Welcome

Why study classics?

The classics discipline engages the student and scholar in an investigation that is extraordinarily broad in range of subject and span of time. Students are immersed in the cultures and civilizations of the Mediterranean, from the prehistoric era to the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century.

With their professors guiding them, students will discover, understand and interpret the classical tradition through language courses in Greek and Latin. There are also courses in translation.

Why classics at Sweet Briar?

The College believes that classics has a crucial role in the dialogue with other departments. To encourage those connections, faculty members are committed to an interdisciplinary model of inquiry so that subfields such as literature, philosophy, religion and archaeology are not divided, but work in concert.

This mode of instruction is central to a liberal arts curriculum and the development of active and critical thinking. Our mission finds specific resonance among majors within the department as well as students fulfilling general education or language proficiency requirements. Students who take Latin and Greek courses to fulfill a language requirement will develop a level of competency sufficient to read and appreciate the literature of the ancient world.

What can you do with a classics major?

We equip majors with the tools to conduct independent research in the discipline of classics. Majors will graduate with a strong foundation in classical studies and the ability to address particular topics precisely and accurately. Our students learn how to evaluate evidence and bring it to life in written and oral argument. A graduate will possess the highly desirable habits and skills of productive citizens and leaders. These skills can be applied to valuable work in any field. For example, our graduates have gone on to such diverse careers as veterinary medicine, human resources, law and even psychotherapy.


The classics program is part of the classics, philosophy and religion department. Information about the other programs in the department can be found on the following websites: