Greek & Roman Studies

Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Students sit on the grass together on a sunny autumn day behind University Hall

About Greek & Roman Studies

Greek & Roman Studies is the study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Greece and Rome, and embraces a number of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, history, literature and philosophy. As the basis of Western thought and culture, the study of Greek & Rome remains a critical and essential foundation for all humanistic inquiry. It is the origin of the liberal arts and the original interdisciplinary subject. McMaster boasts one of the oldest and best-reputed Greek & Roman Studies departments in Canada, which, unlike many departments, encompasses all the classical disciplines and offers programs at all levels including BA, MA and PhD.


Our courses cover the earliest Western literature, the first democracies, classical painting, sculpture and architecture, the history of warfare, the Olympic Games, gladiators, gender and sexuality in ancient society, slavery and ancient religion and ethnicity.


Students at McMaster develop their skills in writing, research, critical thinking and delivering oral presentations. Students also have the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience at archaeological excavations and with collections at the McMaster Museum of Art including the Bruce Brace Coin Collection and the Antiquities Collection.

We offer Greek and Latin courses from a beginner’s level, but Greek and Latin are not required for the Classics undergraduate degree. Since training in the ancient languages is required for entry into postgraduate programs, we encourage students who might want to pursue an MA or PhD to take as many Greek and Latin courses as possible (ideally one year of each language in all four years of an honours BA).


Members of the Classics department are currently involved in two archaeological excavations, both in Italy:  the Villa di Tito dig (Rieti) and the site of Metaponto.


In addition to further study, a diverse range of careers are available to Classics majors. For more information, check out the links below:

What Can I Do With This Major?

Classics Majors Find Their Future In The Past

Branding and Marketing The Classics Major