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 which remain fundamental to modern American society. The study of ancient Greece and Rome thus also proves us with a foil for the serious reevaluation of the world we live in.
On the more practical side, 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.