Undergraduate Overview

President Tripathi, Christopher Fancher, Bradley Ault.

President Tripathi (left) with Classics student Christopher Fancher, BA '18 (center) and Chair Bradley Ault (right) at the Celebration of Academic Excellence

If you are attracted to the civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean and their histories, literatures, mythologies, languages and archaeological remains, we invite you to explore the Classics Undergraduate Program. 

The Learning Environment

Classics is a broadly-based interdisciplinary major, with several different tracks designed to appeal to unique students with individual interests. Studying classics at UB allows students to experience the small classes, intense faculty involvement and intellectual challenge of a liberal arts college without sacrificing the resources, diversity and reasonable costs of a major state university.

The department is concerned with the Latin and Greek languages and with the broadest possible study of Greek and Roman civilization. It is the oldest and most solidly grounded of the “area studies.” Complete majors are offered in both languages (Latin and Greek), in addition to a wide variety of courses that require no language background, and focus on the literature, history, archaeology, mythology and religion of classical times.  

Meet Our Faculty

  • Jackie Murray
    Research Interests: Ancient Greek Language and Literature, especially of the Hellenistic Poetry, its reception of Archaic and Classical poetry and its influence on Latin poetry and Greek literature of the Imperial period. Race studies and the Classics, Black Classicisms, and the reception of Greek and Roman Classics in African American and Afro-Caribbean literature.
  • John Dugan
    Research Interests: Latin literature of the late Republic and Augustan period; ancient rhetoric and oratory; ancient and modern literary criticism and aesthetics
  • Neil Coffee
    Research Interests: Latin literature; epic; gift theory; digital classics; conversational Latin
  • Alessandro Sebastiani
    Research Interests: Roman archaeology of the Mediterranean; Roman economy; Roman religion; Roman to early medieval countryside; Roman to early medieval cities; landscape archaeology; medieval archaeology; medieval pottery; GIS and IT sciences applied to archaeology
  • David A. Teegarden
    Research Interests: Ancient Greek democracy; classical and Hellenistic Greek history
  • Bradley A. Ault
    Research Interests: Greek, Cypriot, and Roman art and archaeology; houses and households; cities and urbanism, agriculture and the ancient countryside
  • Timothy Boyd
    Research Interests: Classical epic, mythology, and traditional oral narrative; classical language instruction; medieval and modern Irish literature; history of archaeology on the Western Coast of Turkey
  • Roger Woodard
    Research Interests: Greek literature; Roman, Greek, and Indo-European religion and myth; anthropology of Greece and Rome; Greek alphabet and other writing systems; Indo-European linguistics; the interaction between the Near East and Greece

Specialized Concentrations

An undergraduate degree in classics gives students training in and exposure to a rich and diverse set of disciplines: history, archaeology, language, linguistics and literature. The department offers two undergraduate majors: Classics and Classical Civilization. The classics major is ideal for students who plan to pursue graduate work in languages and literature. The Classical Civilization major is ideal for students who plan to pursue graduate work in history or archeology. Within each major, students may choose from three concentrations.

Classics Major: 1. Latin, 2. Greek or 3. Classics (equal emphasis on both languages)

Classical Civilization Major: 1. Ancient History, 2. Mediterranean Archaeology or 3. Classical Civilization (a broad, interdisciplinary concentration)

All students who wish to pursue any area of graduate work are advised to study French and German.

Classics Honors

Qualified students may pursue a special interest project through the Classics Honors Program, under the direction of a faculty member. For further information, please contact David A. Teegarden, director of undergraduate studies. 

Cross-Disciplinary Connections

The department also allows for individually-designed majors and will assist students in their formulation. Some suggested programs include combining classics, Greek or Latin with English, modern languages, history, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology or art history. More personal or wider-ranging choices are also welcome.

In choosing electives outside the Department of Classics, students are encouraged to take courses in a broad spectrum of disciplines. An opportunity for a term or a year of study in Italy is provided by the department’s participation in the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, or students may participate in a study abroad session in Italy or Greece.

Rare coin from the Thomas B. Lockwood collection.

Rare coin from the Thomas B. Lockwood collection

Student Testimonials

"The most enjoyable and memorable years of my education continue to be my time with the Classics Department, and while it certainly taught me to think critically and is part of the makeup that will forward my medical education, I remember it for the teachers who taught me, the works we translated, and the peers with whom I shared the experience."
– Elizabeth Hong, BA '09


Please contact us if you have questions about the department, the application procedure or study abroad opportunities for undergraduate students.