Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Undergraduate Degrees

Undergraduate Degrees

Undergraduate Majors

Undergraduate Advisers:
Erin Hanses
Lecturer in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor
Pronouns: She/Her
Ben Whitesell
Academic Advisor
Pronouns: He/Him

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, B.A.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is concerned with the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, and the peoples of Egypt and the Near East. The study of these civilizations includes their languages and literatures, history and politics, religion and mythologies, philosophies, and material culture. All students in the major are particularly encouraged to participate in one of the Penn State Education Abroad Programs and/or archaeological field schools in the Mediterranean area. Approved archaeological fieldwork is required for the AMA Option. Up to 15 credits of appropriate education abroad courses may be applied to requirements for the major.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

For the B.A. degree in CAMS, a minimum of 123 credits is required. More details on degree requirements can be found in the following PDF: CAMS Degree Requirements  

Students electing the CAMS major follow one of three following options:

Ancient Languages Option

The Ancient Languages Option requires study of Greek or Latin, one or more of the languages of the ancient Near East, or a combination of languages, and is recommended especially for students planning to pursue any classical, Near Eastern, or Egyptian subject in graduate school; planning rabbinic or seminary study; or preparing to teach Latin or Greek at the secondary level. Students in the Language Option are urged to schedule at least one course in historical linguistics or comparative grammar.

Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology Option

The Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology (AMA) Option is designed for students interested in the physical evidence for ancient Mediterranean cultures, including the rise and development of settlements and cities; ceramics, metals, stone, and organic remains; and population changes over time.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Option

The Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) Option is suitable for students interested in a broadly interdisciplinary study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and does not require study of language, although students are encouraged to study the appropriate ancient languages.

You might like this program if...
  • You want to learn the methods of archaeology and archaeological interpretation with the goal of reconstructing the social practices and historical development of different peoples in the ancient Mediterranean.
  • You want to master an interdisciplinary subject with a long-term perspective on the human condition and on cultural achievements across diverse geographical regions.
  • You want to pursue a career in education, archaeology, or law.

Undergraduate Minors

Undergraduate Advisers:
Erin Hanses
Lecturer in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor
Pronouns: She/Her
Ben Whitesell
Academic Advisor
Pronouns: He/Him

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Minor

The CAMS minor recognizes the completion of a broadly interdisciplinary study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world through 18 credits of course work, including 6 credits at the 400-level. The courses offered are concerned with the cultures of the ancient Near East, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome in such fields as civilization, archaeology, history, philosophy, religion, and mythologies. Students who complete the Penn State Athens Education Abroad Program and its prerequisite course may apply to receive the minor. Students in the minor may also receive credit for participating in approved archaeological fieldwork in the Mediterranean region. While the study of language is not required, students are encouraged to study the appropriate ancient languages. The minor is especially suitable for students in such fields as history, medieval studies, anthropology, literature, philosophy, and education.

More details on degree requirements can be found in the following PDF: CAMS Degree Requirements  

Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12 credits from CAMS courses
12
Select 6 credits of 400-level CAMS courses
6

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10.

Religious Studies Minor

Religious Studies focuses on providing an understanding of the world’s diverse religions, their beliefs, and traditions. The relationship between religion and culture is closely examined to gain a better understanding of how religion affects politics, art, science, and other aspects of society. Research is done through multiple disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history, and more.

Religious Studies Adviser:
Ben Whitesell
Academic Advisor
Pronouns: He/Him
Why Religious Studies?
  • Religion has influenced local and global communities, from antiquity through the present day; 
  • Understanding religious cultures adds depth to abstract concepts like diversity and ethics; 
  • Skills in critical thinking, writing, and in-depth analysis of texts form a great foundation for multiple career paths.
Requirements

The minor in Religious Studies requires 18 hours of course work in RLST. It:

  1. acquaints the student with the methods for studying religion (how one studies a religion),
  2. provides an elementary introduction to the world’s main religious traditions (names, dates, ideas, similarities and differences), and
  3. offers the opportunity to investigate a particular topic or religion in greater detail.


Students are required to take one survey course (either RLST 1RLST 3, or RLST 4), which provides a broad historical overview of several religions, from their foundation to the present day.

The interaction between religions and their cultural contexts is emphasized, as is the evolution of an individual religion. After this introduction, the student is free to choose from a broad array of courses on the psychological, sociological, historical, and textual aspects of religions, both living and dead, both familiar and foreign. For example, a student may study Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Norse religion, Greco-Roman religion, or the sociological aspects of religions. Reading skills and critical thinking skills are important and will be further developed in the courses.

The minor is excellent preparation for a career in the professions (law, medicine), and many students use this classical humanities topic to augment a major in the pure sciences.

Honors

Honors Adviser:
Erin Hanses
Lecturer in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor
Pronouns: She/Her

Students enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College (SHC) receive a challenging education in CAMS. More than 30 percent of our majors are Schreyer Scholars. Ideally, admission occurs at the time of admission to Penn State, but a limited number of students who have compiled a superior academic record may be nominated at the conclusion of the second year.

In addition to the requirements of the SHC, CAMS has established the following requirements for students completing a research thesis.

  1. A student must be enrolled as a Schreyer Scholar to receive an honors degree in CAMS. The student must fulfill the requirements for the major or, if not enrolled in the major, must complete 18 credits of CAMS courses, or CAMS-related courses approved by the Scholars Adviser, including 6 credits at the 400 level.
  2. Unless temporarily delayed because of absence due to study abroad, the student must submit the SHC thesis form, approved by both the thesis director and the Scholars Adviser, one year prior to graduation. Within the limitations posed by the student’s language preparation or access to raw data, the thesis must represent a critical engagement with an issue or problem and provide some original contribution to the matter at hand.
  3. Unless exempted by the Scholars Adviser, the student must enroll in 3 credits of CAMS 494H during the semester or summer session prior to the semester of graduation. At the conclusion of this course, the student must submit to the thesis director and the Scholars Adviser 1) an annotated bibliography, 2) a full detailed outline of the thesis, and 3) the draft of a substantial part (e.g., a full chapter) of the final thesis. The grade will be assigned by the thesis director based on the above assignment.
  4. Unless exempted by the Scholars Adviser, the student must enroll in 1 credit CAMS 494H the semester of graduation.
  5. The student is required to make an oral presentation of his or her research as part of the CAMS Lecture Series a minimum of three weeks prior to the thesis deadline.
  6. The final completed thesis must be submitted for approval to both the thesis director and the Scholars Adviser a minimum of two weeks prior to the SHC thesis deadline.