The Postbaccalaureate Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Postbaccalaureate Program in Classics at Columbia University are expected to take a complete a full year's worth of undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. We work with students to develop a personal course of study, which is both structured and tailored to the student's interests and goals.


Before Classes Begin

During a departmental orientation held in the week before the beginning of their first semester in the Program, students take a diagnostic language examination to determine their placement in ancient Greek and Latin courses. After taking the placement exam, they meet with their Faculty Adviser to establish their curriculum. The orientation also provides opportunities to get acquainted with fellow students and departmental faculty and staff, and to learn about academic careers in classics and related fields.

The curriculum consists of eight courses

  • The Postbaccalaureate Seminar (Greek/Latin W3980), offered every fall semester, provides students opportunities to (re‑)familiarize themselves with a selection of major texts from classical antiquity, which will be read in English. Students will become better acquainted with scholarship on these texts and with scholarly writing in general as they write analytically about these texts and the interpretations of them found in contemporary scholarship. In addition, students will participate in small tutorials that focus on reading selected texts in either Greek or Latin. Led by members of the faculty, these tutorials will meet every week for an additional hour.
  • Five additional language courses in ancient Greek and/or Latin. Approaches to Antiquity (Classical Philology G4300), a methodology pro-seminar offered for graduate students every spring semester, may be counted as a Greek/Latin language course.
  • Two other language courses or, with the approval of the Faculty Adviser, courses offered by the Department of Classics under the listings for Classical Civilization or Classical Literature, or courses in related departments, such as ancient history, philosophy, art and archaeology, religion, and political science.

The Postbaccalaureate Seminar is open only to students in the Classics Certificate program. In all other courses, Classics Certificate students benefit from interaction with students pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees at Columbia.