Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at https://catalogs.sandiego.edu.


There are two options for fulfilling the Classical Studies Minor, the first of which focuses on ancient languages and the second of which focuses on ancient history and culture.

Option 1 (18 units total):

  • 12 units in Greek or Latin
  • 6 elective units in Classical Studies courses (upper-division) from a minimum of two academic disciplines

Students enrolled in Option 1 primarily study Ancient Greek or Latin, beginning with the fundamentals of grammar and syntax and eventually developing the ability to read the works of classical writers like Homer, Plato, Caesar, or Cicero in their original languages.  

Latin is the ancestor of all the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Romanian) and provides the root for around 60% of English words.  The quintessential language of oratory in Roman times, Latin evolved into a scholarly language used to expound theological and scientific ideas into the modern period. Today, virtually all legal vocabulary comes from Latin, and several studies have indicated that studying Latin can lead to higher scores on standardized tests such as the GRE or the LSAT.  

Ancient Greek is of course the ancestor of modern Greek, but was also the common tongue for much of the classical world for centuries, from the conquests of Alexander the Great to the rise of Islam.  Some of the most fascinating works of literature, philosophy, and political theory that the classical world produced were written in Greek; it is also the original language of the Christian New Testament.  Most medical and scientific terminology used today derives from Greek, and students of the language similarly tend to score well on standardized tests such as the GRE or MCAT.

Option 2 (18 units total):

  • 6-9 lower-division units
  • 9-12 upper-division units from a minimum of two academic disciplines

Students enrolled in Option 2 study the history and literature of Greece and Rome in English translation.  Courses come from a range of departments including English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Theology and Religious Studies.  

Studying classical culture is a highly interdisciplinary practice.  Classicists read ancient texts, examine surviving buildings and artifacts uncovered by archaeologists, and engage with the work of modern scholars who analyze and interpret these ancient primary sources.  In addition to studying literature and art, politics and history, students of ancient Greece and Rome tackle issues such as race, gender, sexuality, slavery, religion, the meaning of myths, the purpose of law, and the ability of individuals to shape the course of history through their successes or failures.

Students of Greco-Roman culture also consider the influence of antiquity on the modern world, from the founding of the United States to the Olympic Games to the plots of popular novels like Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games.  Classics, in short, not only illuminates the past, but demonstrates how relevant the past remains to the present.

Lower-division: 19-6
Introduction to Art History I
First Semester Greek
Second Semester Greek
Third Semester Greek
Fourth Semester Greek
The Ancient World
First Semester Latin
Second Semester Latin
Third Semester Latin
Fourth Semester Latin
History of Ancient Philosophy
Upper-division: 19-12
Archaeology of the Bible
Independent Study
Greek Civilization
Roman Civilization
The Fall of the Roman Empire
Independent Study
Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Political Thought:Ancient to Modern
Culture & Environmental Politics
Early Christianities
Women, Gender, and Christianity in the Ancient World
Paul, the Man & his Message
The World of the Bible
Total Units18