Schools for Classics and/or Ancient History

<p>I am hoping to go on a college tour, especially around the North East sometime soon to take a look at some schools for Classics and I was wondering if anyone could recommend any outstanding L.A.C.s or Universities that they would find noteworthy which I should consider visiting during my college search (and they do not have to be limited to the North East). </p>

<p>I've looked at a few schools already (Harvard, BC, Tufts, Georgetown, Princeton) and it is sort of a motley collection of schools. I was looking for a bit more focus.
So far I really like Harvard (though who doesn't, honestly?) and Princeton. I am planning on visiting Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby soon as well, to get a good taste of Classics in a smaller, liberal arts setting.</p>

<p>Again though, a focus on higher-echelon classics schools would be great.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>Holy Cross has a great classics department and would probably be a low match/safety for a candidate who's seriously considering Harvard and Princeton.</p>

<p>Classics</a> :: Mount Holyoke College</p>

<p>Mt Holyoke (MA) if you are a female applicant..</p>

<p>[url=<a href="http://hws.edu/academics/index.aspx%5DAcademics%5B/url"&gt;http://hws.edu/academics/index.aspx]Academics[/url&lt;/a&gt;]&lt;/p>

<p>Also, Hobart & William Smith (NY) has Classics as a major.</p>

<p>UCLA is supposed to be really good for classics. Although one of my TAs said that he would have liked to go to brown for the liberal requirements that they have on courses. If you want really good professors, mostly good TAs, and a cool department, i say go to UCLA; if you want a free curriculum to take whatever classes you want, i say brown.</p>

<p>Hobart & William Smith does not belong in a discussion about the best classics programs. Having only three professors should set off alarm bells for any department, as does the tiny number of graduating majors (3, compared to 17 at Oberlin and Holy Cross). Too few faculty members results in too few courses being offered, and consequently it is able to offer only one year of Greek and two of Latin regularly, with upper level courses being cycled on a 3 year basis and (judging by the registrar's website) heavily dependent on student interest, with all language courses above the elementary level this year being marked "TBA." I'm sure it's a decent LAC for other things, but many private high schools have more impressive classics offerings.</p>

<p>Mount Holyoke is a decent suggestion, but better options would be Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Wellesley (more or less in that order).</p>

<p>UCLA is indeed quite strong in classics, but I think someone interested in northeastern LACs and universities would feel quite a lot of culture shock there, and high OOS fees and poor job prospects for classics majors make a bad combination. Again, there are better options -- UNC and UVA meet financial need for all domestic students, and Michigan is usually at least moderately generous to most students. </p>

<p>I</a> created an extensive though probably not comprehensive list of the best classics programs in another thread.</p>

<p>I wrote about what makes a good classics program in</a> this post.</p>

<p>A</a> detailed list of classics programs</p>

<p>A</a> list of graduate programs (also useful for undergraduate study)</p>

<p>Detailed</a> information about many of the bigger departments</p>

<p>Thank you so much, warblersrule! That is certainly a comprehensive list. I'll have to spend a good amount of time reviewing that.</p>

<p>So, what exactly makes Chicago a much stronger school than Princeton for classics? I know that their liberal arts requirement probably strengthens them quite a bit, so I am seriously considering them for undergraduate studies.</p>

<p>One other thing, and I am not sure if anyone would know this, but good schools for Greek, versus Latin. I've always found that Greek is slightly more interesting and fun to read/translate than Latin is. If anyone knows anything about that, it would be much appreciated!</p>

<p>U of Chicago, Columbia/Barnard, and Bryn Mawr are all a little more attainable that H & P with superb classics.</p>

<p>UC Berkeley is strong in Classics as well.</p>

<p>At the graduate level. At the undergrad level I feel places like Cal are not ideal for liberal arts majors like Classics. </p>

<p>Check out Dartmouth and Amherst. Both have a strong liberal arts focus that I think you will appreciate, particularly if you liked Princeton.</p>

<p>Holy Cross offers some large scholarships for Classics majors.</p>

<p>Cornell and Penn are both great choices too (each of the two has poached an outstanding teacher-researcher from Amherst--as has Dartmouth).</p>

<p>You ought really to aim for Harvard, though--di immortales, what a dream.</p>

<p>Classics at Harvard is an interesting case, and I've yet to quite figure out what's going on there. At the graduate level, it's strong but would definitely not make my top 5 and maybe not my top 10 list for classics. In the past you had people like Emily Vermeule, Glen Bowersock, etc., but besides Gregory Nagy and maybe Emma Dench, the department has fewer big names these days and has been accused of running on the fumes of past prestige. (I'm aware the NRC gave it a high rank, but I'm presumptuous enough to disagree. I also disagree with their highly dubious ranking of Chicago above the IFA for art history and UCLA above Scripps for oceanography, among others.) At the undergraduate (and most pertinent for the OP) level, Harvard has a much better track record, and the OP could hardly do better but certainly a great deal worse.</p>

<p>

Both schools have a focus on the liberal arts. I would not say that Chicago has a stronger classics program than Princeton; it's actually the other around, I think. What makes Chicago appealing to many students is that it has offerings in a wide variety of areas - it has Mesopotamian archaeologists, Assyriologists, Hittitologists, Semiticists, Egyptologists of all stripes, etc. It also has an exceptionally fine museum of antiquities that were excavated by the university and thus have proper provenance, multiple dictionaries under publication, multiple excavations underway, etc. Princeton has none of the above.</p>

<p>A great Classics student can thrive in places not on the list as well. In recent years, the APA's Lionel Pearson Fellowship, the top award for a classics undergraduate in north america, has been awarded to graduates of smaller public schools, UNC Asheville and the College of Charleston (SC).</p>

<p>Agree with other posts-Holy Cross is worth a good look. HC offers some merit aid for scholarships.</p>

<p>[url=<a href="http://academics.holycross.edu/classics/scholarships%5DScholarships%5B/url"&gt;http://academics.holycross.edu/classics/scholarships]Scholarships[/url&lt;/a&gt;] </p>

<p>Very limited merit aid for classics major at Holy Cross, two per year are given, another appears to be given out every 4 years. Very competitive situation!</p>

<p>Check out Dickinson for Classics.</p>

<p>As somebody at Harvard right this instant, I agree that it would be hard for OP to do very much better than our classics department for undergrad: beyond Dench and Nagy, I'd also point to Thomas and Tarrant and Coleman (don't know about her research reputation, but she's a wonderful teacher) and Krebs (who is new, but a rising star). On the other hand, there are fewer "names" on the Greek side, at least partly because there are fewer students of Greek. I'm not sure I can name someplace that would be a whole lot better in Greek, but that would be something to consider for OP, who likes Greek better than Latin.</p>

<p>I've heard Princeton's Classics-classics is better than UChicago's, but UChicago's ancient Near Eastern department makes me jealous. I didn't go to UChicago's prefrosh weekend, because I'd decided by that point and going "for fun" seemed dumb, but...oh I wish I had had a chance to meet Robert Ritner, among others! He is a rock star. (And I'm a nerd.) And their Oriental Institute's library is one of the most beautiful interior spaces I've ever seen... <em>sigh</em> Basically, UChicago's the only institution of higher learning that I do not attend about features of which I will still, on occasion, wax rhapsodic.</p>

<p>Brown has Pucci, which is...that's really all I know about their classics department, but that's at least one extremely good professor.</p>

<p>I'm vaguely recalling that Georgetown has a good classics program? (And then you get to live in Georgetown: excellent feature!) Swarthmore, I think, is also very good.</p>

<p>BU has not insubstantial merit scholarships for students who are very good at Latin or Greek:
[url=<a href="http://www.bu.edu/classics/undergraduate/scholarships/%5DScholarships"&gt;http://www.bu.edu/classics/undergraduate/scholarships/]Scholarships&lt;/a> Classical Studies | Boston University<a href="The%20date's%20passed%20for%20the%20Latin%20one%20if%20you're%20a%20senior;%20I%20don't%20know%20if%20the%20Greek%20one's%20still%20taking%20registrations.%20Mostly%20info%20if%20you're%20not%20a%20senior%20yet.">/url</a></p>

<p>I think Bryn Mawr and Haverford are well worth considering; their combined resources in classics are excellent, and whichever you're enrolled in it's very to cross-register for classes at the other school---in fact, it's a unified course registration system, no bureaucratic hassles, no extra paperwork. They're only about a mile apart, there's a regular shuttle service running between the two campuses, and your campus ID will even swipe you into the dining halls on either campus. And if that's not enough, Penn is a 20-minute train ride away, and Swarthmore about a 25-minute shuttle away; they're all part of a larger consortium. So that makes for a really extraordinary concentration of resources, but with the personalized attention of a small LAC. </p>

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<p>I totally agree. I majored in philosophy at Michigan and had top professors teaching small classes, including classes at the graduate level by my junior and senior years. It's completely the opposite of the stereotype of the large, impersonal public university with mega-lectures and TAs doing half the teaching. I know it's the same in Classics at Michigan which actually has fewer undergraduate majors than philosophy. And to be honest, apart from the majors and some grad students, you're just not going to get a lot of non-majors enrolling in that advanced Latin poetry class to round out their distribution requirements. So it ends up being a pretty intimate group, with small classes and an extraordinarily low student/faculty ratio.</p>