UMass Boston


Students of classics and religious studies acquire an unusually wide range of intellectual qualities and gain skills that will serve them well in almost any career. Since nearly 65 percent of English vocabulary derives from Greek or Latin, knowledge of these languages confers advantages in speaking and writing well. Careful attention to grammar and linguistic analysis not only improves one's English, but develops disciplined and structured habits of thought that are highly valued in computer programming, legal work, and even many sciences. Classicists served as code-breakers in World War II, and are still highly sought after in fields that require systematic mental rigor. Yet classics also is a humanistic discipline, engaging students with diverse responses to the human condition, expressed through literature and art ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. In studying these works students develop sophisticated abilities to make connections, to deal with ambiguity and multiple meanings, and to appreciate the richness of ways people can communicate, even across a distance of thousands of years. The gifts of Greece and Rome to western civilization are numerous and the study of them should have a role in any undergraduate education. But more intensive study, through majoring in classics, brings special rewards of personal enrichment and intellectual challenge.

UMass Boston's Classics and Religious Studies Department is especially well prepared to train students for positions as Latin teachers in secondary schools. The number of jobs exceeds the number of qualified candidates, and Massachusetts has led the nation in job availability. Students interested in a career teaching high school Latin are urged to contact Professor Jacqueline Carlon at

Many other alumni and alumnae have gone on to doctoral programs in classical literature and in related fields such as archaeology, history, Semitic languages, and theology. Nevertheless, the great majority of classics graduates are successful in other fields. We have graduates in law, counseling, marketing research, computing, banking, library work, graphic design, acupuncture, medical laboratory technician, and publishing. One is an executive with FedEx; another is a senator in the Massachusetts State House. We classicists count among our own Toni Morrison, J. K. Rowling, Ted Turner, Eudora Welty, William Weld, and Lynn Sherr.