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Department ofClassics

What is Classics?

Classics in the broad sense is the interdisciplinary study of all aspects of the life and culture of ancient Greece and Rome and their Mediterranean context. Classics courses are offered in a wide variety of fields: art history, history, language (Greek and Latin), literature, mythology, philosophy, political science, and religious studies. Most courses are open to any interested student and have no prerequisites.

The Department of Classics at Santa Clara University encourages students to explore the Greco-Roman world not merely because of its “traditional place” in a liberal education nor for its antiquarian appeal. Rather, we believe that these ancient cultures articulated a unique vision of the human condition which remains viable today. Those ancient Greeks and Romans are alive and well, having defined a series of values that remain fundamental to modern American society. The study of ancient Greece and Rome thus also provides us with a foil for the serious reevaluation of the world we live in.

The study of Classics requires the sharpening of language and writing skills, increases vocabulary, provides the tools for and practice at critical reasoning, opens up cross-disciplinary perspectives, and offers a comfortable environment for learning to ask uncomfortable questions. Santa Clara students who major and minor in Classics go on to careers in law, medicine, education, and business of virtually every kind.

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About Our Program

Classics is the study of all aspects of the life and culture of ancient Greece and Rome in their Mediterranean context and their enduring relevance to our lives. The Department of Classics offers all levels of ancient Greek and Latin as well as courses that explore the origins of Western literature, history, art, mythology, philosophy, religion, ethics, government, science, architecture, engineering, city planning, and so forth.. Most courses in the department require no knowledge of an ancient language and are open to any interested student. Latin or Greek may be taken to satisfy the second language requirement. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the field, classics provides an ideal liberal arts curriculum that is an excellent background for careers in many areas.

Students majoring or minoring in classics may pursue one of three different tracks: classical languages and literatures, classical studies, or ancient studies. Students who want to major and minor in classics must do so in different tracks.

Language Placement

For questions about enrolling in Latin or Greek, please contact Professor Daniel Turkeltaub.


Faculty & Staff

Department Chair
  • Associate Professor

    Turkeltaub teaches all levels of Greek and Latin language, literature, and composition classes, and has taught various courses in translation on classical comedy, tragedy, mythology, comparative literature, and Greek civilization.

Academic Department Manager
  • Light grey SCU logo
    Academic Department Manager

    408-554-5248 | O'Connor Hall

Beyond the Classroom

News & Events

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Life After SCU

Alumni Stories

Using Latin to translate a Turkish herb

Enthusiastically teaching ancient history to sixth graders

Pursuing a career in business and international relations

After SCU, a masters degree in Counseling Psychology and engaged to a fellow bronco

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