Classical Studies Program

Classical Studies Programs

Reach advanced levels in the Greek and Latin languages and prepare yourself for graduate-level work in classics, archaeology, ancient history, or related fields. Penn’s Classical Studies Program, the oldest and one of the most respected of its kind in the United States, offers the rigorous academic background you need to succeed.

Purpose of the Post-Bacc Classics Program

The Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bacc) Classical Studies Program was founded in 1984 for students who already have a B.A. and some background in Latin and Greek, and who wish to continue their study without immediately entering an M.A. or Ph.D. classical studies program. The Post-Bacc Classics Program offers such students an opportunity for rigorous training in the languages, testing their motivation for graduate work, preparing them for further study, and allowing them to experience life in a large university. The Classical Studies post-bacc program is officially housed in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) and is jointly administered by the Department of Classical Studies.

Course of Study in the Post-Bacc Classical Studies Program

The Post-Bacc Classical Studies Program requires full-time study in residence for two semesters, although some students stay for up to four semesters. Each term two special Post-Bacc Classical Studies Seminars are offered, one in Greek and one in Latin classical studies; these are advanced reading courses that challenge Post-Bacc Classics students to increase their reading pace and fluency. In these courses, most students in the classics program take advantage of the other resources available to them at a top research university, including ongoing colloquia, special lectures from visiting scholars, attendance at museum events, and resources for research in the libraries. Some students in the classics program, after consulting with an advisor, register for a third course.

All Post-Bacc Classical Studies students are expected to attend our biweekly noncredit Classical Studies Proseminar, a series of brown-bag lunches in which faculty members and current graduate students meet with Post-Bacc Classics students to talk about their research, their path towards their current positions in classical studies programs, and give advice about graduate school and careers in classical studies. Finally, each student receives both group and individualized advising about career planning and application to graduate schools.

Post-Bacc Classics Program Tuition and Fees

Students, with the exception of international students, are required to enroll for a minimum of two course units of work per semester in the Post-Bacc Classics Program. Tuition and fees are subject to change in each fiscal year. International students on the F-1 visa are required to enroll for a minimum of four course units per semester and may not register to audit courses. Visit our Classical Studies Tuition page for more information.

Credit for the Post-Bacc Classics Program

We cannot guarantee what credit, if any, from the Post-Bacc Classics Program other institutions will apply to their graduate degree programs in classical studies. Penn will award four undergraduate course units, equivalent to 12 or 16 semester hours elsewhere, for the four required classical studies courses (two Greek and two Latin). More credit is awarded if students register to take additional post-bacc classical studies courses. Nevertheless, a year in a classics post-bacc program devoted to the concentrated, supervised study of both languages cannot help but improve a student's credentials for further work. In addition, a year focused on classical studies, free from the distractions and obligations of ordinary work towards a degree, can be an unusually fruitful educational experience in itself.

Further Graduate Study in Classics Programs

The classical studies program has been an unqualified success since its inception. While some students decide not to pursue further classical studies after their year here, many go on to classical studies graduate programs. Recent alumni of the Penn LPS post-bacc classics program have enrolled at Berkeley, Brown, Bryn Mawr, Chapel Hill, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Penn, Princeton, Vanderbilt and Yale.

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