Augustana College printing logo


Junior Chris Saladin at the archaeological dig near the Commune of Murlo, about 55 miles south of Florence, Italy. He received a 2015 fellowship from the Etruscan Foundation.
  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Classics is a practical choice for the job market. It is an excellent preparation for careers in law, medicine, publishing, seminary, library sciences and more. The demand for knowledge of Greek and Latin also has created a need for qualified teachers in these areas, especially when their studies are combined with other fields.

Students who wish to pursue graduate study in Classics-related fields may specialize in Classics, classical archaeology, ancient history, New Testament studies, art history or ancient philosophy.

Augustana's three-term calendar and advising make it easier for students to have two or even three majors, and classics is an excellent choice for a double major. Recent Classics majors have combined their studies with majors in anthropology, art history, biology/pre-medicine, business, computer science, English, French, geology, German, history, music, philosophy and religion.

A sampling of graduates

Kelly M. Haidinyak '15 is a production chemist at Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis.

Shelby Stuparits '15 is pursuing a doctorate in anthropology and a museum studies certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Megan Alano '14 is pursuing an master's in speech-language pathology at Miami University.

Anna Groebe '13 is an administrator at Aegis Advantage, a global consulting and analytical services firm.

Robert Morley '11 is a graduate student at the University of Iowa.

Luke Osborne '10 is studying engineering at Boston University.

Nicholas Dee '09 is a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Vytas Vaznelis '07 is teaching classical languages at Saint Peter's Preparatory School in New Jersey.

Alyssa Bevans '07 is an editor and video producer at Flinn Scientific in Chicago.

Augustana College offers both a major and minor in classics (study in Greek and Latin, along with Greek and Roman history and classical literature) as well as in classical studies (including either Greek or Latin, plus history and literature).

In addition, the department offers a minor in Greek for New Testament studies.

Facts and distinctions

The three full-time classics faculty all hold the Ph.D. and have a wide range of complementary specializations: Greek and Roman history and historiography, Greek and Roman religion and early Christianity, women in classical antiquity, and classics and pop culture. Additional faculty from the fields of ancient philosophy, New Testament studies and art history also teach courses in the department.

Augustana’s many international opportunities range from year-long exchange programs, to academic terms abroad, to special individualized programs based on student interest. Classics majors often participate in international study, especially the archaeological field schools in Greece, Italy and Turkey. The department has introduced the Classics in Greece program, and many students also participate in Augustana's program in Rome.

Epsilon Sigma is the Augustana chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honor society.

Bethany Hayenga '16, Classics, German and philosophy
Pursuing M.A. in comparative literature with an concentration in Classics at the University of New Mexico

“As a freshman, I had never even heard of the Classics-I thought I was going to major in chemistry. Through a crazy, circuitous, wonderful series of events, I ended up in the humanities. It's been quite the odyssey, but I'm confident that I've found my Nietzsche here; there is so much to learn in Classics, and the discipline is so multifaceted that I simply Kant get bored! I want to thank all the professors at Augustana whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Not only do they encourage curiosity and exploration, but they are just genuinely good people.”

Kelly M. Haidinyak ’15, Classics and chemistry
Production chemist at Sigma Aldrich

“Coming to Augustana, I was determined to be a music performance major, but as soon as my foot hit the campus soil I turned to science. In the meantime, I needed to take a foreign language, and being of Italian descent I figured Latin was the next best thing to Italian. After my first year of Latin, I signed up for a second. Next thing I knew, I was handed an add-slip and told I was a Classics major... One of the highlights in my college career was working one-on-one with a professor researching science in ancient Greece. I needed one more course to complete my major, and my professors created this independent study in which I was able to pair my two majors. It was a great way to wrap up my college experience. At the end of four years, I was able to secure a job at Sigma Aldrich, a world leader in chemical production. The analytical skills, critical thinking and time management skills I have gained from being a Classics major will continue to benefit me as I pursue my new career.”

Shelby Stuparits ’15, Classics and anthropology
Pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology and a museum studies certificate at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

“Though I didn’t find my niche in Classics until my sophomore year, once there I wouldn’t trade it for anything. From them, I learned countless things, and not just in the classroom. I learned to ask questions, that it’s OK to make mistakes, and to be a little silly because it makes life more fun. While I am not going on to graduate school in Classics, these lessons and the skills I learned from analyzing the different aspects of this field — languages, literature and history — will be indispensable in my pursuit of a higher degree in archaeology and museum studies. If Augustana was my home, the Classics department was my adoptive family.”

'Cowboy Classics' explores epic traditions

"Cowboy Classics: The Roots of the American Western in the Epic Tradition" will be published in June. The book, by Augustana's Dr. Kirsten Day, associate professor of Classics, looks at the connection between Western film and Greek and Roman epic, each of which focuses on a mythic-historical period from the past where our societal notions of what constitutes heroism, masculinity, and honor first were forged.

Video: Saladin wins Hasselmo Prize

Junior Chris Saladin, a classics and history major, earned recognition from Augustana as the 2016 winner of the Hasselmo Prize for Academic Pursuit. Fascinated by the ancient world, Saladin plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

A grad student's top 10 childhood books

Christine Hedlin '11 is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois. After the holidays back home she was inspired to reflect on her favorite childhood reading memories. "I wouldn’t point to any of these moments and say, 'And that’s why I became an English major.' Yet I can also safely say that I wouldn’t be where I am without these kinds of moments." Hedlin majored in English and Spanish and minored in Classics at Augustana.

Historically Thinking: Dimitri Nakassis

Dimitri Nakassis helps us understand just how far removed and remote the Mycenaean Age is; what separates Mycenaean Greece from Ancient Greece; how Mycenaean Greece was structured; and what evidence we have for these things, where it it is found, and how to interpret it.

AIA Lecture: Rethinking the Mycenaean World

Dimitri Nakassis, associate professor of classics at the University of Toronto, gives his year's Archaeological Institute of America lecture, "Rethinking the Mycenaean World." Nakassis is one of 24 people named MacArthur Fellows in 2015.
apply request info