Top 10 Colleges for Classics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Academic Literature

Top 10 Colleges for Classics

If you’re exploring colleges renowned for their classics programs, this blog is your go-to resource. Let’s delve into the top institutions offering robust studies in this field.

Classics programs unlock the past, teaching us about ancient civilizations, languages, and cultures. Through studying ancient Greek and Latin texts, students gain insights into the roots of modern society, politics, and philosophy.

So, choosing the right program is crucial. It sets the foundation for careers in education, law, and beyond. We’ll guide you through the top classics programs, helping you make an informed decision for your future.

Top 10 Colleges for Classics

1. Harvard University – Department of the Classics

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Estimated Tuition: $54,300
  • Graduation Rate: 97%

Harvard’s classics program is highly prestigious. Ranked 5th globally by QS World University Rankings, its competitive edge is marked by a 7% acceptance rate. This program is ideal for students aiming for excellence in a challenging academic environment.

Harvard flag is seen outside the Harvard Cooperative Society (the Coop), a collegiate bookstore on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The program offers unique concentrations in Greco-Roman civilization, activities like the AIA/SCS Annual Meeting, and online courses at Harvard Extension School. Events across the Boston area enrich student experiences, making it a top choice for those passionate about classics.

2. Princeton University – Classics Department

  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey
  • Estimated Tuition: $59,700
  • Graduation Rate: 98%

Princeton’s classics program stands out for its excellence. Ranked 6th in the world by QS World University Rankings, it boasts a 6% acceptance rate, attracting students who thrive in competitive and intellectually rigorous environments. This top college for classics is a beacon for those dedicated to mastering ancient cultures.

Specifically, the program offers diverse concentrations like the Classical Studies Track and courses ranging from “Classical Athens: Art and Institutions” to “Classical Mythology.” Activities such as the Junior Seminar and Senior Independent Work underscore Princeton’s commitment to deep, immersive learning in the classics field.

3. Yale University – Department of Classics

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut
  • Estimated Tuition: $64,700
  • Graduation Rate: 97%

Yale’s classics program is renowned, ranked 9th globally. With a 6.3% acceptance rate, it attracts those who excel in highly selective environments. This top classics program is perfect for ambitious students seeking a rigorous academic challenge.

The classics program at Yale offers concentrations in Greek or Latin literature, Classical Civilization, and Ancient and Modern Greek. Courses range from introductory to advanced seminars, designed for students at all levels of language proficiency. Activities extend beyond the classroom, preparing students for careers in law, politics, and more, while emphasizing anti-racism and inclusivity.

4. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) – Department of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies

  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • Estimated Tuition: $15,300 (California residents); $30,400 (non-residents)
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

UC Berkeley’s classics program, ranked 10th internationally, boasts a higher acceptance rate of 64%. This top classics college is for students who value both a rigorous academic challenge and a supportive learning environment.

Courses include Papyrology, Myth and Literature, and Ancient Society and Law, among others. Activities like supervised teaching and research, along with fellowships such as the Harry Caplan Travel Fellowship, enrich students’ academic journey.

5. University of Chicago (UChicago) – Department of Classics

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Estimated Tuition: $63,800
  • Graduation Rate: 96%

UChicago’s classics program is globally recognized, ranking 11th. With an acceptance rate of 6%, it draws students ready for intense academic and competitive environments. This top classics program suits those eager to delve deep into ancient cultures.

University of Chicago campus

The program features concentrations in Language and Literature, Language Intensive, and Greek and Roman Cultures. Courses like “Greek Survey 1: Poetry” and “Digital Humanities for the Ancient World” offer diverse learning experiences. At UChicago, events and workshops, alongside opportunities for study abroad and research grants, enrich student engagement.

6. Stanford University – Department of Classics

  • Location: Stanford, California
  • Estimated Tuition: $62,500
  • Graduation Rate: 96%

Stanford’s classics program, ranked 19th globally, has a highly selective 4% acceptance rate. This top classics program is designed for students who excel in competitive academic environments and are passionate about ancient cultures.

The program offers concentrations in Classical Languages, Classical Archaeology, and Ancient History. Students engage in courses covering Greek and Latin literature, ancient philosophy, and archaeology. The department also hosts events to deepen students’ understanding of classical studies.

7. Columbia University – Department of Classics

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Estimated Tuition: $58,400
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

Columbia’s classics program is ranked 27th globally. It has a selective acceptance rate of approximately 6%. This top classics college is suited for students who seek a competitive and comprehensive education in the ancient world.

The program offers concentrations in Art History, Archaeology, History, Philosophy, and Religion, providing a multifaceted approach to ancient Mediterranean cultures. Activities and events, including the “Art as a Practice of Freedom” discussion and various seminars, offer students unique opportunities for engagement and learning.Top of Form

8. Cornell University – Department of Classics

  • Location: Ithaca, New York
  • Estimated Tuition: $66,800 (New York State residents); $88,150 (non-New York State residents)
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

Ranked 32nd globally, Cornell’s classics program has a 56% acceptance rate. This program is ideal for students seeking a comprehensive understanding of classical cultures in a collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment.

The program offers concentrations like Classical Literature and Philology, and Classical Archaeology and Art. At Cornell, activities include Caplan Travel Fellowships and studying abroad in Rome or Athens, providing immersive experiences in classical studies.

9. Brown University – Department of Classics

  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Estimated Tuition: $68,200
  • Graduation Rate: 96%

Brown’s classics program has a selective 5% acceptance rate. Ranked 36th internationally, this top classics college is for students who are deeply committed to studying ancient cultures through rigorous academic training and who have a strong academic foundation.

The program offers concentrations in Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, and Modern Greek, with opportunities for in-depth study through a senior thesis. Activities include seminars and capstone projects, enriching the student experience with diverse academic pursuits in classics.Top of Form

10. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (UM-Ann Arbor) – Department of Classical Studies

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Estimated Tuition: $27,500 (Michigan residents); $55,050 (non-Michigan residents)
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

UM-Ann Arbor’s classics program, ranked 40th globally, has a competitive 9% acceptance rate. This program is ideal for dedicated students who are eager to immerse themselves in ancient Greek and Roman studies in a rigorous academic setting.

front view of University of Michigan

At UM-Ann Arbor, the classics program offers concentrations in Classics and Classical Studies, emphasizing ancient civilizations, languages, literature, and culture. Activities like the Local Classics project and various departmental events enhance the learning experience, connecting students with the community and deeper aspects of classical studies.

How to Find the Best Classics College for You

Choosing the right classics program can be a pivotal decision in your academic career. Here’s a guide to help you find the best fit for your interests and goals:

1. Assess your academic interests in classical studies.

Understanding your passion within classics is the first step toward finding the right program. Whether you’re drawn to ancient languages, literature, archaeology, or philosophy, your interests should guide your search for the top college for classics.

Each program offers a unique focus and approach to classical studies. Some may emphasize linguistic proficiency in Latin and Greek, while others prioritize the cultural and historical contexts of ancient texts. Identifying your preferences will help narrow down your options to schools that align with your academic goals.

2. Research college rankings and reputation in classics.

Rankings can provide a snapshot of a program’s quality, resources, and overall academic environment. While not the only factor to consider, they offer valuable insights into the strengths of different classics programs at top colleges.

However, it’s important to look beyond rankings and delve into the specifics of what makes a classics program stand out. Faculty achievements, research opportunities, and the success of graduates can also indicate the program’s reputation. This information will help you identify colleges that excel in the classical studies field.

3. Consider the faculty expertise and research areas.

The faculty’s expertise can significantly impact your education and research opportunities. Programs with faculty members who are leaders in your areas of interest can provide mentorship and open doors to innovative research in classics.

In addition, the faculty-to-student ratio is crucial for personalized attention and support throughout your studies. A program that encourages close collaboration with professors can enhance your learning experience and prepare you for advanced study or careers related to classics. This aspect is especially important in highly regarded colleges for classical studies.

4. Look into the specific concentrations and courses offered by colleges for classics.

The diversity of concentrations and courses within a classics program can greatly influence your academic and professional development. Programs that offer a wide range of topics allow you to explore various facets of classical studies and find your niche.

A curriculum that integrates traditional classics subjects with interdisciplinary approaches, such as digital humanities or comparative literature, can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the ancient world. This broad exposure is key to building a solid foundation in classical studies at a top college for classics.

5. Evaluate the availability of study abroad and fieldwork opportunities.

Study abroad programs in places like Greece or Italy can offer invaluable on-the-ground experience with ancient sites and texts. Such opportunities not only enrich your understanding of classical antiquity but also enhance your resume and academic profile.

Plato's statue

Fieldwork and archaeological digs allow for hands-on learning and research that classroom study alone cannot provide. Programs that facilitate these experiences demonstrate a commitment to immersive and practical education, preparing students for a range of careers in classics and related fields.

6. Check the acceptance rate and graduation rate of colleges for classics.

A program’s acceptance rate can indicate its selectivity and competitiveness. Highly selective programs often provide a rigorous academic environment that attracts ambitious students passionate about classical studies.

A high graduation rate suggests that the program not only attracts quality students but also supports them towards successful completion of their degrees. This support could come in the form of academic advising, mentorship, and resources necessary for thriving in a challenging field. Such metrics are important considerations when choosing the right classics program for your academic journey.

7. Review financial aid, scholarships, and tuition costs.

Understanding the financial aspect of your education is crucial. Programs that offer generous financial aid and scholarships can make attending a top college for classics more accessible.

Compare the tuition costs and available financial support across different programs. A college that provides substantial aid or has a variety of scholarships for classics students can ease the financial burden, allowing you to focus on your studies and research without undue stress.

8. Explore extracurricular activities and community engagement options at colleges for classics.

Extracurriculars, such as classics clubs, academic societies, and language workshops, enhance the learning experience. They offer opportunities to apply your knowledge, gain leadership skills, and connect with like-minded peers.

Community engagement initiatives, like tutoring in ancient languages or organizing classical studies events, can enrich your academic and personal growth. Programs that encourage such involvement show a commitment to not only educating students but also fostering a vibrant classical studies community.

9. Visit campuses, if possible, to get a feel for the environment.

A campus visit can provide insights into the daily life and culture of a college. It allows you to experience the academic atmosphere, meet faculty and students, and see the resources available firsthand.

Observing classes and speaking with current classics students can give you a clearer idea of what to expect. This personal experience can be invaluable in deciding if a program’s environment and community are the right fit for you, complementing the factual research you’ve gathered.

10. Talk to current students and alumni of colleges for classics about their experiences.

Gaining insights from those who have navigated the program can offer you a clearer picture of what to expect. They can share valuable advice on courses, faculty, and opportunities that aren’t apparent from catalogs or websites.

Alumni can also provide perspective on how the program prepared them for their careers or further studies. Their success stories can be a testament to the program’s quality and the network you’d be joining.


Choosing the right classics program is a journey that shapes your academic and professional future. By carefully considering these steps, you can find a program that not only meets your academic interests but also supports your aspirations.

Remember, the best program is one that resonates with your passion for classical studies and offers a path to achieving your dreams. Make your choice count, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the world of classics.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.