To the Reader

Welcome!  The fact that you are reading this guide indicates that you already have a certain interest in Classics and that this interest is sufficiently strong to cause you to ask what sort of a career you might find for yourself in the field of Classics. Indeed, you have probably already had more than one person ask you, "What can you do with this degree?"   We hope you can find some answers to this question in this guide, whether you are pursuing a BA, MA or PhD in the Classics.  

Yet what, exactly, is a Classicist? Is it someone who deals only with original literature written in Latin or Greek in antiquity? A firm grasp of the languages is fundamental and essential to the Classics, but most classicists themselves would agree that this is too narrow a view. We number in our ranks persons such as ancient historians, philosophers, art historians, and archaeologists. But the list does not stop there. Perhaps you are reading this guide because you have an interest in ancient coins, papyri, or inscriptions. Perhaps women's studies or fields such as mythology or religion have attracted your interest. Your interests may lie in comparative grammar, underwater excavation, or ancient glass. You may be fascinated by books themselves and thus want to pursue a career in publishing.  You may hope to share information about the Classics through the study of library science.  There are many ways to pursue your career.  In fact, the study of classical antiquity is very much like a huge, interesting house. Each door leads into a room that could serve as the basis for a lifetime of study. But each room also possesses numerous doors leading out into still more areas to investigate. There are, in fact, just about as many ways to explore an ancient civilization as a modern one. But your interest in this guide also indicates that you have a very large, and very important, question before you: "What sort of career choices can I expect with a degree in the Classics?"

The answer will vary according to the academic degrees you decide to pursue and the specialties you select along the way. It is the purpose of this guide to point out many of the possibilities that might await you along the way as you study the Classics. Thus this guide is aimed equally at students considering a major, those who have already chosen the Classics as a major, those who have graduated with their BA in hand, and those pursuing advanced degrees in the Classics. But it must be stressed that this guide is also designed to be of assistance to those of us who teach these students at all levels. When teachers encourage students to go on in the field, we hear the same question time and time again:  "I like it, but what can I do with it?"  It is hoped that this publication will serve to answer many questions on both sides of the desk and to point the way to answers for those that cannot be addressed here.