UW students in the Roman Forum.
UW students in the Roman Forum.

Classics concerns itself with the languages and cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilizations had a central role in shaping the basic conceptual categories of our present cultural, intellectual, professional, and civic lives. Study of Classical languages and cultures fosters broad and deeply informed critical perspectives on the human experience and develops excellent analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.



UW’s Department of Classics is known nationally and internationally as a place where innovative research, excellent instruction, and active mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students are ensuring the preservation and expansion of knowledge of the Classical world for the next generation.

Faculty and students work collaboratively with colleagues in most other humanities departments as well as colleagues in Art History; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; History; the Honors Program; Jewish Studies; Music; the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity; Philosophy; the Simpson Center for the Humanities; and the UW Libraries. We also serve as a local hub for the teaching of Classics and offer engaging annual events for teachers of Latin and Classics at all levels.


Undergraduate majors


The humanities, with their critically informed and historically grounded explorations of fundamental human experiences, are integral to the public good. The Department cultivates a strong sense of stewardship and embraces opportunities to provide access to education in Classical languages and cultures as widely as possible.

The Department offers four undergraduate majors: Classics, Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies. The majors in Classics, Greek, and Latin emphasize the development of expertise in the Classical languages and literatures. The Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies is for students wishing to explore the literature, history, art, archaeology, and philosophy of Classical Antiquity primarily through English translations. Undergraduate majors deepen and consolidate their explorations of the ancient world in a culminating project, the Senior Essay. Many of our graduates have gone on to become distinguished teachers and scholars; others have pursued successful careers in business, journalism, law, medicine, the arts, and a variety of other fields.

The Department’s graduate programs, leading to the MA in Greek, Latin, or Classics and the PhD in Classics, ensure comprehensive and thorough training in the disciplines needed for teaching and for producing original research in the field of Classics. Students may also do supporting work in other departments in such areas as ancient philosophy, ancient and medieval history, art history, literary theory, and linguistics.

The Department actively encourages and in many cases is able to provide financial assistance to students to participate in a study abroad program, including those sponsored by the Department or the University’s Study Abroad office as well as a variety of programs offered by organizations such as the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and archaeological excavations and field schools.


Autumn 2023

  • 46 Undergraduate majors
  • 40 Undergraduate minors
  • 16 Graduate students

Degrees Awarded

July 2022 - June 2023

  • 8 Bachelor of Arts degrees
  • 3 Master of Arts degrees
  • 2 PhD degrees

Major Student Awards

Since 2021

  • 3 American School of Classical Studies at Athens Summer Program Scholarships
  • 1 Janice and Herbert Benario Award (CAMWS)
  • 1 Center for Hellenic Studies Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Greek Etymology
  • 1 Roseanna Wabel McDermott Endowed Fund for Study Abroad
  • 1 Chester William Fritz Scholarship
  • 1 Brent Malcolm Froberg Scholarship (Eta Sigma Phi)
  • 1 E. Adelaide Hahn Rome/Athens Scholarship
  • 4 Joff Hanauer Graduate Fellowships
  • 1 Lambda Classical Caucus Graduate Student Paper Award
  • 1 Graduate School Top Scholar Award
  • 1 GSEE Graduate Excellence Award
  • 1 Irene Dickson McFarlane Tuition Scholarship
  • 1 Ringland Rome Prize
  • 1 Ringland Rome Bursary
  • 2 Eleftherios and Mary Rouvelas Endowed Writing Prize in Hellenic Studies
  • 1 Simpson Center Society of Scholars Summer Dissertation Fellowship
  • 3 Society for Classical Studies Certificates of Excellence
  • 1 Pamela Stewart and Julie Golding Endowed Student Scholarship
  • 1 Míċeál Vaughan Award
  • 1 Women’s Classical Caucus Best Pre-PhD Paper Award


Autumn 2023

  • 6 Professors
  • 3 Associate Professors
  • 1 Assistant Professor
  • 3 Emeritus Professors

Faculty Awards & Honors

Faculty bring a global perspective to the study of Classics, with numerous international collaborations. Faculty awards and honors include:

  • 1 Departmental Professional Equity Award from the Women’s Classical Caucus
  • 1 Departmental Gold Star Award from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • 4 UW Distinguished Teaching Awards
  • 1 UW Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology
  • 5 Simpson Center Humanities Scholars
  • 2 Lockwood Professorships in the Humanities
  • 1 Solomon Katz Distinguished Lecturer
  • 9 UW Royalty Research Fund Awards
  • 1 Getty Foundation Grant
  • 2 Loeb Classical Library Foundation Awards
  • 1 American Philosophical Society Fellowship
  • 3 Center for Hellenic Studies Fellowships
  • 2 NEH Fellowships for University Teachers
  • 1 NEH Summer Stipend
  • 1 NEH Albright Institute of Archaeological Research Fellowship
  • 1 Martin Lectureship, Oberlin College
  • 1 J. H. Gray Lectureship, Cambridge University
  • 1 Postdoctoral Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome


Faculty engage in critical analysis of texts, artifacts, and culture from across the whole range of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, including projects focusing on archaeological, art historical, topographical, historical, historiographical, philosophical, folkloric, and literary studies.

Recent faculty publications include the books Greek Slavery and Helen of Troy in Hollywood and a diverse range of articles, including “Surgical Treatment of the Breast from the Hippocratics to the Renaissance,” “Myth and Mythopoeia in the Films of Yorgos Lanthimos,” “A Feminist Abolitionist reads Plutarch, Euripides and Plato: Periclean Athens and Nineteenth Century America in Lydia Maria Child’s Philothea (1836),” “Forgetting Germanicus: Reading Valerius Maximus through Tacitus’ Tiberian Books,” “Ovid’s Exile Poetry and Zombies,” “Curse Tablets,” “The Dreams of Barčin and Penelope,” “Vernae and Prostitution at Pompeii,” “Si est homo bulla: The Dystopian Political Didactics of Varro’s de Rebus Rusticis,” “Mythography and Greek Vase Painting,” and “The Contradiction of the ‘Hymn to Zeus’ in Nemean 3.”

Areas of Scholarship

  • Classical Archaeology
  • Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
  • Greek and Roman Historiography
  • Greek and Roman Linguistics
  • Greek and Roman Oratory
  • Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Greek and Roman Religion
  • Greek and Roman Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Greek and Roman Social and Cultural History
  • Greek Epic, Lyric Poetry, and Drama
  • Hellenistic Poetry
  • Literary Theory and Criticism
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Roman Comedy, Epic, and Elegy
  • Roman Topography
  • The Ancient Novel
  • The Reception of Classical Texts
  • Visual Culture


  • Classics Department Endowment Fund
  • Classics Student Travel Fund
  • Philip H. and Estelle DeLacy Endowed Fellowship Fund
  • Harvey Bruce Densmore Memorial Fund
  • Endowed Faculty Support Fund in Classics
  • Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Classics
  • Jim Greenfield Endowed Classics Scholarship
  • Bernard and Dorothy Harmon Memorial Fund
  • Daniel P. Harmon Endowed Professorship for the Classics
  • Daniel P. Harmon Visiting Lecturer Fund
  • Roseanna Wabel McDermott Endowed Fund for Study Abroad
  • John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Endowed Lectureship
  • Thomas and Joyce Morgan Endowment for Classics
  • Nesholm Family Endowed Fellowship
  • Pamela Stewart and Julie Golding Endowed Student Support Fund


The Department’s activities that serve the local community include:

  • an annual Classics conference for K-12 teachers, featuring faculty and teacher presentations and discussions;
  • K-12 activities including presentations at high schools and at the Junior Classical League’s annual convention;
  • public lectures, online and in person at various venues including local theaters; and
  • co-sponsorship, with the University of Puget Sound, of the local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, which brings noted scholars to campus for public lectures on archaeological topics.


Department of Classics
Box 353110
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2266
email: clasdept@uw.edu
web: classics.washington.edu

last update:  November 2023