The Department of Classics
Why Greek and Latin?
MANY PEOPLE study Latin and Greek in college because of their love for the literature and the mythology, the history and the art, of ancient Greece and Rome.
Little do they realize what a practical education they're getting in the bargain - one that offers valuable pre-professional training and marketable job skills.
At GVSU, our Latin and Greek students acquire and refine analytical and communications skills that make them better able to approach any problem creatively and successfully.
The study habits and work ethic they develop are those needed for success in demanding graduate and professional programs and in real-world careers.
Dropping the 'Classics bomb' in an interview will, I'm convinced, get you hired. People think you are smart(er than you are) once they find out that you've studied Latin and/or Greek. And rather than assuming that you don't know something until they explain it to you, they assume that you do know it (and are surprised to learn that you don't).
Scores reported by the Educational Testing Service for the Graduate Record Exam (the standardized admissions test used by most Graduate Schools) have consistently shown that majors in Classical Languages - Greek and Latin - perform exceptionally well.
Employers, graduate schools, and professional schools are looking for students who have challenged themselves and demonstrated superior intellectual and practical skills.
The Princeton Review raves:
This is the advice offered by the Law School Admissions Council (the organization that administers the LSAT) to its own member institutions:
For practical-minded people, Latin and Greek represent the kind of serious mental rigor and discipline that is an excellent training for real life.
Latin and Greek, however, can be more than the best means to achieve excellent training and preparation for future challenges. Studying Classics can also be the springboard to a lifelong experience with literature, philosophy, and culture.
Learning the languages allows one to meet the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome on their own terms, to examine the wellsprings of the Western tradition, and to challenge conscious and subconscious assumptions about life, values, and knowledge.
Classics students at GVSU distinguish themselves as scholars in the study of literature, philosophy, history, and art; work on archaeological excavations; visit museums; and travel and study abroad.
Working closely with members of the faculty, they have ready access to the departmental office suite, lounge, and library.
As a Department this is something we encourage: it leads to close relationships between students and teachers, and it promotes cooperation, discussion, and intellectual interaction among students.
These are the hidden, and often neglected, elements of a first-rate education.
Self-knowledge and self-confidence
Just as a career should be more than a matter of keeping body and soul together, an education should be more than a means to an end. Students who succeed and thrive in Classics can love what they're doing at the same time that they're showing the world they know what they're doing.
Page last modified May 18, 2012