What can one do with a Classics degree?
Careers for Classics majors
A classics major is an excellent springboard for a career in many fields!
After college, most Classics majors go on to professional careers and they work in a variety of fields—law, medicine, journalism, business, education. A classics degree sets you apart from other applicants to graduate and professional schools, and many of our graduates win fellowships to support graduate study in law, medicine, and the arts. If you are thinking of a more traditional option, Latin teachers are in demand!
While in school, an internship can be a good way to prepare for your career by developing your knowledge of the ancient world through practical experience in teaching or museum work. The department offers a couple options for receiving course credit depending on the type of field work:
- CLAS-X 473: Internship in Classical Studies (1-3 cr.) P: Major standing; minimum GPA of 3.500; prior arrangement with faculty member or supervisor; departmental authorization. Supervised work experience in a professional work setting in which a student applies skills and knowledge derived from Classical Studies. S/F grading. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours; only 3 credit hours of X473 and C498 may count toward the major with approval of the undergraduate advisor.
- CLAS-X 476: Practicum in Classical Studies (1-3 cr.) P: Major standing; minimum GPA of 3.500; prior arrangement with faculty member and supervisor; departmental authorization. Supervised work and academic experience in which a student applies skills and knowledge closely related to Classical Studies in a real-world environment, for example, through curatorial work in a museum. S/F grading. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours; only 3 credit hours may count toward the major with approval of the undergraduate advisor.
Teaching Latin in High School
Doce ut discas! Share your love of classics, and inspire the next generation by teaching Latin in middle school or high school. There is a real need for Latin teachers, so jobs are out there!
For general information about Latin teaching and links to resources, the American Classical League web site is a good place to start. There are also resources at the web page of the National Committee for Latin and Greek.
If you intend to teach in a public school (where most Latin teachers find employment), state teaching certification will be required. You can complete the courses required for public school certification at the IU School of Education while you work on your Latin major at the College, though it is also possible to teach in some private schools without formal certification. After you finish your B.A. in Latin, you can earn certification through the Transition to Teaching program, also through the IU School of Education.
Graduate School in Classics and Related Fields
Beyond the B.A., there are two main types of graduate programs:
(1) The M.A. and M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching), often referred to as terminal master's degrees, consist of specialized coursework and often require the writing of a thesis. A master's program will allow you to focus on classics exclusively for 1-2 years, and it provides a good credential for secondary school teaching.
(2) The Ph.D. in classics or a related field (e.g., archaeology, ancient history, ancient philosophy, medieval studies, comparative literature) usually involves coursework, comprehensive exams, teaching, and writing a dissertation (5-7 years from B.A. to Ph.D.). It is generally a prerequisite for college or university teaching and research.
If you are thinking about graduate study, there are two things you should do right away. First, talk to your professors; they have first-hand knowledge of what grad school is like, where the best programs are, how to get in, and what it takes to succeed. Second, take language courses; top Ph.D. programs require proficiency in both Latin and Greek, and any advanced study in Classics requires knowledge of at least one ancient language. Most classics departments have web sites that provide specific information about admission requirements and the degree process, and the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) posts a directory of graduate programs in North America.
Museums, Arts Administration, and Cultural Resource Management
If you are interested in a career in museum education, you should explore classes offered in the Departments of Anthropology and Art History that offer a variety of perspectives on dealing with material culture, visual arts, and public education. Careers in contract archaeology or cultural resource management in the United States require training in archaeological theory and practice offered through the Department of Anthropology. The Society for American Archaeology maintains an excellent list of resources, including an FAQ section about careers in archaeology.
Medical and Law School
If you are aiming for medical, law, or another professional school, you will need to plan carefully in order to meet entrance requirements and to do well on entrance exams. While a strong foundation in key areas (e.g., science for medical school) will be expected, admissions committees have traditionally sought out students who display a wide range of intellectual curiosity, maturity, discipline, and high accomplishment in many academic majors, including classics. A double degree—a B.A. in classics along with a B.S. in a science field—can be particularly impressive. The IU Health Professions and Prelaw Center is an important resource if law or medical school is in your plans.
A classics major can be an asset for your career in business. Many leading firms in banking and industry recruit liberal arts majors, including classicists, because these fields develop the analytical and communication skills that are vital for success. You can learn more about recruiting on campus and how to present your liberal arts background by meeting with a consultant from the Career Development Center (625 N. Jordan Ave.).
Publishing and Journalism
In the publishing industry, you can find some of the intellectual energy of your undergraduate studies combined with a business career. University presses publish both academic and trade books, including many books in classical studies. If you are thinking of a publishing career, you should develop strong communication skills (written and oral) and acquire some basic business training either through coursework, LAMP, or an internship at a press. The American Association of University Presses has information about careers in academic publishing, while the Association of American Publishers includes trade presses as well; both sites contain job listings.
If you are interested in journalism, you can earn a certificate or a second degree in journalism from the Media School while you work towards your B.A. in classics.