The study of ancient civilization focuses on the culture, religion, art, language, and philosophy of the Mediterranean basin from approximately 2000 BCE to 600 CE. Students learn about the contributions of the ancient world to life in the present and future.

Why Iowa?

Students in this major enjoy a liberal arts college experience within the rich and stimulating environment of a major research university. You'll have opportunities to work closely with the Department of Classics faculty, who are dedicated teachers and researchers.

The Department of Classics also offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Classical Languages.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Ancient Civilization
Ancient Civilization
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

This major offers solid preparation for teaching at the secondary school and community college levels. It also provides a liberal arts and sciences foundation appropriate for further study in law, medicine, library and information science, museum studies, archaeology, or business. A large number of students pursue advanced degrees.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

You'll be encouraged to attend the department’s excellent lecture series, to participate in the Classics Coffee Hours, and to join Eta Sigma Phi, the classics honor society.

Study Abroad

The classics department maintains close relationships with study abroad programs in Greece, Italy, Israel, and the Netherlands that will advance your work for your major and introduce you to living descendants of ancient Greek and Roman societies. In the Netherlands, the focus of study is on Latin, Greek, and the Roman frontier. You may participate in these programs during your junior or senior year, and financial aid is available.

The department has close ties to the ongoing Roman frontier excavations at Nijmegen in the Netherlands and with others in Israel, Greece, and Italy. You may apply to join these excavations in the summer, and financial aid is available.

The University supports the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the American Academy in Rome, making these facilities available to faculty and students.


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 


Coursework is provided by the Department of Classics, the School of Art and Art History, the School of Religion, and the Department of History.

The curriculum focuses on nearly half of the recorded experience of the Western World, covering three civilizations (Greek, Roman, and Minoan-Mycenaean), the Greek and Latin languages, and a geographical area that includes Europe, North Africa, Egypt, and the Near East. You'll be encouraged, but not required, to study Greek or Latin. Coursework will include ancient art and history, ancient philosophy or religion, and classics, which may include Greek or Latin language.

Students maintain a required portfolio that details progress toward the objectives of their major.

All students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete the GE CLAS Core requirements.

Find Classics in the UI General Catalog to learn more about earning a major or minor in ancient civilization and graduating with honors.