Best undergraduate Classics program?

Holy Cross has a unique undergraduate program in Classics. Here are some questions that can help you decide if it’s the right place for you to study Classics.

The curriculum

How many of your classes are taught by TAs?
HC: 0
Is it possible to major in Classics if I’ve never studied Greek or Latin before?
HC: Yes. Every year, our graduating class in Classics includes seniors who started studying both Greek and Latin at Holy Cross. Several professors in the department (including myself) first studied both Latin and Greek in college.
How many Greek and Latin courses do you offer for undergraduates only?
HC: Every semester, we offer beginning, intermediate and advanced in both languages; typically at least one upper-level class in Latin prose, one upper-level class in Latin poetry, and at least one upper-level Greek class. In the fall semester, we typically offer a third upper-level Latin course especially aimed at students who have some high-school background beyond an intermediate level but may benefit from a transitional semester before entering other advanced courses. None of these courses repeats in a four-year cycle, so students entering at any level of background can be assured of having a selection of new courses available each semester. All of these courses are for undergraduates only; all are taught by professors in the department.
Outside of Greek and Latin courses, how often do you offer undergraduate courses in ancient history, classical archaeology, and other aspects of Classics?
HC: Every semester. In a typical semester, we offer one or more classical archaeology courses, one or two courses in ancient history, and multiple courses on topics such as ancient science, mythology, and Greek literature in translation.

Fellow majors

How many majors do you have?
HC: Over the last several years, we have averaged ca. 60 majors.
How many majors study both Greek and Latin?
HC: All.
What proportion of majors complete 4 or more semesters of study in both Greek and Latin?
HC: 100%.

Study abroad

Can Classics majors study abroad in Italy or Greece?
HC: Yes. Holy Cross Classics majors can study for one or two semesters at approved programs in Rome, Athens or both. Financial aid and merit scholarships from Holy Cross apply to these programs.

Extracurricular activities

What student-run organizations for Classics are active on your campus?
HC: We have an active chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national Classics honors society, that organizes a variety of activities through the year. An informal conversational Latin club meets multiple times a month. Since 2012, a club devoted to research on primary sources, the Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Documents club (HC MID), has been a Registered Student Organization at the college. Parnassos is a student-published journal.

Student research

What kinds of peer-reviewed and national recognition have students received recently?
HC: See this list of regional, national and international conferences in eight countries where Holy Cross students have spoken recently (from the HC MID Club site:, and a separate list of peer-reviewed publications by Holy Cross Classics majors.
How many of your majors receive internal or external funding for research?
HC: Each year since 2010, multiple Classics majors have received funding for student research projects. See a partial list of funded summer research research projects (from the HC MID Club site:
What student research facilities do you host in your department?
HC: The Classics Department is home to the St. Isidore of Seville Research Lab, a student- and faculty-run research facility with a small library and a network of computers running open-source software for scholarly text editing and linguistic analysis.