Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Classics at Queen's University


Watson Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 

Undergraduate Chair: G. Bevan
Graduate Coordinator: F. Colivicchi

Classics is the study of ancient cultures - primarily Greek and Roman - around the Mediterranean basin. You will examine all aspects of these civilizations; their languages and literature, history, religion, myth, philosophy, art and archaeology. Through comparison to the early, formative periods of our civilization, Classics can lead to a wider appreciation of our human values and achievements, and a more objective understanding of ourselves and our times. The logical, intellectual, and linguistic skills developed in a Classics concentration provide a preparation for a wide variety of career paths, from business to academia, from teaching to archaeology, art conservation and law. Employers may train you for a job -- but they certainly look for good writing, independent thinking and judgement.

The Department offers two types of courses. The first, in Greek or Latin Language and Literature, is marked in the calendar as GREK or LATN. The second type, marked as CLST, are studies of ancient civilizations, require no knowledge of the languages, and are taught wholly in English. Depending on your interests, you can select one or more of the following introductory courses in first year: Introduction to Archaeology; Introduction to Classical Literature; Introduction to Greek and Roman Civilization. Minor, medial or major concentrations in Classical Studies may be taken without a background in classical Greek and Latin, but more advanced study will require those languages, and those who wish can specialize in Latin and Greek language and literature. (Students considering concentrations in the Classics Department are encouraged to take at least one Greek or Latin course during the first year.) Whether you have no background in Latin or Greek or you are already proficient we have the course for you! Other specialized degree programs which may require Greek and Latin are Mediaeval Studies and Linguistics.

If you wish to experience archaeology first hand, the department may arrange for you to join its dig in Jordan or assist with a field placement elsewhere.

The department houses a small collection of antiquities and its students have access to a slide library of approximately 12,000 transparencies. Our website has information about Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology, Greek and Latin.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Specialization in Classics
A language-intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline while still allowing students to choose from a variety of classical studies courses.

Major in Classics
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Classics
A dual course of study in Classics and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Classics
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Bachelor of Arts - BA

General in Classics
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Classics - MA

First Year Courses

To pursue a Plan in Classical Studies, in first year you should take:
  • One of CLST 100/6.0 or (CLST 102/3.0 and CLST 103/3.0) or CLST 129/6.0 
Additionally, it is recommended you take (especially if you intend to pursue a Major or Medial):
  • LATN 110/6.0 or GREK 112/6.0 (If you hold 4U Latin or Greek (or equivalent), you may be able to start at the second year level in the language)


  • One of CLST 100/6.0 or (CLST 102/3.0 and CLST 103/3.0) or CLST 129/6.0
  • LATN 110/6.0 (If you hold 4U Latin (or equivalent), you may be able to start at the second year level in the language)


  • One of CLST 100/6.0 or (CLST 102/3.0 and CLST 103/3.0) or CLST 129/6.0 
  • GREK 112/6.0 (If you hold 4U Greek (or equivalent), you may be able to start at the second year level in the language)

What it takes to study Classics in your second year >

  1. Although it is possible for students to obtain a Classical Studies degree without taking Latin or Greek, the Department highly recommends that Classics students study at least one of the Classical languages.
  2. If students wish to focus on only one of the ancient languages, Greek (GREK) and Latin (LATN) plans are also available.

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

Study Abroad with Classics

International opportunities are available (excavations, language schools, and studies in both Greece and Italy), some of which can be found posted on our Classics Department bulletin board just outside the elevator on the 5th floor of Watson Hall. The Department offers two of its own archaeological excavations, one in Jordan (CLST 408 - Archaeological Fieldwork Practicum I) and one in Italy (CLST 409 - Archaeological Fieldwork Practicum II).  During the summer, the Bader International Study Centre offers a Field School in British Archaeology.  This intensive five-week program incorporates two for-credit courses on Roman Britain and Medieval Britain with the practical learning experience of excavation.

For other dig and study opportunities, check out the Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin (AFOB) and Archaeological Projects in the Near East and Egypt.   You should also check out information at the International Programs Office (IPO) located in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, or by dropping by the Department and speaking with our Undergraduate Chair.

Job and Career Opportunities for Classics Grads

Many of our Classics courses provide an excellent foundation for, or complement studies in, other subject areas. Our under‐graduates have gone on to a variety of occupations and have been accepted in graduate programs nationally and internationally.

Some of our Classics grads work in the following professions:

  • Administration
  • Advertising
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Arts Administration
  • Broadcasting
  • Copyright
  • Law
  • Cultural Studies
  • Diplomatic Service
  • Editing
  • Education (including ESL)
  • Entertainment
  • History Interpretation
  • Journalism
  • Labour / Industrial Relations
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Religion and Theology
  • Theatre Performance
  • Tourism & Travel
  • Translation

Career paths for Classics grad handout from Career Services >

Classics Electives for Non-Classics Students

CLST 100/6.0 Introduction to Classical Literature
Ancient Greek and Roman literature in translation: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Greek drama; Vergil’s Aeneid and selections from other Latin authors. Reference to ancient customs, history, mythology, thought.

CLST 102/3.0 Introduction to Greek Civilization
An introduction to major themes in the development of Greek civilization using the evidence of literature, history and archaeology. Some attention will be given to those aspects of ancient cultural and intellectual growth that are of significance in the western tradition.

CLST 129/6.0 Introduction to Archaeology
Development of the discipline, methods of discovering and recovering materials through excavation, evaluation of such materials and reconstruction of original environments. Historic and prehistoric sites; contribution of archaeology to the knowledge of the past.

Graduate Studies in Classics

Graduate students studying Classics at Queen's become part of our legacy of being one of the first departments in the University's long and rich history; Classics at Queen's has been in existence since 1842. We invite you to share in our tradition of over 170 continuous years of instruction in Greek and Latin, and to deepen your passion for the ancient world. Because our graduate program is small, we are able to provide our students with individual attention and support. As a result, our students consistently win both internal and external awards and fellowships. Our faculty members have expertise in Greek and Roman archaeology, history, language and literature, so your research opportunities are vast and varied. You will also have opportunities to get hands-on archaeological experience by taking part in faculty-supervised digs around the Mediterranean world. More information about Graduate Studies in Classics can be found in the School of Graduate Studies Academic Calendar, or by contacting our Graduate Coordinator.

Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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