Exploring Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies
The world of classical studies is a tapestry of ancient civilizations, languages, and timeless tales that continue to influence our modern world. At Boston University, the Department of Classical Studies is a vibrant hub of intellectual exploration where students and scholars delve into the complexities of the past while embracing the burstiness of thought and inquiry. We will embark on an exploration of the fascinating domain of Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies, where complexity and diversity converge in captivating ways.
A Brief History of Boston University
Founded in 1839 under the auspices of the Methodist Church, Boston University initially emerged as the Newbury Biblical Institute in the serene landscapes of Newbury, Vermont. However, its trajectory took a transformative turn in 1867 when it relocated to the bustling urban heart of Boston, a move that prompted its rechristening to its current name, Boston University.
This shift marked the inception of a compelling journey characterized by a rich tapestry of academic excellence and growth. Over the years, BU has flourished into one of the United States’ largest and most esteemed institutions of higher learning.
Boston University’s main campus, located along the picturesque Charles River, gracefully spans Boston’s Fenway-Kenmore and Allston-Brighton neighborhoods. Yet, the university’s presence extends far beyond these storied confines. Boston University maintains satellite campuses and facilities in diverse locales, including Boston’s bustling Medical Campus and the Boston University School of Law situated in the dynamic Seaport District.
Furthermore, it has established a global footprint through educational initiatives and affiliations worldwide.
Why Study Classical Studies at Boston University?
At its core, Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies serves as a gateway to the past. Here, students go on an exciting exploration of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, uncovering the secrets of the past. From Homer’s epics to the political intricacies of the Roman Republic, the department offers a wide array of courses that challenge students’ minds and expand their horizons.
One of the hallmarks of classical studies is the study of ancient languages, and Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies is no exception. Students immerse themselves in the intricacies of Latin and Ancient Greek, unlocking the treasures of classical literature in their original forms. The beauty of this lies in the perplexity of these languages; they challenge students to decipher ancient texts, offering glimpses into the minds of thinkers who lived millennia ago.
Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies is not just about parsing words. It’s about embracing the diversity of ideas. Professors and students engage in lively discussions, exploring the enduring relevance of ancient texts and concepts. The department encourages intellectual diversity, with scholars from various backgrounds contributing their perspectives to the discourse. This burstiness of thought leads to dynamic and thought-provoking conversations in and out of the classroom.
This Classical Studies program extends beyond the boundaries of the ancient Mediterranean world. Students have the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary studies, drawing connections between classical civilization and fields such as history, philosophy, archaeology, and even modern politics. This interdisciplinary approach adds a layer of complexity and diversity to the academic experience.
With access to the renowned Boston University Libraries and the archaeological collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, students have abundant resources at their fingertips to support their research and studies.
Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies offers a window into the past while encouraging the bursting of ideas that will shape our future. Whether you’re a student eager to explore the depths of antiquity or a scholar seeking to add complexity to your research, this department is a place where perplexity and burstiness thrive, providing a profound and enriching experience for all.
Delving into the world of classical languages is a cornerstone of Boston University’s Classical Studies program. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the intricacies of Latin and Ancient Greek, gaining access to the timeless works of authors like Homer, Virgil, and Plato in their original form.
Overview of the Classical Studies Programs and Why You Should Consider Studying Them
Classical Civilization Program
Classical civilization refers to the culture, history, and societies of two of the most influential civilizations in ancient history: ancient Greece and ancient Rome. These civilizations had a profound impact on the development of Western culture and many aspects of contemporary society. Here are some key characteristics and elements of classical civilization:
Geographic Origins: Classical civilization primarily emerged in the Mediterranean region. Ancient Greece was located in the eastern Mediterranean, while ancient Rome was situated in the central and western Mediterranean. The proximity of these civilizations facilitated cultural exchange and mutual influence.
Time Period: Classical civilization encompasses a broad time frame but is commonly associated with the period from the 8th century BCE (the emergence of the Greek polis or city-state) to the 5th century CE (the fall of the Western Roman Empire). These eras are often referred to as the “Classical Period.”
Political Systems: In ancient Greece, the political landscape included city-states like Athens and Sparta, each with its own government and system of governance. In contrast, ancient Rome evolved from a monarchy to a republic and eventually into an empire, with a centralized government led by emperors.
Culture and Philosophy: Both Greek and Roman cultures made significant contributions to philosophy, literature, art, and architecture. Greek philosophy, with figures like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, laid the foundation for Western philosophical thought. Greek drama, poetry, and epic literature, such as the works of Homer, remain influential. Roman literature, including the works of Virgil and Cicero, also made significant contributions.
Language: The Greek and Latin languages were fundamental to classical civilization. Greek was the language of the eastern Mediterranean and a lingua franca of culture and trade, while
Latin became the official language of the Roman Empire and influenced many modern European languages.
Religion: The religious beliefs of classical civilization included the polytheistic pantheons of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. These beliefs played a central role in daily life, culture, and civic ceremonies.
Government and Law: The concept of democracy, with its origins in Athens, emerged in ancient Greece. Roman law, particularly the development of the Roman legal system, had a lasting impact on the legal systems of many modern nations.
Architecture and Engineering: Both the Greeks and Romans were renowned for their architectural and engineering achievements. Greek architecture is characterized by elements such as columns and temples, while Roman architecture introduced innovations like arches and aqueducts.
Military Power: The military prowess of both civilizations allowed them to expand their territories and influence. The Roman legions, in particular, played a significant role in the expansion and maintenance of the Roman Empire.
Legacy: The legacy of classical civilization is profound. It has shaped Western thought, politics, culture, and institutions for centuries. Elements of classical civilization continue to influence contemporary art, architecture, literature, philosophy, and political theory.
Ancient Greek Program
Studying ancient Greek in college offers a range of intellectual, cultural, and practical benefits. Here are several compelling reasons why studying ancient Greek can be a valuable pursuit:
Access to Classical Literature: Learning ancient Greek provides access to a wealth of classical literature in its original form. You can read works by renowned ancient authors such as Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, and Euripides without relying on translations. This direct engagement with the source material allows for a deeper understanding of the nuances and subtleties of these texts.
Understanding Western Thought: Many foundational ideas in Western philosophy, science, and culture have their roots in ancient Greece. Studying Greek allows you to explore the origins of concepts like democracy, ethics, logic, and rhetoric, which continue to shape contemporary thought and society.
Enhanced Linguistic Skills: Learning an ancient language like Greek can significantly enhance your linguistic skills. The study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary in a highly inflected language like Greek can sharpen your analytical thinking and attention to detail, skills that are valuable in various academic and professional contexts.
Cultural Appreciation: Ancient Greece was the cradle of Western civilization, and its culture has left an indelible mark on art, architecture, literature, and politics. Studying ancient Greek provides insights into the cultural context that produced these influential contributions and helps you appreciate the cultural heritage of the Western world.
Academic and Career Opportunities: Proficiency in ancient Greek can open doors to academic and career opportunities. It can be particularly valuable if you plan to pursue advanced degrees in fields like classics, history, archaeology, or religious studies. Moreover, some professions, such as academia, museum curation, and publishing, value knowledge of ancient languages.
Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills: The study of ancient Greek requires analytical thinking and problem-solving. Translating and interpreting complex texts necessitates critical thinking and attention to detail, skills that can be applied to a wide range of academic and professional endeavors.
Cultural Context for Modern Language: Learning ancient Greek can deepen your understanding of the development of languages, including English. Many English words have Greek roots, and studying the ancient language can help you recognize and appreciate these linguistic connections.
Personal Enrichment: Beyond academic and career advantages, studying ancient Greek can be personally enriching. It offers a sense of intellectual fulfillment and the opportunity to engage with some of the greatest minds in human history.
Interdisciplinary Studies: Ancient Greek is often studied in conjunction with related fields like ancient history, classical studies, archaeology, and philosophy. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to explore the ancient world from multiple angles and gain a holistic understanding of the past.
Preservation of Cultural Heritage: By studying and preserving ancient languages like Greek, scholars contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and ensure that these important texts and traditions continue to be accessible to future generations.
Studying Latin in a program at Boston University offers a range of academic, intellectual, and practical advantages. Here are several compelling reasons why enrolling in a Latin program at Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies can be a valuable pursuit:
Access to Classical Literature: Learning Latin provides direct access to the original texts of some of the most significant works in Western literature, including the writings of authors like Virgil, Cicero, Tacitus, and Ovid. Studying these texts in their original language allows for a deeper appreciation of their nuances and literary qualities.
Read stunning, important ancient texts by writers such as Julius Caesar, Virgil, Catullus, and Ovid within a year of instruction.
Understanding the Roots of Western Civilization: Latin was the language of ancient Rome, a civilization that laid the foundations for much of Western culture, law, politics, and language. A strong grasp of Latin allows you to explore the origins of many Western ideas and institutions.
Language Proficiency: Learning Latin can enhance your linguistic skills. Latin is a highly inflected language with complex grammar and syntax, and mastering it can sharpen your analytical thinking and attention to detail, skills that are valuable in various academic and professional contexts.
Cultural Appreciation: Latin was not only a language but also a medium for expressing the culture of ancient Rome. Studying Latin allows you to delve into Roman history, art, architecture, and philosophy, providing a richer understanding of this influential civilization.
Cross-disciplinary Studies: Latin is often studied in conjunction with related fields such as classical studies, history, archaeology, and philosophy. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to explore the ancient world from multiple angles and gain a holistic understanding of the past.
Academic and Career Opportunities: Proficiency in Latin can open doors to academic and career opportunities. It can be particularly valuable if you plan to pursue advanced degrees in fields such as classics, history, archaeology, or linguistics. Latin is also beneficial in professions related to academia, research, translation, and museum curation.
Preservation of Cultural Heritage: By studying and preserving Latin, scholars contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and ensure that important texts and traditions continue to be accessible to future generations.
Language Connection: Latin has influenced many modern languages, including English. Learning Latin can help you recognize and understand Latin roots and cognates in English and other languages, which can improve your vocabulary and language comprehension skills.
Personal Enrichment: Beyond academic and career benefits, studying Latin can be personally enriching. It offers a sense of intellectual fulfillment and the opportunity to engage with some of the greatest minds in human history.
Appreciation of Ancient Texts: Latin is the language of countless ancient inscriptions, manuscripts, and texts. Understanding Latin allows you to appreciate the historical significance of these documents and their contribution to our understanding of the past.
Modern Greek Program
Exploring the Modern Greek Program at Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies presents numerous academic, cultural, and personal benefits. Here are some compelling rationales for considering enrollment in BU’s Modern Greek Program, highlighting its value and significance:
Cultural Enrichment: The Modern Greek Program at BU provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Greece. You’ll gain a deep appreciation for Greek history, literature, art, and traditions, and develop a profound understanding of the Greek way of life.
Language Proficiency: Learning Modern Greek allows you to acquire proficiency in a language that is spoken by millions of people in Greece, Cyprus, and Greek communities around the world. Proficiency in a less commonly taught language like Modern Greek can be a valuable asset in academia, international business, diplomacy, and cultural exchange.
Interdisciplinary Studies: Modern Greek is often studied in conjunction with related fields such as classical studies, history, anthropology, and archaeology. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to explore the connections between ancient and modern Greece, providing a comprehensive understanding of Greek culture and history.
Academic Opportunities: BU’s Modern Greek Program offers a range of courses that cover language, literature, history, and culture. These courses are taught by knowledgeable and experienced faculty members who are passionate about their subject, providing a high-quality educational experience.
Study Abroad Opportunities: Boston University often offers study abroad programs in Greece, allowing students to experience Greek culture firsthand and further develop their language skills while living and studying in Greece.
Cultural Exchange: Learning Modern Greek can open doors to cultural exchange opportunities. You can engage with Greek-speaking communities, both locally and globally, fostering cross-cultural understanding and connections.
Career Opportunities: Proficiency in Modern Greek can enhance your qualifications for a wide range of careers, including international relations, translation, journalism, tourism, and education. It can also be advantageous if you have an interest in working for international organizations or diplomatic services.
Research and Scholarship: Boston University’s Modern Greek Program can be a launching pad for research and scholarship in various fields related to Greek studies. It offers resources and support for students interested in conducting research on the Greek language, culture, history, and society.
Preservation of Cultural Heritage: By studying Modern Greek, you contribute to the preservation of Greek language and culture. This is especially important in the diaspora, where language retention and cultural heritage are valued.
Personal Enrichment: Beyond academic and career benefits, learning Modern Greek can be personally enriching. It allows you to connect with Greek-speaking communities, engage with Greek literature and media, and explore Greece as a travel destination.
Studying at Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies offers incoming college students a unique and enriching educational experience. It provides a gateway to the timeless wisdom and cultural heritage of ancient Greece and Rome, fosters critical thinking, and prepares students for a diverse range of academic and professional paths.
A Student’s Guide to Applying to Boston University
As a prospective first-year student, you are required to submit the following documents.
- Common Application or QuestBridge Application
- High School Transcript
- Senior Year Grades
- Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form
- Teacher Evaluation
- Standardized Tests (Optional)
Common Application and QuestBridge Application
Boston University accepts both the Common Application and the QuestBridge Application. For QuestBridge Applicants, you may visit the QuestBridge webpage for specific application instructions.
QuestBridge is a nonprofit organization offers scholarship programs and opportunities for talented students from underserved backgrounds to attend prestigious institutions.
Selecting an Academic Program
When applying, you must specify a BU school or college. You may consult Boston University’s list of majors to find out which entry semesters are available for each program.
If you haven’t decided on a specific school or field of study, they recommend applying to the College of Arts & Sciences and choosing either “Undeclared” or the College of General Studies.
However, if you are certain you are going for the Classical Studies, make sure you choose this one!
You are required to submit two essays. This is a crucial part of your application as it provides an opportunity to share your unique story as an applicant.
Admission to Your Chosen Program:
While your preferred school or college will consider your application, you may also be considered for admission to the College of General Studies or another Boston University program for which you meet the requirements.
The application fee is $80 and can be paid through the Common Application.
Common App allows high school students to apply to multiple colleges and universities through a single, standardized application form, streamlining the admissions process.
Boston University aims to support students and families, ensuring that the application fee does not hinder anyone from applying for admission. If you are a student seeking a fee waiver, you may review the eligibility criteria on the Common Application.
Secondary School Transcript
You need to provide official copies of your high school transcripts, which should be sent directly by a school representative. If you’re following an international curriculum with national exams, refer to our Secondary School Credentials page for guidance on submitting these official results.
For most BU programs, the preferred high school curriculum includes:
- 4 years of English
- 3-4 years of mathematics (with a preference for precalculus/calculus)*
- 3-4 years of laboratory science
- 3-4 years of history and/or social science
- 2-4 years of a foreign language
*Precalculus or calculus is recommended for most programs.
Senior Year Grades
For Early Decision applicants, it’s important to promptly provide your counselor with your initial marking period grades, whether they are from the first quarter or first trimester.
For Regular Decision applicants, if you follow a semester schedule, please ensure your counselor sends your first marking period or first quarter grades if they are accessible.
Furthermore, your counselor should send your first semester grades once they are accessible. If you follow a trimester schedule, please have your counselor submit your first trimester grades as soon as they are available.
School Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form
Kindly request that your school counselor complete and submit both the School Report form and the School Counselor Recommendation form available on the Common App.
Please request a teacher to complete and submit the Teacher Evaluation form available through the Common App.
Standardized Tests (Optional)
This policy applies to all undergraduate schools and colleges at Boston University, including all scholarship programs.
Incoming first-year students and applicants are responsible for deciding whether or not to include standardized test scores in their application for admission to Boston University.
When making this decision, students should consider their entire academic record, their contributions inside and outside the classroom and to their communities, and whether they believe these experiences accurately reflect their academic abilities and potential.
Applicants can indicate their preference regarding the consideration of standardized test scores during the application process. Once the application is submitted, this choice cannot be altered.
Moreover, it empowers individuals to connect the past with the present, shaping them into informed, well-rounded, and culturally aware global citizens. Choosing Boston University’s Department of Classical Studies is not just a step towards academic excellence but also a journey of personal growth and enlightenment.
If you’re seeking assistance with finalizing your college applications, AdmissionSight boasts more than a decade of expertise in guiding students through the competitive admissions procedure. Feel free to reach out to us today and book your consultation.