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Classical Studies

Photo of Dez Fifer.



As a student in classical studies, Dez Fifer sharpened critical-thinking skills that she plans to put to use in the legal profession. Read more here.

Majoring in Classical Studies

Classical Studies explores all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman life – history, society, literature, science, religion, and mythology. Students consider the impact of Classical civilizations on the world today in order to better understand the present and possibilities for the future. Author George Anders particularly points to the ability of Classics majors to deal with “open-ended uncertainty” in his book,  You Can Do Anything.

Students can major or minor in Classical Studies and choose from three different emphases:

Classical Languages (Latin and Ancient Greek)
Literature and Culture
Material Culture and History

Upon completion of the program, students majoring in Classical Studies may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly-related to their studies. Possible careers include:

  • Secondary or Post-Secondary Teaching Professional
  • Editor or Proofreader
  • Law Professional
  • Museum Curator or Docent
  • Library Science and Archival Studies
  • Politics
  • Intelligence and Data Analyst
  • Business/Management Position
  • Government/NGO/Non-profit Employment
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Research in recent years confirms the many cognitive benefits of learning a second language. In addition, Classical Studies majors develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • A global/cultural awareness of the social and political relationships that shape the world.
  • Understanding of different cultures and countries, cultivated both by study abroad opportunities and on-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences.
  • Ability to communicate and work productively with diverse groups of people.
  • Aptitude at translating messages simultaneously into specified languages, maintaining message, content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Experience reading written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewriting material into specified languages.
  • Ability to plan, execute, and disseminate research findings from different vantage points.
  • Linguistic and critical thinking preparation for professional schools and standardized entrance exams such as the LSAT, the MCAT, and the Foreign Service exams.

Cultural Studies majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Central School Corporation
  • Blue Sky Marketing

Graduate School

  • University of Hawaii - Manoa
  • Duke University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Maryland - College Park
  • Kent State University

CLA Career Center