Requirements

The Department of Classics offers three major programs: one with a focus on language and literature (Classics), one with a focus on classical archaeology (Classical Archaeology), and one that looks at the ancient world from multiple perspectives (Classical Studies). Students pursuing these majors are encouraged to study not only the languages and literatures but also the physical monuments of Greece and Rome. This approach is reflected in the requirements for the three major programs: for all, requirements in Greek and/or Latin and in classical culture must be fulfilled. Courses that will count toward the programs offered by the department must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses. 

Classics

The classics program is arranged to accommodate both those students who have studied no classical languages and those who have had extensive training in Latin and Greek. The objective of Greek and Latin courses is to study the ancient languages and literatures in the original. By their very nature, these courses involve students in politics, history, and philosophies of antiquity. Advanced language courses focus on the analysis of textual material and on literary criticism. 

Requirements for the Major in Classics

The major in Classics consists of ten courses: 

  • At least six of the ten courses chosen from offerings in Greek and Latin, including at least two courses in Greek or Latin at the 3000(300) level;
  • Either Archaeology 1101 (101) (same as Art History 2090 (209) or 1102 (102) (same as Art History 2100 (210); 
  • Either Classics 1101 (101) or 1102 (102); 
  • Either Classics 1111 (same as History 1111) or 1112 (same as History 1112);
  • A research seminar taken in the junior or senior year;
  • At least one course at the advanced level (numbered 3300-3999 (300-399)) taken during the senior year. 

Students concentrating in one of the languages are encouraged to take at least two courses in the other. As a capstone to this major, a research seminar taken in the junior or senior year is required; a research seminar is one in which a substantial research project is undertaken and successfully completed. 


Classical Archaeology

The Classical Archaeology major pays special attention to the physical remains of classical antiquity. Students studying classical archaeology should develop an understanding of how archaeological evidence can contribute to our knowledge of the past, and of how archaeological study interacts with such related disciplines as philology, history, and art history. In particular, they should acquire an appreciation for the unique balance of written and physical sources that makes classical archaeology a central part of classical studies. 

Requirements for the Major in Classical Archaeology

The major in Classical Archaeology consists of ten courses:

  • At least five of the ten courses chosen from offerings in archaeology, including Archaeology 1101 (101) (Same as Art History 2090 (209)), 1102 (102) (Same as Art History 2010 (210)), and at least one archaeology course at the advanced level (numbered 3300-3999 (300-399);
  • At least four semester of Latin or three semesters of Greek; 
  • A research seminar taken in the junior or senior year.

Students majoring in Classical Archaeology are also encouraged to take at least one course from the department's offerings in ancient history. As a capstone to this major, a research seminar taken in the junior or senior year is required;  a research seminar is one in which a substantial research project is undertaken and successfully completed. 


Classical Studies

The Classical Studies major provides a useful foundation for students who seek a multidisciplinary view of the ancient world. The major combines coursework in an ancient language (Greek or Latin) with courses that explore the culture, history, and traditions of the ancient Mediterranean. 

Requirements for the Major in Classical Studies

The major in Classical Studies consists of ten courses:

  • A minimum of three courses in a single ancient language (Greek or Latin);
  • At least one Classics 1111 (same as History 1111) or 1112 (same as History 1112);
  • At least one of Classics 1101 (101), 1102 (102), Archaeology 1101(101), or Archaeology 1102 (102);
  • At least three courses selected from the 2200 level offerings in Classics or Classical Archaeology;
  • Of the five courses required at the 1100 (100) and 2200 (200) levels, at least one should be chosen from offerings in classical archaeology; 
  • Of the five courses required at the 1100 (100) and 2200 (200) levels, one may be selected from appropriate offerings outside the department, with classics department approval;
  • At least two courses in the classics department at the advanced level (numbered 3300-3999 (300-399)); 
  • A research seminar taken in the junior or senior year.

As a capstone to this major, a research seminar taken in the junior or senior year is required; a research seminar is one in which a substantial research project is undertaken and successfully completed. 


Interdisciplinary Major

The department participates in an interdisciplinary program in archaeology and art history.  

 


Requirements for the Minor

Students may choose a minor in one of five areas: Greek, Latin, Classics, Archaeology, and Classical Studies (Greek or Roman).

Requirements for the Minor in Greek 

Five courses in the department, including at least four in the Greek Language;

Requirements for the Minor in Latin 

Five courses in the department, including at least four in the Latin language; 

Requirements for the Minor in Classics 

Five courses in the department, including at least four in the classical languages; of these four, one should be either Greek 2204 (204) or a Latin course at the advanced level (numbered 3300-3969 (300-399));

Requirements for the Minor in Archaeology 

Six courses in the department, including either Archaeology 1101(101) (same as Art History 2090(209)) or 1102 (102) (same as Art History 2100(210)), one archaeology course at the advanced level (numbered 3300-3969(300-399)), and two other archaeology courses; 

Requirements for the Minor in Classical Studies (Greek or Roman) 

Six courses including: 

  1. For the Greek studies concentration: two courses in the Greek language; Archaeology 1101 {101} (same as Art History 2090 {209}); one of the following: Classics 1011 {11} (or any other appropriate first-year seminar), Classics 1101 {101}, 1102 {102}, or 1111 (same as History 1111); Government 2200 {240}; or Philosophy 2111 {111}; and two of the following: any advanced archaeology course (numbered 3300–3969 {300–399}) focusing primarily on Greek material; Classics 2970–2973 {291–294} (Independent Study) or any intermediate or advanced Greek or classics course (numbered 2000–2969 {200–289} or 3300–3999 {300–399}) focusing primarily on Greek material.
  2. For the Roman studies concentration: two courses in the Latin language; Archaeology 1102 {102} (same as Art History 2100 {210}); one of the following: Classics 1018 {18} (or any other appropriate first-year seminar), Classics 1101 {101}, 1102 {102}, or 1112 (same as History 1112); or Government 2200 {240}; or Philosophy 2111 {111}; and two of the following: Archaeology 2202 {202} or any archaeology course numbered 3000–3969 {300–399} focusing primarily on Roman material; Classics 2970–2973 {291–294} (Independent Study) or any intermediate or advanced Latin or classics course (numbered 2000–2969 {200–289} or 3300–3999 {300–399}) focusing primarily on Roman material.

Other courses in the Bowdoin curriculum may be applied to this minor if approved by the classics department.


Classics and Archaeology at Bowdoin and Abroad

Archaeology classes regularly use the outstanding ancient art collection in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Of special note are the exceptionally fine holdings in Greek painted pottery and the very fully and continuous survey of Greek and Roman coins. In addition, there are numerous opportunities for study or work abroad. Bowdoin is a participating member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, where students majoring in classics can study their junior year. It is also possible to receive course credit for the field experience on excavations. Interested students should consult members of the department for further information. 

Students contemplating graduate study in classics or classical archaeology are advised to begin the study of at least one modern language in college, as most graduate programs require competence in French and German as well as Greek and Latin.