Why classics?

Because knowledge of Greek and Roman antiquity is fundamental to understanding the ancient and modern world.

What is classics?

Classics is the integrated study of ancient Greek and Roman civilization through its languages, its literature, and its artistic and archaeological remains. This broad field includes the study of the great texts of classical antiquity, such as Vergil's Aeneid, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Plato's Symposium, Sophocles' Antigone, and the love poems of Sappho and Catullus, but also encompasses research into everyday life in the societies that produced those great works.

In addition to training in the classical languages (Greek and Latin), the department introduces students to a range of work in literary criticism and cultural studies.  Topics include archaeology and ancient art, ancient theatre, mythology, women's history, Greek and Roman humor, cultural exchange across the Mediterranean, the translation of Greek and Latin poetry, and the history of slavery, sexuality, and ethnicity in ancient society.

A commitment to teaching and learning:

Our curriculum is diverse, innovative, and responsive to students’ needs. We offer a variety of topics as mentioned above, and an array of course structures and formats, including small in-person language courses, hybrid ancient Greek and Latin that combines face-to-face instruction with online exercises, mid-sized discussion courses on archaeological or literary themes, online offerings during the summer and the academic year, and one large energetic lecture course.

Our faculty members have won nearly all KU’s teaching awards, including the HOPE, Kemper, and Ned Fleming awards, and a wide variety of other university-level teaching and advising awards.  The department as a whole received the first ever Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE) award for Department Excellence in Teaching at the University of Kansas.

Beyond KU:

In addition to the rich and interdisciplinary content, the Classics degree teaches strong and widely useful critical skills such as clear writing, effective interpretation and use of evidence, and evaluation of sources.  Classics graduates bring all these to bear in a variety of careers. Our students have gone on to careers in law, business, library science, journalism, medicine, museum studies, education, writing and publishing, and technology.

Innovative scholarship:

KU Classics Faculty members conduct research on a variety of ancient topics, from Greek tragedy to Roman architecture.  Their research engages some of the world’s most enduring questions, such as: How did the Greek and Roman societies envision happiness? How does knowledge of the past affect one’s choices and identities? How do modern theories about gender and sexuality intersect with ancient concepts?  How are cultural values encoded into art, architecture, literature, language, law, religion, and politics?  And, who “owns” the classical past?

Classics students can work with faculty as research assistants or can develop their own research projects, and many Classics courses count toward KU’s Research Experience Program.  Our undergraduate students have received Undergraduate Research Awards and McNair Scholarships, and many write undergraduate honors theses.

Study Abroad

The Classics Department offers a variety of study opportunities for its students to study in Greece or Italy, the UK, and elsewhere in Europe.  We offer scholarships to students who participate in overseas programs that focus on the ancient world.

Requirements for the Minor

The minor requires 18 credit hours (12 hours at the junior/senior level) in courses in the Department of Classics (and other approved courses). 

Minor Hours & GPA

While completing all required courses, minors must also meet each of the following hour and grade point average minimum standards:

Minor Hours
Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses.

Minor Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 9 hours of junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the minor. 

Minor Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.

Minor Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 GPS in all departmental courses in the minor. GPA calculations include all departmental courses in the field of study including Fs and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


  • 18 hours in ancient Greek and related courses. At least 6 of those hours must be in ancient Greek at the 300 level or above.
  • In addition to courses in Greek, students may include CLSX 515 or CLSX 526, any other CLSX courses at the 300 level or above (not including CLSX 340 or CLSX 501), and PHIL 608.


  • 18 hours in Latin and/or related courses. At least 6 of those hours must be in Latin at the 300 level or above.
  • In addition to Latin courses, students may include CLSX 516 or CLSX 527, any other CLSX courses at the 300 level or above (not including CLSX 330, CLSX 384, or CLSX 388), and PHIL 608.

Classical Antiquity

  • 18 hours in classics and related courses. At least 12 hours must be in CLSX courses; 6 hours may be in Greek, Latin, ancient philosophy, or ancient history (excluding HIST 107).

Classical Languages

  • 18 hours in Latin and/or Greek. At least 12 of those hours must be in ancient Greek or Latin at the 300 level or above.