Undergraduate Degrees in Classics
The major in Classics is an undergraduate major. It is possible to earn a Master’s of Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Classics, and a student who is interested in that possibility should contact a faculty advisor.
At the undergraduate level, the University of Montana offers a degree in Classics with three emphases in (a) Classical Languages (both Greek and Latin), (b) Latin alone, or (c) Classical Civilization. All three courses of study are designed to prepare the student fully for more advanced study in the field, but each will serve equally as the core of a liberal arts education for students who choose to pursue something else after graduating from college.
The Latin and Greek languages are the core of all three programs. Students begin by learning the basic grammar of Latin or Greek over the course of one year. The amount of additional language study depends on which emphasis the student chooses. In the second-year of both Latin & Greek students begin to read texts of key authors. In the Fall, students read selections from prose authors (Latin: Cicero, Caesar; Greek: Plato, Lysias, Xenophon). In the Spring, students are introduced to poetry (Latin: Vergil; Greek: Homer). In the second-year study of Latin, readings are complemented with compositional exercises to ensure proficiency in both reading and writing.
At a more advanced level, students study closely works by such authors (in Greek) as Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Euripides, Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer, Plato, Sophocles,Thucydides, and Xenophon; or (in Latin) Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Livy, Lucretius, Ovid, Pliny, Sallust, Seneca, Tacitus, and Vergil. By translating and studying such authors, students come to know the not only the languages, but also the literature, history, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which form the basis for what the West has since become.
In addition to language, students study classical civilization and culture in courses using texts in translation. These include courses focusing on the literature of the Greeks and Romans, as well as their political and social history, the development and cultural influence of their art and mythology, and the history of ancient philosophy. This part of students' studies shares the more general aim of advanced language study mentioned just above, which is to familiarize students with the sources of their own Western civilization and culture. The study of Classics is in this way itself an appropriate kind of general education.