The question is not "what can you do with a Classics degree," but: "what can't you do with a Classics degree?" Strong critical skills and a broad knowledge base prepare students for a variety of life paths.
A degree in Classical Studies offers so much more than just a career path. It offers a life of curiosity and inquiry. Classical Studies majors learn reasoning and analytical skills and how to perfect their grammar and composition skills. The have the highest scores on the GRE and on admission into Medical School. Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, Inc., said "I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates," in a 2001 article from Newsweek. A Classical Studies major does not simply get you a diploma—it strengthens your problem-solving skills, vocabulary, and logical thinking. To quote Katharine Brooks in her article "Classics Majors find their Future in the Past," published in Psychology Today, "a Classical Major provides a unique perspective on life, culture, the arts, philosophy, literature and leadership."
1. Graduate School (higher education)
How about graduate school in Classical Studies? If you're looking for a graduate program in the Classics several universities offer Masters and PhD programs. The University of Pennsylvania offers Masters degrees in Language, Literature, and Ancient History as well as a PhD program. Boston University has Masters programs in Greek, Latin, Archaeology, and Philosophy, in addition to their PhD program.
2. Latin Teacher
Perhaps teaching is your calling, but at a younger level and without the cost of graduate school. High school Latin teachers are in high demand and it only requires an undergraduate degree. Examples of successful DePauw alumni who have transitioned into teaching Latin are Austin Diaz '06, Ashley Brewer '06, and Sara Robertson '05. The American Classical League and the Southern Teachers Association have many postings for Latin teachers and other resources for students looking to teach the Classics.
3. Museum Curator/Management
Think back to the last time you were in a museum. Was there an exhibit or tour that made you stop and think deeply about the things you were looking at? Would you like to facilitate that experience for someone else? Many Classical Studies majors go on to curate or manage museums around the country. While this career requires the minimum of a Bachelor's degree, it also stresses prior experience in a museum setting. Museum curators, catalogue, plan all collections and exhibits. Museum Management is responsible for coordinating museum tours and overseeing the overall operation of the museum. At the Getty Museum both Claire Lyons, Senior Curator as well as Kenneth Lapatin, Associate Curator, were trained as Classical Archaeologists.
If arguing is your cup of tea, you might funnel your Classics Major into Law School. This is exactly what DePauw graduates Jason McElroy '02, Frank Aba-Onu '07, and Mark Webb '07 did. Classical Studies majors and Classical Language Majors have the highest overall verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the GRE. According to Harvard Magazine, Classical Studies Majors achieve the highest success rates of any majors in law school.
In terms of medical school, according to Association of American Medical Colleges, students who major or double-major in Classics have a better success rate getting into medical school than do students who concentrate solely in biology, microbiology, and other branches of science. An undergraduate degree in Classical Studies opens the doors to graduate programs in various fields of study.
Have you dreamed of earning millions inspiring people with the written word? Well, that is exactly what J. K. Rowling did with her Harry Potter series. Want to know another fun fact about J. K. Rowling? She was a Classics Major. Several individuals have made the transition from Classics Majors to author such as Toni Morrison, Dorothy Sayer, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Studying the epics of Homer, Vergil and Hesiod laid the foundation for these great writers and will undoubtedly inspire you.
Archaeologists travel the world with their shovels, brushes, and knowledge to uncover history's mysteries. Prominent archaeologists include DePauw's very own Rebecca Schindler , as well as England's Sir Arthur Evans, and American archaeological icon Timothy W. Potter.
8. Politician/Political Analyst
Classical Studies can prepare you for a lifetime in politics. Such notable politicians as James A. Garfield, 20th president of the United States, former Secretary of State James Baker, and former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld all earned Classical Studies degrees. Still not convinced? Thomas Jefferson, founding father, author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd President of the United States, was a scholar of the Classics.