From its early days, Bryn Mawr has had an international reputation in classical languages, and the College is home to a lively community of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members interested in classical subjects. ‘Classical’ is broadly interpreted, for faculty interest and expertise ranges widely: from Greek magic to Latin late antiquity; from Greek vases to Roman archaeology.
As the field is by its very nature interdisciplinary, there is a wide range of options for majors. Students can major in Greek, in Latin, or in Classical Languages, which allows them to divide their time among the two languages and literatures. Students can also major in Classical Culture and Society, in which case they study some language and ancient history, but then focus on whatever area of the classics interests them most.
Each concentration requires a sequence of courses, including the senior conference, a full-year course. It begins with faculty presentations on diverse themes relating to the classical tradition and culminates in a senior thesis on a topic of the student’s choice. The Bryn Mawr Classics Department coordinates closely with its counterpart at Haverford College to expand the range of course offerings available to students at all levels. Since Bryn Mawr has a graduate program in Classics, advanced language students may take seminar-style courses alongside graduate students: recent subjects include Roman Satire, Attic Orators, Greek Lyric Poetry, and Cicero’s Philosophical Dialogues. Students are also encouraged to spend a semester or summer studying abroad in Athens or Rome.