What to Expect
Classics is a multidisciplinary program. That makes it perfect for people
with broad interests.
Micala Rider is one of those people. She took a double major in anthropology
and classics at the University of Arizona. "I like to know a lot about everything
in terms of literature, language, culture, artifacts, trade routes
-- you name it," she says.
Some students, however, choose to focus on a single classical discipline,
like art history or languages.
Rider studied Latin language. She also enrolled in a class that looked
at Mediterranean culture in general. Her reading list included things like
Chronicles of the Pharaohs.
"Through different courses, we [looked] at Homer, Cicero, Ovid -- all the
classical authors that people know of," she says.
Since foreign languages play a part in most classics programs, students
should have a grasp on basic grammar. "I've noticed that a lot of people
don't have a good foundation in English grammar," says Rider. "And it makes
it difficult for them to learn a second language."
Katherine Lochbrunner studied classics at Boston University. She uses her
knowledge of classics to build on her knowledge of art history. "So many things
in art history are built upon classical heritage, classical motifs [and] classical
ideas," she says.
Lochbrunner attended two or three classes each day. Sometimes she would
also have meetings related to classics groups she was in.
Compared to most arts departments, classics departments are usually
quite small. For Lochbrunner, that was a tremendous benefit.
"I like being around people who think about lots of different things. A
lot of people in classics tend to have interests that are very multidisciplinary....They're
very knowledgeable about what's going on in the world."
You need self-discipline. If you don't do the readings, says Lochbrunner,
you'll be lost during lectures. And professors don't check to see whether
you've kept up or not.
Outside of school, says Rider, get involved in anything and everything.
"It's a way for you to explore what you like early on," she says.