Classics Major Furman University

If you major in Classics at Furman, you'll find yourself in a department that offers a wide range of courses in not only language, but literature, social and cultural history, and archaeology. Additionally, the small size of the department means you'll have plenty of opportunity for interaction with your professors both formally and informally. The department is active in the Furman Advantage program, which gives students the chance to work closely with faculty members on research projects, often resulting in the chance to present that research at scholarly meetings.  In addition, Greek classes will be helpful should you decide to pursue a major in Classics or Religion.  This ancient language is essential to understanding the predominate texts in both disciplines.

The Major

As the only college in the state of South Carolina to offer a major in Classics, Furman is unique in the range of courses it can offer to students of Greek and Latin. Students majoring in Classics will take classes which explore Classical literature and mythology, as well as Classical civilization and archaeology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in a directed independent study.  The department’s faculty focuses on building more than just language skills. Rather, in the tradition of Classical humanism, they seek to produce well-rounded students who appreciate the rich cultural tradition of Classical antiquity and the countless contributions it has made to our modern society. Students who study ancient language and culture enter the working world with exemplary writing and reasoning skills. They also are able to make the most of their time at college by realizing that art, religion, philosophy, political science, literature, drama and mathematics, as we study them today, are heavily influenced by Greece and Rome, and by taking courses which permit them to understand those influences.

Students who want to become certified to teach may complete an additional sequence of courses which will result in certification upon completion of a teaching internship in the fall term following graduation.

Classics majors also can participate in campus organizations sponsored in cooperation with the department.  Majors who excel in their courses are eligible for initiation in Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics honors society. The organization participates in service projects, classical outings, and a yearly national conference which students are encouraged to attend.

Engaged Learning and Study Abroad

The Furman Advantage program gives Classics majors the chance to work closely with department faculty on projects which are expected to result in publication. Some recent projects include student articles on the Athenian orators for Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy, edited by Christopher Blackwell and published by The Stoa: A Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities. Professor Blackwell is currently working with Miriam Clark and Michael Dodd in preparing new editions and translations of the works of Plutarch, as part of a collaboration with the College of the Holy Cross.

Of course, the best way to study a language is to immerse yourself in Classics Major 2 Furman Universitythe culture where it originated, and the Furman Classics major provides you with a variety of unique programs which allow you to do just that. One of the most recent programs traveled through Italy, Turkey and Greece. The travel/study program is generally six weeks in length, although there will be meetings and assignments during the preceding fall term and the following spring term. Participation is by no means limited to Greek and Latin majors, but because space is limited, students must apply to the course, and admission is highly selective, based on a number of criteria.  The program is usually offered in alternating years in connection with the Religion Department’s foreign study course, Geography and Archaeology of the Biblical World.  The inter-disciplinary nature of the program allows students to experience Classical culture from a variety of perspectives.

In addition to the Furman-sponsored itinerary, Classics majors may also choose to take advantage of the College Year in Athens program. Students will take courses at an independent, fully accredited institution located in Athens, Greece, which is devoted to ancient Greek civilization and Mediterranean studies.  As a member of the Associated Colleges of the South, Furman is able to enroll its students in this program at a reduced tuition rate.

Yet another option available to Classics majors is the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS).  Established in 1965, the program’s membership has now grown to 76 colleges and universities including Furman. It provides an opportunity to study ancient history and archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art in Rome.

Looking Towards Your Future

Since students with an education in a classical discipline such as Greek or Latin go into the professionalClassics Major 3 Furman University world with a total education in the humanist tradition, they enter it with a distinct advantage.  An ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, sharpened rhetoric skills, and proficiency in analytical analysis help to assure that they are in high demand for employment. Their resumes stand out among the thousands of others as those of unique and cultured individuals. It’s therefore no surprise that Furman Classics majors go on to exciting futures at top law schools, graduate schools and divinity schools, as well as jobs in teaching, business and medicine.

Students interested in divinity school, seminary or graduate study in religion can gain a big advantage by taking the introductory Greek sequence and New Testament Greek. If you think that you are interested in the history of the early Church, then Latin will serve you well. Greek is also especially helpful for students interested in the medical field.

Recent graduates of the Furman Classics department have gone on to post-graduate studies at institutions such as Princeton University, the University of Georgia, and the University of South Carolina, among others.

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