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Welcome to Classics

Meet our Classics Majors and Alumni

Majoring in Classics can take you where you want to go!

Classics is the investigation of the life and cultural expressions of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Today, Rutgers finds itself in the forefront of some of the most vital areas of inquiry: constructions of ethnicity, sexuality, and freedom; performance of music, drama, and poetry; democracy, tyranny, and resistance to inequality.

From my classics studies, I've gained the ability to reflect on the world as it is today, and to look out across the ages,” Jonathan Finnerty says. “That has changed who I am.”

Studying Classics

Read ancient languages for eternal truths

Study the birth of democracy, science, and drama

Develop a well-trained mind

Explore Greece and Italy

 

The Department of Classics is part of the School of Arts and Sciences

As a Classics major in the School of Arts and Sciences, you’ll have full access to a liberal arts education that spans 34 programs for undergraduates. You will acquire both the specialized knowledge of the field you choose to study in depth, and broad knowledge of the world from the renowned scholar-teachers at Rutgers. You’ll graduate ready to meet contemporary challenges in your workplace, in your hometown, and in the global community.

Visit Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Website
AG97OQGateDetailSquare
Course No.Course NameGeneral CategoriesSpecific Goals
01:190:205 Greek Civilization AH, HST h,  i,  k,  l,  o,  p
01:190:206 Roman Civilization AH, HST h,  i,  k,  l,  o,  p
01:190:207 Greek & Roman Mythology AH p
01:190:323 Criminals & Saints WCr, WCd s-1,  s-2,  t,  u
01:190:309 Greek & Roman Athletics HST h,  k,  l
01:580:203 Intermediate Latin Prose AH q
01:490:207 Classical Greek Prose AH q

 

For more information, please go to: SAS Undergraduate Education - Core Curriculum

Introduction

The Latin placement exam is designed to determine your skill level in Latin, and the best course level for you to start with at Rutgers.  Once you take the exam, your score determines your placement level:  elementary (100-level), intermediate (200-level), or advanced (300- or 400-level).  Please note:  If you took Latin in high school, you must take the placement exam in order to get credit for any college-level Latin course.

Can I use a dictionary?

When taking the placement exam, do not use any dictionaries, textbooks, or other study aides.  This is important, because if you were to artificially inflate your score on this exam, you would likely place at a level that is too advanced for you, for example, a 300- or 400-level course.  You do not want this to happen because if it did, you would not be able to take a lower-level course, for example, a 100- or 200-level course, and receive college credit at Rutgers.  Also, you would not be able to re-take the exam.  You would be placed at a higher level for which you are not prepared, and unable to change your score.

What if I fail the exam?

Some students are concerned they could fail the placement exam.  This is impossible.  If you were to get zero answers correct, you would place into Elementary Latin 101.  So, do not worry about getting a high score.  Most students place into Elementary Latin 101.  It is to your benefit to do your best on the exam and not use any dictionaries, textbooks, or other study aides. 

How long does it take?

It usually takes 1 or 2 hours to complete the exam.  You must complete it in one sitting.  There are 100 total questions:  50 vocabulary questions and 50 questions based on various passages.  All questions are multiple choice.  When finished, click the button:  submit for grading.

When can I get my score?

At the end of the exam, you will see your score and placement level.  You may want to print out that page for future reference.  Your placement level will also be available in enrollment pathway and degree navigator approximately three weeks after taking the exam. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail us at:
classics@classics.rutgers.edu 

IMPORTANT:  To activate your NetID

Please note:  In order to take the exam, you must have an active Rutgers NetID and password.  The NetID is an account name used for most computer services at Rutgers.  For new students, it is based on your initials with some digits, e.g. jrs123.  If you do not have a NetID, or you aren't sure, please click on the link below:

Activating your NetID

If you have any problems activating your NetID, please contact the computing help desk:

New Brunswick (732)445-4357   helpdesk@nbcs.rutgers.edu

If you have already activated your NetID, you may go directly to the placement exam link below.

Link to the placement exam

To log in to take the placement exam, please click on the link below:

Latin placement exam

If you have trouble taking the test

If you have trouble taking the test, please contact the New Brunswick computer help desk, 732-445-4357.

Ethel S. Cook Travel Grants

The Department of Classics holds an annual competition for scholarships to support travel abroad for programs that specialize in fields covered by Classical studies.  These include Mediterranean archaeology and art history, ancient history, and studies in Greek and Latin literature and documents.  Relevant programs include, but are not limited to, those associated with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the American Academy in Rome, College Year in Athens, the Intercollegiate Center in Rome, American Research Center in Sofia (Bulgaria), and archaeological field schools, such as Rutgers University Archaeological Field School in Italy.  Rutgers students with GPA averages of 3.3 or better are eligible.  Applications will be accepted for programs in:  the summer, fall or spring semesters, or for an academic year.  For more information, please go to:

Ethel S. Cook Travel Scholarship Application

Rutgers Study Abroad In Italy

Rutgers offers a summer study abroad program in Italy.  This is a five-week course based in central Italy with an opportunity to be involved in archaeological excavation.

To learn more, please visit their website:
Archaeological Field School in Italy

Other Programs

These are four other programs we particularly recommend. Please consult their websites for more information:

Honors

Option A:  Senior thesis

Honors in Classics may be earned by eligible students who wish to write a senior thesis with the help of an advisor.  To qualify, students must have an overall, cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or better, and a grade-point average of 3.6 or better in the major, at the end of their junior year.

At that time, students should complete the Honors Thesis Application Form before the deadline of May 2nd of their junior year.  

Click here to download the  pdf Classics Honors Thesis Application (178 KB) .

Important:  If the application is approved, students must register for the Honors Project in the fall and spring of their senior year (8 credits total):

  • in the fall, course number 01:190:495
  • in the spring, course number 01:190:496

It is the student's responsibility to register for the Honors Project.  If you do not register, you will not receive credit.  Please contact your advisor for a special permission number.

An oral defense of the thesis before two faculty members and a public presentation of thesis research are required. Both take place in April of the student's graduation year.

 

Option B:  Honors without a thesis

Honors in Classics may also be earned by Classics majors who meet the following four criteria:

1. Maintain a 3.5 in the major

2a. Have earned 12 credits at the 300 level or above in Greek OR Latin courses
OR 2b. Have earned 6 credits in BOTH Greek and Latin at the level of 300 or above

3. Submit two papers representative of their work in Classics (they may be revised versions of class papers) which a panel of two faculty members deem worthy of honors using the rubric that we have developed for senior assessment purposes.

4. Sit for a sight translation exam in the spring of senior year and pass with honors

To be eligible for honors without a thesis, the grades in the Greek and Latin courses must be at an average of 3.5 or above; for high honors, 3.7 or above; for highest honors, 3.9 or above.  Highest honors will be reserved for those students who, in addition to meeting the GPA requirement, have performed at the highest level on the sight exam and paper requirement.  Students should inform the undergraduate director by the fall of senior year if they would like to be considered for honors in the major.

 

Eta Sigma Phi

Zeta Epsilon is the Rutgers branch (chapter) of the national Classics honors society, Eta Sigma Phi.  Each spring, we hold a ceremony to induct students into the society.  To qualify for induction, a student must earn a grade of B or better in a Greek or Latin language course.

The one-time membership fee is $40, payable to the Rutgers Classics department.  To participate, please confirm eligibility with the undergraduate director and send a check or money order for $40 to the Classics department by March 31st.  For more information, please visit the national honor society website:

http://www.etasigmaphi.com/

 

Prizes

Jacob Brodhead prize

A prize of $100 from a fund given by Reverend Jacob Brodhead, D.D., and his son J. Romyn Brodhead, LL.D., is awarded annually to a student in her or his junior or senior year who displays all-around excellence in Classics. The winner is determined by a competitive examination within the department that consists of sight translation from either Greek or Latin and an essay on an assigned topic. No dictionary may be used for the translation portion of the exam. This contest is open to all juniors and seniors of Rutgers University, regardless of major or department affiliation.

 

Cornelison alumnae prize in Classics

A prize of $100, from a fund given by Mrs. Alice L. Cornelison to the Associated Alumnae of Douglass College in 1964, is awarded annually to a student of Douglass College who displays all-around excellence in Classics. The winner is determined by competitive examination within the department that consists of translation from either Greek or Latin and an essay on either Greek or Roman civilization. Dictionaries may be used for the translation portion of the exam, and should be brought to the exam by the student. This contest is open to students of Douglass College of any class.

 

Ethel S. Cook Travel Grants

The Department of Classics holds an annual competition for scholarships to support travel abroad for programs that specialize in fields covered by Classical studies.  These include Mediterranean archaeology and art history, ancient history, and studies in Greek and Latin literature and documents.  Relevant programs include, but are not limited to, those associated with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the American Academy in Rome, College Year in Athens, the Intercollegiate Center in Rome, American Research Center in Sofia (Bulgaria), and archaeological field schools, such as Rutgers University Archaeological Field School in Italy.  Rutgers students with GPA averages of 3.3 or better are eligible.  Applications will be accepted for programs in:  the summer, fall or spring semesters, or for an academic year.  For more information, please go to:

Ethel S. Cook Travel Scholarship Application

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Contact Us

Rutgers Classics Department
Academic Building, 6th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

classics@classics.rutgers.edu
(848) 932 9797