Classical Civilization at UC Davis

Classical Civilization

Classical Civilization

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Detailed Major/Minor Requirements

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Major and minor

Democracy, individualism, monotheism, architectural proportion, musical harmony: all these concepts were first developed by the classical civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Greece and Rome. As a classics major, you will examine ancient literature, art, philosophy and government, focusing on how ideas dating from classical times still affect the modern world; you will also have the opportunity to study the Greek, Latin and Hebrew languages. You will learn to appreciate the complexity and timelessness of classical thought, and you will develop analytical, critical and communications skills that will prepare you for a wide range of careers.

Real World Outcomes

A classical civilization major is a liberal arts degree and is therefore excellent preparation for professional schools. Recent graduates in classical civilization have been admitted to distinguished schools of law, medicine, library science and graduate study. Other recent graduates have embarked on promising careers in journalism, television, publishing, museum work and teaching.


The major program has two tracks. The classical and Mediterranean civilization track, which most students choose, requires two years of study of one ancient language: Greek, Latin or Hebrew. Students complete the major requirements by selecting from a broad range of offerings in different aspects of ancient Mediterranean civilization. Students who choose the second track, classical languages and literatures, study two ancient languages but take fewer ancient civilization courses. Courses you might take include "Architecture and Urbanism in Mediterranean Antiquity," "Origins of Rhetoric," "Socrates and Classical Athens" and "Greek and Roman Comedy."

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