Classics, like the University Scholars Program, is not an end in itself, but rather a point of departure for intellectual inquiry. Although Ancient Greece and Rome justly take center stage, the field can touch on almost any aspect of the Mediterranean ca. 2000 BC to AD 400 and it integrates a wide variety of sub-disciplines: e.g. Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Art History, Literary Studies, Religious Studies, Linguistics, and more. In this sense it is an outstanding foundation for University Scholars who seek to combine overlapping foci. Mere breadth, however, is not the chief distinctive of the field. Students of Classics embrace the fact that detailed, persuasive discussion about such topics requires proficiency in the relevant languages. This rigorous philological tradition remains a core aspect of the Classics program at Baylor. Put another way, we think you need a firm foundation and some practical skills if you plan to build a sturdy house. Whatever you choose to do beyond Baylor, the Classics Department can offer a culture of academic excellence that is eager to help ground and prepare you.
University Scholars have very few formal requirements. Therefore, your own goals play a critical role in exploring a concentration in Classics. We offer the following general guidelines as a starting point for the conversation.
- Make sure that you are getting the language experience appropriate to your career objectives.
- University Scholars seeking a graduate placement in a Classics program should plan to complete at least the same number of language hours as a regular major. One advantage of the Scholars program is that you can easily complete more hours, giving you a possible competitive advantage.
- University Scholars seeking to study Classics as preparation for graduate study in another field (e.g. Philosophy, Religion, History) may require fewer language hours. Consult with faculty from both Classics and your proposed field of study.
- University Scholars seeking to study Classics as a component of their preparation for careers outside academe (law, medicine, etc.) may require fewer language hours. Consult with both faculty and pre-professional advisers.
- It is easier to scale down your language training than it is to build it up. Start strong and scale back as your interests and goals develop.
- Begin exploring Greek and Latin at the beginning of your Baylor journey.
- Seek input of Classics faculty as you put together your reading list.
- Cultivate mentoring relationships with members of the Classics faculty.
- As you complete the Greek and Latin works on your reading list, ask Classics faculty if meet with them to discuss the work. This is especially valuable if the work is in their particular area of research expertise.
- Continue to cultivate mentoring relationships within the Department.
- If eligible and nominated, consider joining Eta Sigma Phi.
- If you already think that you might want to pursue an academic career as a Classicist, we strongly recommend that you request to work with one of the program directors on the Classics faculty.
- Include at least one member of the Classics Faculty in your exit interview panel.
- We recommend that you seek a thesis adviser from within the department whenever possible. If you do have an external adviser, include a member of the Classics faculty as your second reader.