Careers for Classics Majors
It is the goal of the Department of Classics to foster keen intellectual curiosity and sound principles of analysis and problem-solving in all our students. By providing academic stimuli, we allow our students to harness the power of their imagination, just like the great thinkers, statesmen, artists, and writers of Greece and Rome. Colby graduates with majors in Classics or Classical Civilization also benefit from enhanced oral and writing abilities, and can therefore pursue successful careers in law, medicine, stock broking, teaching (in schools and colleges), government, art (as museum and art gallery curators), management, and graduate school in classics and other fields. The study of Classics and Classical Civilization trains the mind for much more than the translation of texts, or the analysis of a culture. The study of Classics also prepares you to meet life with the confidence of Achilles, the resourcefulness of Odysseus, and the self-reliance and patience of Penelope! In today’s economy, companies need to be able to change with the times, and employers are invariably impressed by the adaptability of classics graduates. The skills of analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving, provided by study of the classics, make our majors highly marketable after graduation. A recent graduate is currently enrolled in the Marine Corps Officer Training Program, and another is the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens! For example, the Career Services Office at Colby recently received a letter from a firm in Portland asking for the names of any graduating classics majors. This firm stated that, in their experience, classics graduates performed better than anyone else, and could adapt to whatever was required of them with remarkable facility. In the current job market, it is nice to think of firms headhunting for our majors!
In recent years, more and more students across America have chosen to earn a graduate degree. The Colby Classics department has enjoyed considerable success placing our students in top graduate programs. The following is a list of institutions and programs to which our students have been admitted in just the last few years:
- Cambridge University, M.A. (Classics)
- Columbia University M.A. (Journalism)
- Cornell University Ph.D. (Classical Archaeology)
- Cornell University Ph.D. (Physics)
- Cornell University J.D. (Law)
- Fordham University Ph.D. (History)
- Harvard University Ph.D. (Classics)
- Harvard University J.D. (Law)
- Jefferson Medical School M.D. (Medicine)
- Northeastern University J.D. (Law)
- Ohio State University M.A (Teaching)
- Trinity College M.A. (English)
- University of Chicago J.D. (Law)
- University of Edinburgh M.A. (Classics & History)
- University of Florida, Ph.D. (Classics)
- University of St. Andrews, M. Litt. (Classics)
- University of Vermont Ph.D. (Psychology)
- University of Virginia M.A/Ph.D. (Classics)
Whether you are preparing for the job market or for graduate school, or simply looking to broaden your mind, a major in classics is an asset. This view gains credibility from a couple of facts. In the course of the last few years, there has been a rapid growth in our class enrollments, and a sharp increase in the number of classics and classical civilization majors. Those students have then gone on to excellent jobs or superior graduate programs. We feel confident that our students will continue to succeed and thrive in the years to come.
A recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Colby is among the top colleges and universities in the nation in the percentage of students studying abroad. Students can elect to spend one semester in their junior year in another country. Many majors in Classics or Classical Civilization have taken advantage of the opportunity to study in Greece or Italy. There are various programs in each country that are specially designed for American students. The Classics Department advises interested students in the selection of a program suited to their needs. In Athens, the cradle of Western democracy, and the birthplace of Greek Tragedy and Plato’s Academy, Colby students can further their studies while familiarizing themselves with the Acropolis and the Agora. In Rome, they can continue to pursue the ideals of a classical education while visiting the sites that for centuries witnessed triumphs over distant peoples.
Among the most popular options for our students over the years have been:
College Year at Athens (CYA)
Students interested in experiencing an archaeological dig over the summer should speak with department faculty, and search the list of field schools, etc., hosted by the Archaeological Institute of America.