Value of a CAMS Major
CAMS students master an interdisciplinary subject with a long-term perspective on the human condition and on cultural achievements across diverse geographical regions. The study of CAMS requires the mastery of skills in assessing a range of evidence, deliberation and argumentation, analytical thinking, and writing and communication. The study of an ancient language is an especially effective way of sharpening the skill of expression and thought. If English is not your native language, the completion of a major in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an excellent way to prove your language skills to prospective employers. The perspectives and skills developed as a CAMS student are valued in a wide range of professions, and our graduates have entered a great variety of careers.
Some of our majors plan academic careers in CAMS-related fields. Our students have enrolled in graduate programs in Classics, Ancient History, Near Eastern Studies, Egyptology, Biblical Studies, Archaeology, Art History, and related fields at Universities such as Yale, Columbia, Cornell, the University of Michigan, University of Chicago, SUNY Buffalo, University of California at Santa Barbara, Brandeis, The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and Oxford University.
The majority of our students do not choose careers in academia, but take positions ranging from teachers of Latin in public and private secondary schools to positions in finance and banking companies, such as Goldman Sachs. (See the After Penn State page for further information concerning the variety of career and employment opportunities for CAMS graduates.)
Evidence has shown that a degree in Classics is a valuable asset. Classics majors have some of the highest GRE scores. Studies indicate that Classics majors are among the two most successful majors in law school, outperforming significantly , political science, and economic majors (see 2014 "Back to School" issue). Applicants to medical school from Classics majors and minors are well received; a second major or a minor in Classics adds distinction to the many applications from majors in biology, microbiology, and other fields of science. For more information on an Undergraduate Degree in Classics and careers, see The Princeton Review, The American Philological Association, and Psychology Today.
Prominent People who Majored or Minored in Classics:
Toni Morrison, author, winner of Nobel Prize in Literature, 1993
J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter
Lynn Sherr, ABC News, 20/20 1986-2008 (read her 2003 lecture “Why in Heaven’s Name Are you Majoring in Greek?”
Tim O’Reilly, Publisher of Technology Books & Magazines, Founder of O’Reilly Media, read his interview for Forbes “The Benefits of a Classical Education”
Jerry Brown, Current (39th) Governor of California (2011-present), 34th Governor of California (1975-1983)
David Packard, co-founder of first CEO of Hewlett Packard
Ted Turner, founder, TBS and CNN, former Vice-Chairman Arial Warner
William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense (1997-2001)
James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State (1989-1992)
Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post 1968-1991
Teller, magician, illusionist, writer, of Penn & Teller
Charles Geschke, software executive, founder of Adobe Systems
Mary Ann Hopkins, Associate Professor & Director of Global Health Concentration, Surgery, NYU Medical Center, & Doctors Without Borders Volunteer
Hunter S. Rawlings, III, President of Cornell University (1995-2003, 2005-2006)