Students at an archaeological dig

Why Study Classics at K?

Learn about ancient civilizations in small classes and visit historical sites while studying abroad in Rome or Athens.  

As a classics student, you will get to experience every facet of Greek and Roman culture and trace their thousand-plus-year reign over the region. You will do this by translating ancient texts, going on archaeological expeditions, and pursuing meaningful research in the field. From these experiences, you will become proficient in either Greek or Latin and have an in-depth knowledge of their empires’ histories in the Mediterranean world. 

As a true liberal arts major, your courses—like Women in Classical Antiquity, Greco-Roman Slavery, and Latin Epic—will cover topics across disciplines: archaeology, art, history, religion, philosophy and literature. 

Supplementing your coursework, you will benefit from personalized faculty mentorship and experiential learning opportunities like study abroad, fieldwork and the completion of your Senior Integrated Project. To gain a first-hand appreciation for Roman and Greek civilizations, you will have the chance to study abroad in Rome or Athens and visit the landmarks you learned about in your courses. Your professors will also help you find relevant summer internships and archaeological fieldwork opportunities.  

The knowledge and skills you will gain as a classics student will prepare you for a host of post-graduate opportunities, with alumni having had successful careers in education, business, law and ministry. 

Choosing the Right Major or Minor 

The department offers four majors—in Classics, Latin, Greek and Classical Civilization—and three minors—in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilization. Students intending to pursue the study of classical languages at the graduate level are encouraged to major in classics, where you will learn both Greek and Latin; those who are interested in secondary school teaching, divinity school, or graduate work in a cognate area are encouraged to major in either Greek or Latin. Students who discover a passion for classical history or archaeology may be drawn to the major in Classical Civilization, which emphasizes work in translation, culture and history. 

What can you do with a classics degree?

Below are some of the careers, employers, and graduate schools of our classics alumni.


  • Teacher
  • Attorney/Paralegal
  • Communications/Human Resources
  • Project Manager
  • International Programs Coordinator


  • National Gallery of Art
  • PeaceCorps
  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
  • Reed College
  • U.S. Department of State

Graduate Schools

  • University of Michigan
  • Brown University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • American University
  • Loyola University, Chicago

Program Spotlights

Students digging for a neighborhood beautification project

Apply your classics studies in the community

At K, we put your education into action by pairing your studies with real-world projects in the broader community. For example, in our Sustainability in the Ancient World class, you will connect the past with the present by working with the city of Kalamazoo on their Action Plan, researching how to most sustainably improve our community. Outside of your coursework, the department helps you find opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships at museums and funded summer archeological digs and research abroad.

Study abroad in Italy or Greece

While you can choose from any of the College’s 50+ study abroad opportunities and transfer relevant credits, classics students have a unique opportunity to further their studies in our two programs in Rome, Italy, and one in Athens, Greece. In each of these programs, you will use your city as your classroom, taking courses and learning about these civilizations’ rich histories, languages, cultures and peoples on location at historical sites.

Classics major Brenden French in Italy
classic majors at a dig with professor Marilyn Evans

Graduate knowing you have the skills to thrive 

All K students gain tangible skills for their future careers by completing their Senior Integrated Project (SIP). Many of our students have used this as an opportunity to expand upon previous internships, archeological digs, or courses with in-depth research and analysis. For example, Brenden French ‘20 spent two summers excavating an ancient Roman villa for his SIP on the Antonine Amphitheater; and Annabelle Houghton ‘20 conducted modern and archival research on oracles in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology in her SIP, “A Hist-Oracle Connection Between the Sanctuaries of Zeus Naios and Zeus Ammon?”

Meet the Current Departmental Student Advisor

Eliana Orozco

Eliana Orozco (She/Her)

Majors: Anthropology and Sociology and French

Minor: Classical Civilization

What is the best thing about being part of this department?

The comradery within the department is unmatched, and the classes are by far the most entertaining and engaging at K.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?

I can’t pick one, so I have two. Professor Max Cherem’s Global Refugees freshmen seminar was groundbreaking for me. It will stick with me for the rest of my life. The second is Latin 102. I looked forward to attending every time. I learned Latin at an accelerated rate. I made lasting connections with my peers by bonding through insanely fun activities and our collective investment into our intense textbook storyline. There was never a dull moment.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?

If it were not for our open curriculum, I do not think I would be in the classics department at all. Freshmen year allowed me to explore other departments without the immediate restriction to one discipline like other colleges often do. If not for my initial exploration, I think my majors would look very different right now. I also took advantage of our fast-paced curriculum that other institutions do not have, which I believe has allowed me to make double majoring and minoring possible. I did not have to omit any of my academic interests. Instead, I am able to explore them all.

What is your Senior Integrated Project [SIP]?

My SIP is still in the works, but it will be a Classics SIP. It will most likely focus on an archeological dig I participated in last summer in Italy.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?

After K, I hope to enter into a Master’s program in archeology and/or anthropology. I dream of being an archeologist. I am looking forward to working towards becoming one.

Classics Department News