Program Overview/Description

Greek and Roman Classics is an interdisciplinary course of study involving languages, history, literature, philosophy, archaeology and art. It is an entire liberal arts education rolled into a single major! The study of Greek and Roman Classics gives students a rigorous education in the nature of language, in the skills of close reading and textual analysis, and in historical reasoning. If you are interested in mythology, in ancient history, in where the major institutions of Western culture began and why some disappeared for a long time, then you are interested in Classics. Our government was inspired by the Greeks yet was modeled on the Roman Republic, which also provided the basis for our laws. Our scientific language is Greek, but our grammar does not make much sense without Latin. Studying Classics at the College of Liberal Arts means discovering how different from us the Greeks and Romans really were. Join us and discover why.

Degrees and Programs of Study

Temple Classics offers majors in Classical Languages and Literatures and Classical Civilizations, as well as minors in Classical Languages and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. Special programs allow undergraduates to major in Classics and earn secondary school teaching certification or to major in Classics and earn a Masters in Education in five years.

View full list of requirements here.

Accelerated Degree Program (Dual Degree: 4+1) – Classical Languages and Literature – Latin (B.A.) + Secondary Education (M.ED.)

This accelerated degree program (4+1) offers Classical Languages and Literature undergraduate majors with a concentration in Latin in the College of Liberal Arts the exciting opportunity to complete their undergraduate degree AND a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education within five years. Apply in your sophomore year.

This M.Ed. meets the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s program requirements for Teacher Certification in Latin PK-12 grades.


The Department of Greek and Roman Classics offers courses in Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as a wide range of courses on the literature, culture and history of these ancient Mediterranean civilizations; these courses use English texts so that any interested student can participate.

View a list of our Spring 2017 courses here.


What careers have alumni from your undergraduate degrees or programs of study gone on to pursue?

Greek and Roman Classics offers the kind of broadly based, rigorous training that can help graduates succeed in a number of different careers. Classics majors have recently served as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, run the CIA, founded cable television networks and software companies and worked as senior correspondents for ABC News. Recent Temple Classics majors have gone on to law school, veterinary school, graduate school, business careers and teaching. One of them finished Penn law School and is now working for Senator Toomey.  Learn more. (docx.) (You will need Microsoft Word, or a Microsoft Word Viewer to access this file.)


Every year the department gives out the Professor Nicholas Vlachos Memorial Award for excellence in classical languages and literatures to a senior Greek and Roman Classics major. Classics students are eligible for, and often win, other college awards in the humanities and for service (docx.) (You will need Microsoft Word, or a Microsoft Word Viewer to access this file.).

Study Abroad

Study Abroad: Greek and Roman Classics students are encouraged to study abroad, particularly at Temple University Rome. The location and course offerings in Rome make it extremely attractive to anyone interested in the ancient world. Students interested in studying in Rome or on another international campus are encouraged to consult with departmental faculty early in their career at Temple. For more information see the Study Abroad website.


Placement Exams in Latin and Ancient Greek

Students entering Temple University often need to take exams for proper placement in language courses. In Classics these exams are by appointment. Please contact the following people:

Latin: Karen Klaiber Hersch,

Ancient Greek: Robin Mitchell-Boyask, 215-204-3672,

Distinction in Major Requirements

Distinction in Major requires senior honors thesis and a minimum 3.5 GPA in Greek, Latin and Roman Classics courses.

1) Planning should start early in the student’s penultimate semester. The student, after consulting with the department advisor concerning his or her GPA, should discuss possible topics with a range of faculty. A student who is completing a major in Classical Language and Literatures must plan a topic that involves texts in Greek or Latin in some meaningful way. Any paper topic may build upon work from a previous course, but revisions to that work must be substantial. By the end of the 10th week of the term the student should have decided upon both the topic and the faculty mentor. The student and faculty mentor will then decide upon a second faculty reader. The student should plan for a thesis of roughly 18-20 double-spaced pages.

2) The student must register for an independent study, choosing, where appropriate, either Greek, Latin or GR Classics 4182. A student who is completing a major in Classical language and literatures must choose Greek or Latin 4182. A student who is completing a major in Classical Civilizations must register for GR Classics 4182. If there is more than one student completing an honors thesis during the semester then those students and their advisors (and any interested faculty) will meet regularly together to discuss their projects and research techniques in general.

3) By the end of the first week of the student’s last semester he or she should have confirmed with the department advisor:

  • Eligibility by GPA
  • The thesis topic
  • The names of the mentor and second reader
  • Registration in the independent study

4) The student and mentor should plan on a specific timetable of drafts, but the student should plan on  submitting a semi-final version of the thesis to the advisor and second reader by November 15th of the fall term or April 15 of the spring term. This version will be the basis on which the advisor and reader recommend to CLA whether the student will graduate with distinction in major. The last version of the paper should be complete by the beginning of the final exam period.

5) The student will make an oral presentation to faculty and students to be scheduled at some point during the last two weeks of the semester in which the student graduates.