What is the minor in Classics?
Beginning with the Class of 2025, the Classics Department is offering undergraduate minors. Students have the option of choosing between two tracks, “Classical Studies” and “Ancient History and Material Culture.” The new minor allows students to mix courses taught in ancient languages with those taught in translation, while charting their own comprehensive course of inquiry into the ancient Mediterranean and/or its reception.
What are the requirements for the Classics minor?
To complete the Classics minor, students are required to complete 5 courses in accordance with their chosen focus. Four courses must be taken in the department (CLG/LAT 108 and above, CLA courses, and cross-listed courses). The fifth course may be selected from relevant offerings in other departments (ART, COM, HIS, NES, PHI, or REL, for example), with DUS approval.
Students on both tracks are required to take gateway courses toward their total of five. Those on the Classical Studies track may select “What is a Classic?” (CLA 203), “Classical Mythology” (CLA 212), or “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture I” (HUM 216-217). Those on the Ancient History and Material Culture pathway must take two of the Department’s regularly offered ancient history survey courses (CLA 216, 217, 218, 219).
Does the minor require independent work?
No, but students are asked to submit a short (ca. 500 words) reflection paper discussing how their choice of courses contributes to a coherent perspective on the field of study.
Can I still minor with a focus in a specific language?
Absolutely. As with the certificate model, students who do intensive work in Greek or Latin may fulfill the requirements of the minor with courses on those languages. Notably, similar opportunities will also be available for Akkadian and other ancient Mediterranean languages taught by the Department.
Will I be able to fit the minor into my course schedule?
There are many ways to fit a Classics minor around concentration coursework. Because the field of Classics is so interdisciplinary, CLA courses have a variety of distribution designations that can help students complete their graduation requirements while still counting toward the minor. In the fall 2023 semester alone, the Department is offering courses with LA, HA, CD, EM, and EC credits.
How much do I need to have learned before starting the minor?
No previous exposure to the subject is required. The Classics minor enables any student interested in learning about the ancient world to do serious, intellectually meaningful work in the discipline, whatever they have learned about antiquity prior to Princeton.
For more information, or to discuss minoring in Classics, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Daniela Mairhofer ([email protected]).