The Philological Focus

The Philological Focus
A student who 'loves language' (the root meaning of philology) can follow a traditional philological course of study, consisting of intensive work in the ancient languages (Greek, Latin, Sanskrit). The student also chooses among elective courses on ancient civilization, history, art history, philosophy, religion, and literature in English translation.
A student who is interested less in language than in the study of ancient history or culture (reading the ancient texts largely in translation), or who is interested in taking only one ancient language, follows one of two other focuses, Classical Studies and Ancient Studies.


Moderation requires having begun one year of an ancient language and at least two other courses in Classics or related disciplines; concentrators will study at least one year of a second ancient language, and are also strongly encouraged to take coursework in linguistics.
  1. For moderation, a student must be taking a year of either Latin or Greek, and two courses drawn from at least one of the four areas of concentration listed below (A-D).
  2. Moderation into the Program follows campus-wide requirements: a 10-page (minimum) paper from a Classics course, representing the student's best work to date; and two 2-page papers, one on the student's past work and academic/intellectual history, the other on his or her future goals in the Program.

Senior Project

The Senior Project involves close textual work in the original language, translating and interpreting relevant ancient texts. The philological focus is especially suited for a student interested in keeping open the option of pursuing graduate work in Classics.
  1. For graduation, a student must have completed
    • two other courses in the primary language, and at least two more in a second ancient language
    • two or more additional courses, drawn from at least two of the four areas of concentration listed below (200 and 300-level work in ancient language counts for (B), Literature/Genre)
    • a Senior Project, comprising two semesters of independent research and writing, under the guidance of the Classics adviser.

(Students intending graduate work in Classics are encouraged in addition to take one modern European language and, if possible, course work in linguistics)