The Department of Classics

The Classical Tradition - Major Emphasis

Classics majors who choose the Classical Tradition emphasis complete the program in three interconnected steps.

Consult the GVSU Catalog for detailed program information:

Classics - Program Description 
Classics, B.A. 
   Classical Languages 
   Classical Tradition 
   Latin Secondary Education 

Classics (minor) 
   Classical Tradition 

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), The Three Graces (detail).

In the first, students ground their knowledge of the classical world through courses in its languages and culture.

In the second, students extend this knowledge in directions of their own choosing through a set of courses determined by an individually designed plan of study.

In the third, students have the opportunity to consolidate and synthesize what they have learned.

For step two, Classical Tradition students work in consultation with a faculty advisor to develop a Study Plan.

Study Plans consist of fifteen hours of courses drawn from the entire University curriculum; these together are designed both to suit a student's individual interests and and to trace connections from the legacy of classical antiquity into an important area of the Classical Tradition.

There are many ways of designing an appropriate Study Plan. It might, for example, branch out into period studies (such as the European Middle Ages or Renaissance) or into fields where the classical legacy is particularly strong (such as archaeology, philosophy, religion, literature, theater, or social and political thought).

The following are suggestions for possible topics and courses that could be assembled into an appropriate fifteen-hour Study Plan. 

  • Medieval Studies
    LAT 362, CLA 345, CLA 461, ENG 321, FRE 410, HST 355, PHI 302
  • Renaissance Studies
    LAT 362, CLA 345, CLA 461, ENG 313, ENG 322, HST 364, SPA 325
  • Archaeology
    CLA 250, CLA 350, CLA 315, CLA 320, ART 322, ART 323, ANT 350
  • Philosophy
    GRK 351 (Plato*), LAT 420 (e.g., Seneca or Augustine*), LAT 362 (e.g., Augustine, Aquinas, or Spinoza*), COM 203 (Plato and Aristotle*), CLA 311
  • Religion
    CLA 315, GRK 402 (New Testament*), HNR 300, PHI 250, SS 315
  • Literature
    CLA 275, CLA 345, CLA 410, CLA 461, ENG 320, ENG 321, ENG 322, ENG 340
  • Theater
    GRK 401, LAT 352, CLA 275, CLA 345, CLA 479, CTH 371, ENG 313, ENG 340
  • Social and Political Thought
    CLA 320, CLA 345, CLA 461, CLA 499, PHI 320, PLS 231

(*Note that some courses focus upon differing authors or topics from year to year.  The appropriateness of these courses for a particular Study Plan must be determined on a case by case basis.)

Finally, in step three, students of the Classical Tradition synthesize what they have learned by:

  • Enrolling in the Classics Capstone, CLA 495 "Notions of the Classics";
  • Writing the Senior Integrative Essay with the supervision of a department advisor.

CLA 499 "Independent Study and Research" may be taken in conjunction with the Senior Integrative Essay and may also form part of the fifteen credit hours of the study plan.

The Classical Tradition program

The Classical Tradition (minor emphasis)

Printable Program Brochure (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
Contact the Department of Classics

Page last modified November 1, 2010