The mission of the Department of the Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is to foster inquiry into the languages and literatures, art and archaeology, histories, philosophical traditions, and more generally the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome and neighboring areas of the Mediterranean, along with the ways in which those ancient cultures have been received and used in later ages, including our own. We are a welcoming and supportive academic community of engaged scholars and students with a long and prosperous history at the University of Illinois, and we value our connections with faculty and students in related disciplines.
Inherently interdisciplinary and comparative, a degree in Classics offers a rigorous education in the liberal arts, giving students training in the careful analysis of texts, effective writing, and critical thinking. Study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean adds historical depth and complexity to our understanding of language, literature, material culture, and the interrelationships among them, and of many issues of importance today, such as cultural interaction and exchange, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion and society.
The Classics Department offers a wide array of courses to a large and diverse undergraduate student body, including our highly popular introductory classes on mythology, Greek culture, and Roman culture, a growing set of courses on a range of more specific topics, and language classes at all levels in Ancient Greek, Latin, and Modern Greek; nearly all of our Classical Civilization courses help students fulfill the university’s general education requirements. In our graduate program, we offer M.A. degrees and a Ph.D. in Classical Philology. We take pride in the quality of our professional development of graduate students as scholars and teachers and in our history of excellent placement rates, as well as our years of success at training and placing secondary-school Latin teachers.
Our infrastructure provides excellent support for faculty and student research. The Classics Collection in the university library is world-renowned for the size and breadth of its holdings, which include rare books and manuscripts. Other on-campus resources include the Spurlock and Krannert Art Museums. We also publish the international journal Illinois Classical Studies through the University of Illinois Press.
In response to recent appropriations of Greco-Roman antiquity in the service of racist ideologies, the Illinois Classics Department endorses this message from the premier professional organization for classicists in North America, the Society for Classical Studies. We are committed to anti-racism efforts in our teaching and scholarship, we welcome dialogue, and we invite members of the public and the university community to approach us as a resource.