L&S students will not be placed on academic probation automatically for taking all of their courses P/NP during Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.
Student Learning Goals
The learning goals should be understood in the context of the mission statement of the Department of Classics. The first two components of that statement are especially relevant to undergraduate teaching and are repeated here:
- To give students across the University access to the literature, history, archaeology, mythology and philosophy of the ancient Greek and Roman world through an array of undergraduate courses on classical culture in translation. These courses introduce students to texts, artifacts, and ideas that are worth studying both in their own right and as abidingly influential elements in the imagination and history of later cultures. Such study deepens students' understanding of present-day issues by inculcating a sense of historical perspective that takes account of both the differences and the continuities between contemporary and ancient cultures.
To enable undergraduates to immerse themselves in the language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome through its majors in Greek, Latin, and Classical Civilizations. These majors equip students with knowledge and analytical skills that can be applied in many areas (e.g., law, politics, business, biosciences, computer science and media) as well as providing essential preparation for graduate study in Classics, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and other fields.
Learning Goals for the Major
- Acquire a basic grounding in the vocabulary, morphology, and syntax of classical Greek and Latin.
- Practice the skills needed to use dictionaries, grammars, and other resources to read intermediate texts accurately and to deal comfortably with at least some advanced texts in the original language(s).
- Learn to identify and understand key events, institutions, personalities, places, and concepts of ancient Greek and Roman culture.
- Gain a critical awareness of continuities and differences between and within cultures and of ideologies of gender, group identity, social status, and political organization.
- Demonstrate the ability to interpret texts and material culture and to understand the implications of interpretive methods.
- Demonstrate the ability to synthesize a well-organized argument from textual or other evidence and to express it in formal English prose.
Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:
Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study
Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success
Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression
Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world
Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley
Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.
Faculty and Instructors
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Susanna Elm, Professor. History of the Later Roman Empire, pagan - Christian interactions, ancient medicine, slavery and the evolution of Christianity, leadership and empire, reception of antiquity.
Giovanni R. F. (John) Ferrari, Professor. Classics, ancient philosophy, Greek culture, ancient poetics and rhetoric.
+ Mark Griffith, Professor. Gender and sexuality, Greek literature and performance, Greek and Roman education, Greek tragedy and comedy, Hesiod and wisdom literature, ancient music.
Christopher Hallett, Professor. Classics, Roman art, visual culture, portraiture, Hellenistic art, Roman Asia Minor, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.
Todd Hickey, Professor. Classics, papyrology, Greek, Egyptian, social and economic history, late antiquity.
+ Leslie V. Kurke, Professor. Classics, Greek literature and culture, archaic Greek poetry, Herodotus.
Duncan MacRae, Assistant Professor. Classics.
Sara Magrin, Associate Professor. Ancient epistemology and psychology, Plotinus.
Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
+ Kathleen Mccarthy, Professor. Classics, Roman literature and culture, slavery.
Trevor M. Murphy, Associate Professor. Ethnography, classics, Roman prose authors.
Ellen Oliensis, Professor. Latin Literature, Ovid.
Nikolaos Papazarkadas, Professor. Greek epigraphy, Greek history.
J. Theodore Pena, Professor. Roman archaeology, Roman and pre-Roman Italy, city of Rome, Pompeii, ancient economy, ceramic analysis, material culture studies.
James Porter, Professor. Classical Studies, philosophy, critical theory, aesthetics, Nietzsche, Auerbach.
Dylan Paul Sailor, Professor. Rhetoric, classics, Greek literature, Latin Literature, ancient Greek, Latin, historiography, ancient Rome, ancient Greece.
Kim S. Shelton, Associate Professor. Ceramics, classical civilization and archaeology, Aegean prehistory, religion/mythology.
+ Andrew F. Stewart, Professor Emeritus. Archaeology, classics, Greek sculpture, ancient art and architecture, the Hellenistic east after Alexander, the Renaissance reception of antiquity.
Mario Telo, Professor. Greek literature, Roman drama, critical theory.
Timothy Clarke, Assistant Professor.
Klaus Corcilius, Associate Professor. Ancient philosophy.
+ Andrew Garrett, Professor Emeritus . Linguistics, English, California, language change, Indo-European languages, historical linguistics, northern California Indian languages, linguistic structure, typology, ancient Greek, Latin, Irish, Oceanic languages.
Kinch Hoekstra, Associate Professor. History of political, moral, and legal philosophy, ancient, renaissance, and early modern political thought.
Emily Mackil, Associate Professor. History.
Ramona Naddaff, Associate Professor. Rhetoric, aesthetics, theory of the novel, ancient Greek philosophy and literature, history of philosophy, contemporary French thought.
+ Carlos Norena, Associate Professor. History.
Martin Schwartz, Professor. Near Eastern studies, Iranian studies.
Anthony A. Long, Professor Emeritus . Professor of the Graduate School, Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Classics and Irving G Stone Professor Emeritus of Literature, Affiliated Professor of Philosophy and Rhetoric: Classics, Greek literature, ancient philosophy.
Donald Mastronarde, Professor Emeritus. Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Melpomene Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature: classics, Greek literature, Greek drama, Greek textual transmission, Greek literary papyrology, Greek palaeography.
Department of Classics
7233 Dwinelle Hall
7211 Dwinelle Hall
Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer
7228 Dwinelle Hall
Classics Undergraduate Faculty Advisor
7209 Dwinelle Hall
Phone: (510) 643-2959
Classics Undergraduate Faculty Advisor
7220 Dwinelle Hall
Phone: (510) 642-4120;