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In CAMS, there are three Major options.  Students should choose the appropriate option according to their interests.  See the CAMS Major requirements and the list of the Major options below.

Language Recommendations for Students pursuing Academic Careers in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies:

Students planning to go on to graduate study in Classics (Greek and Roman studies), Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Biblical studies, or Ancient History or Archaeology in these areas will be expected by their graduate program to have or to obtain reading competency in two modern languages, usually in German, French, or Italian.  Such study might begin during the course of completing the undergraduate major or may be undertaken in graduate school.  Most graduate schools require the demonstration of reading competency in these languages by the end of a student’s second year.

Students pursuing academic careers in Greek or Roman areas are strongly advised to take Option B: The Language Option in order to study Greek and Latin.  Students pursuing a career in Classical Archaeology (Greek or Roman) are also strongly advised to take Option B as both Greek and Latin are required for admission to Classical Archaeology programs in graduate school. Some students choose to complete a Minor in Latin and in Ancient Greek.

Students pursuing careers in Egyptology are strongly advised to take the Ancient Egyptian language courses offered in CAMS.  Ancient Greek is also useful for students of Egyptology and adds distinction to their applications to graduate school programs, as well as additional versatility for the job market in academia.

Students pursuing careers in Ancient Near Eastern Studies are strongly advised to include language study in their area of concentration. This may include Akkadian and Sumerian, or Hebrew and Aramaic, or, as available, Hittite.  The study of Ancient Greek can also be a useful asset to Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

Students pursuing careers in Biblical studies, or study of the Ancient Levant, should include language study in one or more of the following: Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Akkadian.



For the B.A. degree in CAMS, a minimum of 123 credits is required.  Students may choose between the following three options:

a) Classical and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Option (30 credits)

b) Ancient Languages Option (30 credits)

c) Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology Option (36 credits)

All three options share a common set of requirements (Part I below). No more than 15 credits in courses numbered 099, 199, 299, 399, or 499 may count toward the major.



3 credits in CAMS 005 (Semester: 1-4)

3 credits in CAMS 400W (Sem: 5-8)

3 credits in Greek or Roman literature & language, civilization, or archaeology (Sem: 1-4):

CAMS 001, 025, 033, 034, 045, 050, 100, 101, 109, 140, 150, or 180;

LATIN 003 (203), GREEK 203, or any other course in Latin or Greek above the intermediate level.


3 credits in Near Eastern literature and language, civilization, or archaeology (Sem: 1-4):

CAMS 002, 004, 010, 012, 015, 020, 044, 070, 090, 102, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111, 133, 134;

ANTH 009;

HEBR 003 or any other course at the 100 level or above;

Biblical Hebrew, or other ancient Near Eastern language.


6 credits at the 100 level or above from appropriate offerings in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Jewish studies, Ancient History, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Linguistics, or Philosophy (Sem: 1-6):

Any CAMS course;

Any GREEK/LATIN course beyond the intermediate level (i.e. beyond 003 or 203);

HIST 401, 402, 403, 404W, 405W, RL ST 411, HEBR 451, 452, ANTH 420, LING 102;

ART H 301, 311, 401, 411, or PHIL 453, 461, 462, 464.





6 credits at the 400 level in CAMS, ancient Near Eastern languages, Greek, or Latin courses (Sem: 5-8).

6 credits at the 400 level from appropriate courses in CAMS, ancient Near Eastern languages and literature, ancient history, anthropology, Jewish studies, linguistics, philosophy, or religious studies (Sems: 5-8):

Any 400 level CAMS course;

HEBR 451, 452, HIST 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, RL ST 411;

PHIL 453, 461, 462, 464, or ANTH 420.


12 credits at the 400 level in either Greek or Latin or in Akkadian, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Egyptian, Hittite, Sumerian, or other ancient Near Eastern language in consultation with major advisor (Sems: 1-8).

Of these 12 credits, at least 6 credits must be in one language.



3 credits in CAMS 440W (Sem: 5-8)

3 credits in archaeology (Sem: 3-6): CAMS 090, 104, 133, 134, 140, or 150.

3-4 credits in archaeological methods (Sem: 5-8):

ANTH 410 (4 credits), 420, 426, or 428.

6 credits in fieldwork from the following courses: CAMS 492(3), CAMS 493(3), or other

400-level fieldwork course in an approved archaeological project in the Mediterranean region or Near East in consultation with major advisor (Sem: 5-8).

Student Testimonial

“The day I changed my major to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies was one of the happiest of my college career.  Even before switching to CAMS,  I was interested in what the department had to offer. (...)
An undergraduate advisor suggested LATIN 003 as a way of easing into college life, as I had taken Latin classes throughout high school and had performed well on the Advanced Placement exams.  The beginning was rough, but I enjoyed the challenge of translating Latin prose and the information that the texts conveyed.  Although I pursued an Advertising degree during my first two years of college, I continued to sign up for Latin courses, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had realized that Classics, not Advertising, was the right major for me. In addition to the Latin courses, I also studied the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and Egypt in the CAMS major.  All of these classes were interesting, educational, and taught by knowledgeable faculty members.   The CAMS faculty is always helpful; they provide insight into the class material and make suggestions for outside reading during office hours and after class.  When I wrote my senior thesis for the Honors College, I received much help from the CAMS faculty while researching and writing the thesis.  Now that I have received my diplomas from Penn State, both in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Spanish, I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education.  I have been accepted at the Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in Europe, to study secondary education, specializing in classical languages.  I am confident that the education I received at Penn State, notably in the CAMS department, will aid me greatly in my postgraduate studies and in securing a teaching job, whether in the United States, Spain, or elsewhere.”

Celia Meehan
2010 CAMS graduate

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