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Classics BA - Classical Languages & Literature Concentration

(HEGIS: 15.04 CLASSICS, CIP: 16.1200 Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General)

Department of Classics

338 Academic Center, Ellicott Complex
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261-0026

Bradley Ault

John Dugan
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Why study Classics BA - Classical Languages & Literature Concentration at UB?

Classics is an intensely interdisciplinary field of study comprising the culture, history, languages and material remains of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

Students of classics are students of:


By examining the objects, architecture and other physical remnants of an ancient civilization, students begin to form a tangible connection with the people whose lives served to advance modern medicine, technology, systems of government, and agricultural and military practices. 


Thousands of antiquities, including sculpture, pottery and reliefs, have survived to the present day, offering 21st century scholars and artists the opportunity to study not only the sophisticated techniques, but also the storytelling power of these lasting links to ancient cultures. 


Classical Greek and Latin formed the foundation of the modern Romance languages. As some of the oldest documented human languages and writing systems, to study Latin and Greek is to study the early human mind and thought process, as well as the complex symbiosis between oral and textual communication. 


From mythology to epic poetry to drama, the literature of classical civilizations engages with the most fundamental human emotions and concerns. Students encounter pivotal works like Vergil's Aeneid, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Plato's Symposium and Sophocles' Antigone, while researching the contemporary circumstances that led to their production.


Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius — these names are synonymous with ancient philosophy. Spurring an intellectual revolution, they are among the many significant figures who, by creating and defining rational thought, contributed to the core understanding of mathematics, anatomy, astronomy and more.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Gain knowledge of the fundamental elements of Classics, through study of the languages, classes in Greek and Roman history, art and archaeology, and culture
  • Develop their ability to read and analyze texts closely, whether in translation or in the original language
  • Demonstrate their ability to write papers, drawing on research tools in the various subdisciplines — texts, documents, physical remains, scholarly articles and books, theoretical approaches and digital tools
  • Understand the legacy of the Greek and Roman world, its historical importance in our own culture
  • Be encouraged to supplement classroom learning with experience abroad, whether as part of an archaeological expedition or study abroad program

The Learning Environment

The department of Classics offers lecture courses on the archaeology, art, culture, history, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and smaller language classes (in Latin and ancient Greek) that emphasize student participation. Study-abroad opportunities in Greece and Italy, as well as participation in archaeological fieldwork, are provided as curricular options. In addition to serving as a base for the Western New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the department also plays a leading role in UB’s Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology. Majors must complete a capstone class that draws upon all of the conceptual and analytical skills that they acquired while a major.

About Our Facilities

The department of Classics is housed in the Academic Center. Classics courses are held in the department’s seminar room and in classrooms located both in the Academic Center and on the Academic Spine of the North Campus.

About Our Faculty

Rated nineteenth in the country in a recent survey of classics departments, the UB Department of Classics faculty regularly devotes some or all of their time to undergraduate teaching. Among them is the holder of the Andrew V.V. Raymond Professorship in Classics and the recipient of a SUNY Distinguished Professorship. Past and present members of the faculty have held the office of President in both the American Philological Association (APA)/Society for Classical Studies (SCS) and the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the primary professional organizations for classicists in North America. The department also serves as home to the journal Arethusa, an internationally recognized periodical devoted to the publication of scholarship in classical studies, and the Tesserae Project, a ground-breaking initiative in the digital humanities. Other editorial affiliations by members of the faculty have included positions with the American Journal of Archaeology and Classical World. The department allows advanced graduate students to teach select classes.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Classics department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Classics provides a wide scope of study that includes historical, political, literary, artistic, sociological, philosophical and archaeological dimensions. 

Students of classics develop highly sought-after skills in the areas of research, critical thinking, communication and human relations. Our coursework includes multiple opportunities for hands-on experience both in Buffalo and abroad. 

The undergraduate degree provides an excellent basis for graduate school or careers in the arts, business, communications, public relations, publishing and social work. The master's or doctoral-level degrees prepare students to become university professors, archivists, researchers, archaeologists and secondary school teachers, or to serve as consultants to arts, government and non-profit organizations.

Academic Advising

Please contact the director of undergraduate studies for advisement.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Please contact John Dugan at

Scholarships and Financial Support

The Classics department's James P. Neely Memorial Fund provides financial assistance for Classics related activities, such as traveling to Greece or Rome. All Classics majors are eligible to apply for this competitive scholarship.

Published: Jan 30, 2023 10:56:53