Name: Grady Stevens
Year: Class of 2013
Hometown: Unionville, PA
The study of the classics offers many interdisciplinary options to the student who wishes to have a secondary major, minor or use the courses as distribution credits. For these reasons every student at Hopkins can find at least a course or two, offered by the department, which are not only interesting to the student intellectually, but also help advance the student toward graduation in their Major. Whether you are a Pre-Med Student who is looking to use Latin to improve your understanding of medical terminology; an Archaeology Major interested in delving into hands-on field work in Greece or Italy; a Philosophy Major looking to gain an understanding of the beginnings of the Western Philosophical Tradition; an English Major looking to delve into the origins of Epic, Tragedy, or the Ancient Novel; a History Major looking to read Herodotus or Thucydides; an Engineer interested in Roman Engineering; an Art Major looking to better understand the intense realism of Classical Greek Sculpture; or an International Studies major looking to understand the Thucydides, and Aristotle’s theories about International Politics, there is something for everyone in the department. The Classics department offers courses that are as wide and varied as the majors at the school.
Study Abroad options:
Unlike most majors, not only is there an option to study abroad, this option is actively encouraged by the faculty. Studying abroad can take the form of a semester, year, summer intensive language and culture work, summer archeological digs, or intersession studying abroad. The department’s flexible major and minor requirements allow for many varied ways at incorporating the Study abroad option. Particularly great study abroad options are opportunities in Rome and Athens, as well as archaeological digs that take place all across the Classical world. As I said before, Studying abroad is not just an option it is actively supported and is well worth the student’s efforts.
Advantages of Being a Classics Major:
The Classics as a major is one of those stereotypical majors that many people will look at you and ask “Well, What are you going to do with that major?” The implication is that The Classics is not a worthwhile major because the perceived career route is too narrow and doesn’t prepare students for the ‘real world’. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, students who use Classics as a major can give themselves quite a leg up on other students. There are many reasons for this. The first is that the Classics is such an interdisciplinary study, encompassing Philosophy, Literature, Linguistics, Political Science, Archaeology, Engineering, Art History and other disciplines. Therefore, this field can be used to bolster another passion that you have, if that is what you desire. Unlike many other majors Classics is so flexible that the major becomes what you want it to become. Consequently, it is very easy to major in the Classics and have another major or minor. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the courses it happens that many courses are cross listed with other departments and students can get credit for those other departments in this fashion. However, if the student has their heart dead-set on studying the Classics and wishes to pursue a career in the field they are in luck because the major offers very small class sizes with a lot of direct one-on-one attention from professors. As well as independent research opportunities, to help direct the student’s passions in a much more focused way then is possible in some of the larger majors. This is the beauty of the Classics at Hopkins. Because the classes are small and professors care about not only your progress in class, but also about you as a person. You develop a relationship with many of the professors, and they guide you toward what you are really interested in studying. That is the biggest advantage of the Major- great faculty that want to see their students succeed in the classroom and grow as people.
My Journey with a Classics Degree:
My journey to the Classics was a circuitous one. I knew that I wanted to come to college and Study Philosophy, and I knew that I loved Greek Philosophy and I also had an interest in Homer and Classical Athens. Further, I intended to study Philosophy and Psychology and just take a couple courses offered by the Classics department in order to have some fun. After my first semester, taking two courses in the Classics department, I knew that I wanted to major in the Classics. So I switched my Psychology Major to a Minor and double Majored in Classics and Philosophy. Since that switch, I have been taking Latin and Greek, as well as Ancient Philosophy Courses, courses on Greek Heroism, Ancient History Courses, and Ancient Gender Studies. Every course has been both interesting and exciting in its own way. I have enjoyed my time at Hopkins as a Classics Major so much that I have decided to apply to Graduate school for the Classics. I intend to apply for many competitive National and International Scholarships in order to get funding to study specific aspects of Classical History at one of the top Classics Graduate Programs in the world.
To further your exploration of this academic program and ask any question you may have of current students, be sure to visit the Hopkins Forums’ Academics: The Insider Perspective and the Classics question thread._______________________________________________________________________________