Classical Civilizations

Chairperson: Andrew L. Goldman
Professors: P. Hartin, F. Schlatter, S.J. (Emeritus)
Assistant Professor:  D. Oosterhuis
Senior Lecturer: K. Krall, S.J.

The Department of Classical Civilizations – the oldest at our University – provides undergraduates with access to over 2,500 years of human experience drawn from the multicultural world of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Coursework emphasizes the history, material culture, mores, and values of the societies that have helped shape Western civilization, drawing attention to the significant achievements of the past and the considerable impact of their legacy upon the present.

The department offers both a B.A. major (36 credits) and a B.A. minor (23 credits) degrees in Classical Civilizations. All majors and minors are required to complete two (2) upper division CLAS courses as part of the degree, as well as a minimum of at least three (3) language courses in either Latin or Greek up to and including the completion of a 201 level class. Students who elect to pursue a major degree in this program must choose a focus in either Latin or Greco-Roman Civilization and complete five (5) elective courses among those listed in the current catalogue as well as a senior thesis (CLAS 499; offered only in the Fall semester) appropriate to the chosen concentration. Minors are required to select three (3) upper level electives from among those listed in this catalogue. The electives encompass a range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, philosophy, religious studies, and intermediate and advanced Latin and Greek. Majors are required to include at least one (1) course in Greek culture and one (1) course in Roman culture from among the elective offerings. Participating students are thus required to complete a balanced curriculum divided between the study of ancient languages (Latin, Greek) and their contemporary societies. Through this combined focus, students gain a broader comprehension and appreciation of the rich cultural and humanistic heritage stemming from the classical world. The ancients themselves embraced this model of liberal arts education; according to the Roman orator Cicero, such cultural and historical study “illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.”

The program’s courses are by nature interdisciplinary, with application to the sciences, art, theater, literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and government. Moreover, through addressing relevant issues of gender, ethnicity, and interaction between cultures, the curriculum reaches well beyond the borders of Greece and Rome to embrace other civilizations across the world and time. By immersing students in an examination of the languages and ethnically diverse societies of antiquity, the program prepares them for careers within a world that is increasingly multicultural, interdependent, and global in outlook, in such fields as politics, ethics, business, law, sciences and education. The department will meet the needs of three classes of students: (1) those who wish a major or minor in Classical Civilizations; (2) those who wish to begin or continue the study of Latin or Greek in support of other majors or in preparation for advanced work in other areas; and (3) those who wish to fulfill part of the foreign language requirement of the Arts and Sciences Core curriculum by taking one of the classical languages.

The core curriculum or common body of knowledge of the College of Arts and Sciences consists of 59 to 62 credits which are common to and required of all degree programs in the College: the first 31 credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University Core, while the remaining 28 to 31 credits are common to all Arts and Sciences degrees.
Students should attempt to spread the core curriculum over their entire fours years at Gonzaga.

  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and  PHIL  400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, 200, and 300 levels: one course from each level.
  4. Mathematics (3 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course on the 100 level or above; NURS 320 is substituted for a MATH course for BSN students; MATH 203 fulfills this requirement only for students who graduate with certification in Elementary Education.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102 or 103H or 105 or 106.
  6. History (6 credits): HIST 101 and either HIST 102 or HIST 112 in their first year. If they are unable to complete all six 100-level HIST credits in their first year, HIST 201 or 202 may be substituted for one 100-level course after the first year.
  7. Fine Arts (3 credits): one course in either VART, MUSC, or THEA from courses approved by Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  8. Laboratory Science (4 credits): one course with laboratory in either BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS.
  9. Mathematics or Natural Science (3 credits): one course in either MATH, CPSC, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or ITEC.
  10. Literature (3 credits): one British or American literature course (ENGL 201 - 285).
  11. Social Science (6 credits): CRIM 101, ECON, SOCI, POLS, or PSYC: two courses from these departments.
  12. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): one course in any foreign language (classical or modern) or one (foreign culture) course approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  Foreign-language speaking students from foreign cultures who have completed the nine English core credits at Gonzaga prior to their fourth year (last thirty credits) may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of the foreign language or Culture requirement..
  13. Social Justice (3 credits): One course on Social Justice issues related to experiences of difference (like race, class, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation), from courses approved by the Dean of Arts & Sciences; (may be combined with other core or major requirements).