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About the Major

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Concentrating in Classics

We live in a rapidly changing, globally networked world. The problems we face in the twenty-first century—disparities of wealth and opportunity, environmental degradation, political deadlock—are as urgent as any in human history. How will studying classical antiquity help you live in a world like this? How will it help you change it for the better?

Classics alumnae/i tell us why they chose to study Classics, during interviews with Professor Brooke Holmes.

Our students engage with the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome to better understand how classical antiquity has shaped and continues to shape the present. They also build a wide range of intellectual and practical skills: how to make sense of and learn from foreign languages and distant cultures; how to analyze an argument, to interrogate a long-standing assumption, to see the ancient roots of contemporary concepts; how to develop, communicate, and defend their ideas.  We strive to involve students in a millennia-long conversation about value, justice, beauty, power, and the human condition—what Socrates famously called the examined life.

If you would like to pursue a concentration or a certificate in Classics, we encourage you to be in contact with our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Joshua Billings, to discuss your program of study.

After Princeton

Our concentrators have gone on to flourish in a range of professional fields, including law, medicine, publishing, public affairs, finance, teaching, and non-profit work. Those interested in becoming professional classicists have gone on to top graduate programs and been awarded national and international fellowships. Evidence is growing that a degree in Classics is a valuable asset for many career paths. Our alums routinely report that their training has given them an advantage in their applications to professional schools and in the workforce more generally.

Princeton University Career Services  also provides information on what to do with a Classics major. The Society for Classical Studies  (formerly the American Philological Association) offers a comprehensive overview of the benefits of a major in Classics after graduation.