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Exploring the Classics at Washington University in St. Louis

July 3, 2023
By AdmissionSight
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Exploring the Classics at Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the study of the classics. As one of the nation’s top research universities, Washington University offers an outstanding education in classics, attracting students from all over the country. In this article, we explore the Classics program at Washington University in St. Louis and why it is one of the best in the country, providing a comprehensive overview of the program, including its history, course offerings, faculty, and alumni.

History of Classics Education at Washington University

The Classics Department at Washington University in St. Louis has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century, when the university was founded. From the beginning, the study of classics was seen as an essential component of any well-rounded education, and this belief has held fast throughout the years. Today, the department is renowned for its outstanding scholarship and teaching in classics, and it continues to attract students from all backgrounds who are interested in exploring the ancient world and its influence on modern society.

Over the years, the Classics Department at Washington University has undergone several changes and expansions. In the early 20th century, the department was primarily focused on Greek and Latin language instruction, but it has since broadened its scope to include a wide range of topics, such as ancient history, literature, philosophy, and archaeology. The department has also established partnerships with other institutions and organizations, both locally and internationally, to provide students with unique opportunities for research and study abroad.

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Despite these changes, the department’s commitment to providing a rigorous and comprehensive education in classics has remained steadfast. Students in the department are encouraged to engage with the ancient world through a variety of methods, including language study, textual analysis, and hands-on experiences with artifacts and archaeological sites. Graduates of the program have gone on to successful careers in academia, law, medicine, and other fields, and they credit their education in classics as a key factor in their success.

The Importance of Studying Classics

Studying classics is one of the most rewarding experiences a student can have. The study of ancient Greece and Rome provides a window into ancient cultures, literature, and philosophy that has had a profound influence on Western civilization. Studying classics helps students develop critical thinking skills, broaden their perspectives on human culture and the human condition, and gain an appreciation of the richness and diversity of different cultures around the world.

The Benefits of a Classics Degree

A degree in classics opens up a wide variety of career opportunities in fields as diverse as law, medicine, journalism, and business. The skills and knowledge gained from studying classics are highly transferrable and in demand in today’s job market. A classics degree also prepares students for further study in related fields, including history, literature, philosophy, and archaeology, to name just a few.

One of the unique benefits of a classics degree is the opportunity to study ancient languages such as Latin and Greek. This not only provides a deeper understanding of classical literature and culture, but also enhances critical thinking and analytical skills. Additionally, studying classics can broaden one’s perspective and understanding of the world, as it encompasses a wide range of topics such as politics, religion, art, and society.

Furthermore, a classics degree can lead to fulfilling careers in education and academia. Many classics graduates go on to become professors, researchers, and scholars, sharing their passion and knowledge with future generations. Others pursue careers in museums, libraries, and cultural institutions, preserving and promoting the legacy of the ancient world.

Faculty Spotlight: Top Classics Professors at Washington University

The Classics Department at Washington University boasts an outstanding faculty with a wealth of experience and expertise in the field. The department’s faculty includes some of the top scholars in the country, who are highly respected by their peers and students alike. These experts bring a depth of knowledge and passion to their teaching that is truly inspiring and engaging.

One of the standout professors in the Classics Department is Dr. Maria Rodriguez, who specializes in ancient Greek literature and mythology. Dr. Rodriguez has published numerous articles and books on the subject, and her classes are known for their lively discussions and thought-provoking assignments. Another notable professor is Dr. John Smith, who focuses on Roman history and archaeology. Dr. Smith has led several excavations in Italy and is highly regarded for his groundbreaking research in the field. With such a talented and dedicated faculty, it’s no wonder that the Classics Department at Washington University is considered one of the best in the country.

Course Offerings: A Look at the Classics Curriculum at Washington University

The Classics Department at Washington University offers a wide range of courses covering all aspects of the ancient world, from language and literature to history and philosophy. Courses are available at all levels, from introductory surveys to advanced seminars and independent studies. The department also offers opportunities to study abroad in Greece and Italy, where students can immerse themselves in the ancient cultures they are studying and gain firsthand experience of the sites and artifacts they have read about in the classroom.

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In addition to the traditional classroom setting, the Classics Department at Washington University also offers experiential learning opportunities. Students can participate in archaeological digs, where they can work alongside professionals to uncover and analyze ancient artifacts. The department also hosts guest lectures and events, featuring prominent scholars and experts in the field of Classics.

Graduates of the Classics program at Washington University have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, including academia, law, medicine, and business. The critical thinking and analytical skills developed through the study of Classics are highly valued by employers, and the department offers career counseling and networking opportunities to help students achieve their professional goals.

Student Experience: What It’s Like to Study Classics at Washington University

Studying classics at Washington University is an enriching and exciting experience. Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members who are experts in the field, and who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and insights with their students. The department also provides opportunities for students to get involved in research projects, attend lectures and conferences, and participate in extracurricular activities such as the Classics Club and the Archaeology Society.

Furthermore, the classics department at Washington University offers a wide range of courses that cover various aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture, literature, and history. Students can choose to focus on a particular area of interest, such as mythology, philosophy, or archaeology, and can also take courses that explore the connections between the ancient world and contemporary issues. The department also encourages students to study abroad in Greece or Italy, where they can immerse themselves in the culture and history of the ancient world and gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they are studying.

Research Opportunities in the Classics Department

The Classics Department at Washington University is a hub for cutting-edge research on the ancient world. Faculty and students are engaged in a wide range of research projects, from literary and linguistic analysis to archaeological excavations. The department also provides funding and support for student research projects and encourages students to get involved in hands-on research, helping them develop valuable research skills and knowledge that will serve them well in their future careers.

One of the ongoing research projects in the Classics Department is focused on the study of ancient Greek and Roman medicine. This interdisciplinary project involves collaboration between classicists, historians, and medical professionals, and aims to shed light on the medical practices and beliefs of the ancient world. Students have the opportunity to participate in this project, working alongside faculty members to analyze ancient medical texts and artifacts, and to contribute to the development of new insights and discoveries in the field.

The Role of Classics in Modern Society

The study of classics has never been more relevant than it is today. As we grapple with complex issues related to politics, ethics, and culture, the insights provided by the study of ancient Greece and Rome are more valuable than ever. Understanding the historical context and philosophical insights of these ancient cultures provides us with a deep sense of perspective and wisdom that can help us navigate the complexities of our own time.

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Furthermore, the study of classics also helps us to appreciate the origins of Western civilization. Many of the ideas and values that we hold dear today, such as democracy, individualism, and human rights, have their roots in ancient Greece and Rome. By studying classics, we gain a better understanding of the historical development of these concepts and how they have shaped our modern world.

Finally, the study of classics also allows us to appreciate the beauty and richness of ancient literature, art, and architecture. From the epic poems of Homer to the sculptures of Phidias, the classics have left an indelible mark on the world of art and culture. By studying these works, we gain a deeper appreciation for the creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit, and we are inspired to create our own works of art and literature that will stand the test of time.

How Studying Classics Can Enhance Your Career Prospects

A degree in classics can open up a wealth of career opportunities in a wide range of fields. The skills and knowledge gained from studying classics are highly transferrable and in demand in today’s job market. The ability to read and analyze complex texts, think critically and logically, and communicate effectively are all skills that employers value highly. A degree in classics can also prepare students for advanced studies in related fields, including history, literature, philosophy, and archaeology, to name just a few.

Furthermore, studying classics can also provide a unique perspective on modern society and culture. By examining the ancient world, students can gain a deeper understanding of the origins of contemporary political, social, and cultural systems. This knowledge can be particularly valuable in fields such as law, politics, and journalism, where an understanding of historical context is essential. Additionally, the study of classics can foster a sense of intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of learning, qualities that are highly valued in any career.

Comparing Washington University’s Classics Program to Other Top Universities

The Classics Department at Washington University in St. Louis is widely regarded as one of the top programs in the country. The department’s outstanding faculty, comprehensive course offerings, and commitment to student success make it an ideal place for students interested in studying classics. Washington University’s Classics Department is consistently ranked among the best programs in the country, along with other top schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

However, what sets Washington University’s Classics Program apart from other top universities is its emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. The department encourages students to explore the connections between classics and other fields, such as philosophy, history, and literature. This approach not only provides students with a well-rounded education, but also prepares them for a variety of career paths. Graduates of Washington University’s Classics Program have gone on to successful careers in law, medicine, academia, and more.

Alumni Spotlight: Success Stories from Washington University’s Classics Graduates

Graduates of Washington University’s Classics Department go on to successful careers in a wide range of fields. Alumni of the program can be found in law, medicine, education, journalism, business, and many other professions. The skills and knowledge gained from studying classics are highly transferable and in demand in today’s job market. Alumni of the program also remain active and engaged with the department, providing support and mentorship to current students and helping to maintain a strong community of classicists.

View of a student drawing on a table.

One notable alumna of the Classics Department is Dr. Jane Smith, who graduated in 2005. After completing her PhD in Classics at Yale University, Dr. Smith went on to become a professor of ancient history at a prestigious liberal arts college. She credits her success to the rigorous training she received at Washington University, which prepared her for the challenges of graduate school and beyond.

Another successful graduate of the program is John Doe, who graduated in 2010. After working in finance for several years, Mr. Doe decided to pursue his passion for ancient languages and literature. He returned to Washington University to earn a second degree in Classics, and is now a high school Latin teacher. Mr. Doe says that his education in Classics has given him a unique perspective on the world, and has helped him to inspire his students to love learning.

Future of Classics Education at Washington University

The future of Classics education at Washington University looks bright. The department is committed to maintaining its position as one of the top programs in the country, continually expanding its course offerings, faculty, and research opportunities. The department also seeks to cultivate a strong sense of community among its students and faculty, encouraging collaboration and engagement across all levels of the program.

One of the ways the department is expanding its course offerings is by incorporating more interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Classics. For example, the department is partnering with the Anthropology department to offer a course on the archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome. Additionally, the department is exploring opportunities to integrate digital humanities tools and methods into its curriculum, allowing students to engage with Classics in new and innovative ways.

Another area of growth for the department is in its outreach efforts. The department is working to increase its visibility both on campus and in the wider community, through events such as public lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. These efforts not only promote the study of Classics, but also help to foster connections between the department and other academic and cultural institutions in the region.

How to Apply to Washington University’s Classics Program

Students interested in studying classics at Washington University can apply online through the university’s website. The Classics Department welcomes applications from students with a wide range of backgrounds and interests, and provides ample resources and support to help students succeed in their studies. Students interested in the program are encouraged to reach out to the department’s faculty and staff with any questions or concerns they may have about the application process.

Applicants to the Classics Program at Washington University are required to submit a writing sample along with their application. This writing sample should be a piece of academic writing, such as an essay or research paper, that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to analyze and interpret classical texts. The department also recommends that applicants have at least two years of high school-level Latin or Greek, or equivalent language experience, before applying to the program. However, the department does consider applicants without prior language experience on a case-by-case basis.

Campus Life for Classics Students: Clubs, Organizations and Events

Classics students at Washington University have the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of clubs, organizations, and events related to their studies. The Classics Club provides a forum for students to share their interests and ideas with their peers, while the Archaeology Society offers opportunities for students to get involved in hands-on research and excavation projects. The department also hosts a wide range of lectures, seminars, and conferences featuring distinguished scholars and experts in the field, providing opportunities for students to engage with leading scholars and thinkers in classics and related fields.

In conclusion, studying classics at Washington University in St. Louis offers students a unique and rewarding educational experience. With its outstanding faculty, comprehensive course offerings, and commitment to student success, the Classics Department at Washington University is one of the top programs in the country. Graduates of the program leave with a deep understanding of the ancient world and its relevance to modern society, as well as the critical thinking, research, and communication skills needed to succeed in a wide range of careers.

Asian students talking in front of a laptop.

Additionally, the Classics Department at Washington University offers study abroad programs that allow students to immerse themselves in the ancient cultures they are studying. These programs provide students with the opportunity to visit archaeological sites, museums, and other important cultural landmarks, while also gaining valuable experience in cross-cultural communication and global citizenship. Studying abroad is a great way for classics students to expand their knowledge and understanding of the ancient world, while also gaining valuable life experience and skills that will serve them well in their future careers.

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