What Can I Do with My Classics Major?

Students who major in classics study the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome from a number of perspectives. Combining literature, history, art, archaeology, religion, and philosophy, the program offers courses in Latin and ancient Greek languages and literatures, ancient history, Classical and Near Eastern art and archaeology, and modern Greek language. Students may choose to major in either classical studies or in classical languages. The three majors under the heading of classical languages are: Latin, Greek, and Latin and Greek. It is also possible to minor in classics and in modern Greek.

The classics provide students with a curriculum that is designed to encourage analysis and to think critically about complex evidence. It engages students in the structure of language and about how language shapes our perception of complex evidence. Students also learn to demonstrate their mastery of critical thinking in both written and verbal form, and to engage in debate that is predicated upon facts as well as the imagination.

Majors in the Department of Classics prepare students for a wide variety of graduate and professional programs, as well as a wide variety of careers. Graduates of Georgetown in classics have gone on to pursue graduate study in classics, ancient history, classical archaeology, comparative literature, and religion. Classics majors enjoy high rates of success in admission to programs in law and medicine. They also span across many different industries within the working world, including education, non-profits, finance, and consulting.

The information in the graphic below was sourced from a variety of information. It is NOT an exhaustive list. These options are just to serve as a jumping off point to exploration into career possibilities.

Classics majors will acquire a skill set that is useful for and transferable to a number of contexts. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:

Critical Thinking Skills

Approaching problems from diverse perspectives

Avoiding simplistic conclusions

Perceiving patterns and structures

Reading critically

Thinking independently

Communication Skills

Language skills

Increased vocabulary

Writing effectively

Conveying complex information

Speaking to groups

Presenting research findings

Using precise language

Research Skills

Gathering information

Using a variety of resources

Applying theoretical approaches to problems

Defining problems

Summarizing and presenting information

Evaluating results

Human Relations Skills

Understanding human relationships

Comprehensive knowledge of the origins of western culture

Appreciation of human history and development

Identifying cultural/social considerations

Comparing cultures

You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).

Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Member of Class, taught by Prof. ______

  • Developed advanced understanding of theory and methods of classical archaeology and explored new directions in the interpretations of the ancient Roman past through its material remains by (insert course projects/assignments) in Roman Art & Archaeology course 
  • Examined the uses and meanings of ancient Greek myths and their role among the Romans within the context of ancient culture and studied modern critical theories for interpreting them by (insert course projects/assignments) in Mythology course
  • Enhanced Latin reading and comprehension abilities by analyzing textbook grammar cases in Caesar’s Commentarrii de bello Gallico (Book 1), reading poems written by Catullus, and developing an understanding of classical metrics (e.g. stichic hexameter, elegiac couplet, hendecasyllable) to effectively examine Latin verse

Georgetown Alumni have taken their classics degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in the classics across multiple disciplines. 

Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report

Post-Graduate Outcomes of Classics Majors, 2010-2019
Major: Classics (68 graduates)

Classics majors pie chart

“The most underrated benefit of majoring in the Classics at Georgetown is the language – beauty and history of, make speaking and writing in any language (even English!) much more enjoyable; literature – seeing how people in those time periods thought about things and worked to explain them (military conquests, scientific observations, disease), colored my modern interpretations of these topics; art/architecture – appreciation for current buildings, design, planning. Small classes, dedicated professors, interesting subjects. Opportunities to write, reflect, analyze in a totally unique way and set of topics” – 2017 Georgetown College Graduate, Classics and Biology

“Majoring in the classics provided me with great communication skills and understanding of language. I didn’t anticipate how much it would prepare me for understanding historical events in both science and policy – which I had to learn about and address in both my job (science policy) and in grad school (bio phd).” – 2017 Georgetown College Graduate, Classics and Biology

“What I enjoyed most about majoring in the classics was reflecting on the readings, learning, and taking the patient time to analyze the texts or understand the language. I also enjoyed being with people who valued learning for the sake of learning.” – 2017 Georgetown College Graduate, Classics and Biology

Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches

There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google. 

Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords. You can then utilize Firsthand, a resource offered to you for free with your NETID and password, to explore what some of these titles or career paths are all about.

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • Publishing (e.g., Teacher Magazine, Oxford University Press)
  • Advertising (e.g., Redman Communications, TBWA/Chiat Day)
  • Marketing (e.g., Leo Burnett USA, McCann Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (e.g., the World Bank)
  • Embassies
  • Government (e.g., the State Department)
  • Education (e.g., Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, Learning First Alliance, READ Foundation)
  • Entertainment (e.g., DC101 Radio Station, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center)
  • U.S. Congress
  • Museums (e.g., Walters Art Museum, Torpedo Factory)

The Georgetown Classics Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Classics.

GU Classics Department 

Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of classics and learn more about what post grad life might look like. 

Society for Classical Studies 

Archaeological Institute of America 

American Classical League 

Association of Ancient Historians 

Firsthand is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in classics. Firsthand has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field. 

Professors & Academic Deans

Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.  

You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major. 

Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.

Alumni 

Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate. 

You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.

You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path. 

Career Center Staff

You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier. 

At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.

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