Classical Studies Careers

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in classical studies. Read on to learn more about career options along with education and salary information. Schools offering Middle Eastern History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Classicist?

Classicists are concerned with the study of ancient civilizations and classical languages, such as Latin and Greek. They are generally required to have an advanced degree in fields such as classics, art history, or archaeology. As a career, classicists may work as an archaeologist or as a postsecondary professor. As archeologists, they would participate in historic excavation and preservation of historical sites. Postsecondary professors perform and publish research and teach classes. The following chart gives an overview of career expectations for these fields.

Archaeologist Postsecondary Teacher
Degree RequiredMaster's degreeDoctorate degree
Education Field of StudyClassical languages, classical studies, archaeology, ancient historyClassical studies, archaeology, ancient history, ancient philosophy
Key SkillsInvestigative skills, attention to detail, writing, critical thinking Leadership, communication, critical thinking
Licensure/CertificationN/A Teaching licensure/certification required
Job Growth (2014-2024)*4% (for anthropologists and archaeologists) 9% (for all anthropology and archaeology postsecondary teachers)
Median Salary (2015)* $61,220 (for all anthropologists and archaeologists) $77,650 (for all anthropology and archaeology postsecondary teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Work in Classical Studies?

In general, careers relating to classical studies demand advanced credentials. You can begin by pursuing a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. You can major in an area such as classics, classical languages, classical studies or ancient history. Your coursework in this area typically includes general education requirements as well as Latin and Greek language studies. Some classics programs incorporate studies of ancient civilizations from areas of the world other than Greece and Rome. In addition, classics programs may offer archaeological fieldwork options, where you'll learn excavation methods and research skills.

A master's degree in classics is often a requirement for professional employment in this field. These graduate programs will emphasize a proficiency in Latin or Greek, a thorough knowledge of major classical primary sources and independent research. You can study topics like art history and famous classical literature.

Those individuals who wish to pursue an academic position in this field will likely be required to pursue a doctorate. Other than a program specific to classical studies, you might apply to a program in archaeology, ancient history, ancient philosophy or other disciplines focused on antiquity. Doctoral programs in the humanities tend to be selective. You'll be required to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, writing samples and scores from the Graduate Record Examination. Your studies will emphasize independent research, and you will be required to produce a publishable contribution to your field.

Where Can I Work?

Classicists often work as archaeologists. You may be tasked with identifying and excavating ruins or significant historical sites. Considerable time in the field spent digging and excavating might be part of your work duties. Archaeology positions may be physically stressful, and your hours could be irregular. You can also focus on preservation and cultural resource management, which often involves working in a museum or archive.

Many classicists also work as professors. These positions will almost always demand that you possess a doctorate. As a professor, you will perform and publish your own research, teach classes and collaborate with graduate students. In this position, you'll have more regular hours.

What Salary Can I Expect?

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary of all anthropologists and archaeologists was $61,220 (www.bls.gov). The same year, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for postsecondary teachers in archaeology and anthropology was $77,650, while postsecondary teachers in foreign languages and literature earned a median of $61,380.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Someone interested in the classics may also wish to consider a career as a historian, curator, or archivist, all of which require at least a master's degree to enter. Historians study historically important documents and sources to provide information about the past. Curators work in museums to collect and preserve historical artifacts and may also help with research or educational activities. Archivists appraise and preserve historical documents and may specialize in a particular topic or era.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Central Christian College of Kansas

    Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Central Christian College of Kansas:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »