About the program
|Augustana Classics faculty: from left, Dr. L. Kirsten Day, chair Dr. Emil Kramer and fellowship instructor Mischa Hooker.|
- 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 major for teaching classics (in conjunction with the college’s professional teacher’s education sequence); a minor in classical studies with an interdisciplinary emphasis, which in addition to Greek or Latin includes courses from art history, English, philosophy, religion and speech communication; and a minor in Greek for New Testament studies.
- Augustana has a strong academic tradition in the liberal arts, and so the college’s broad range of classics majors and minors is fitting. As classics is the foundation for the liberal arts, classical studies is the height of a liberal arts education. Classics provides an excellent choice for building a double major, and recent majors have combined their studies with majors in art history, biology/pre-medicine, computer science, English, French, geology, German, history, music, philosophy and religion.
- 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. Seven additional faculty from the fields of ancient philosophy, medieval history and literature, 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.
- Epsilon Sigma is the Augustana chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honor society. In all, the college offers more than 150 extra-curricular student clubs and organizations.
- Greek and Latin are practical skills in the job market. A recent major without teaching certification applied for three teaching positions—all at prestigious private schools (including Loyola Academy in Chicago)—and received offers from all three. The demand for Latin especially has been increasing for years, as is frequently noted in the national media. Because of the increased demand there is more need for qualified teachers. Graduates with a degree in classics—especially combined with another discipline taught at the secondary level—may have significant opportunities to teach.
- Classics is considered among the best preparations for law school, and also is excellent preparation for the seminary and library sciences. Some majors choose classics for quite different life callings, however: a recent graduate is a marine intelligence office, while another is a navy fighter pilot.
- Classics students who pursue graduate studies may specialize in classics as well as classical archaeology, ancient history, New Testament studies, art history or ancient philosophy. A recent Augustana classics major was accepted to graduate school at the University of Cambridge in England, one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the world.
What students say
Tyler Vens ’09, classics and history double major: “After reading Plato for the first time and realizing the gravity of his ideas, something in my mind clicked. I knew that I would love to devote the rest of my life to the study of these people and the times and cultures they lived in. There is no other major on campus that has such a diverse application to other programs. It becomes very evident after only a term or two in Greek, Latin, classical literature or history classes just how important and influential classical studies is to every other discipline in a college or university setting. The classics faculty at Augustana are not only at the top of their profession, but also very well respected in the academic community. They are more than willing to help every student fulfill his or her potential. Choosing a classics major … has enriched my life to a degree I never before thought possible.”
Alexandra Benson ’11, biology and anthropology double major, classics minor: “The classics department at Augustana is very close, and the three professors are kind and friendly. They are always willing to talk or answer questions. I chose a classics minor because I love history; focusing on ancient Rome and Greece gives me a wonderful perspective on early civilization, and especially how much it influences our current language and literature.”