What will I learn?

The major in Ancient Studies is explicitly interdisciplinary in outlook. Students interested in focusing on the ancient Mediterranean or the Ancient Near East will normally take classes in a wide range of departments that focus on language, literature, mythology, material culture, history, religion, art history, philosophy, political theory, law, film, comparative literature, medieval studies, and gender studies. Each student will develop a concentration in one geographical area or period but will also develop an appreciation for the cultural development of the region as a whole. Study abroad in Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Middle East, or in European universities with strong programs in their field of interest is encouraged. Students are also encouraged to explore internship opportunities at the Brooklyn Museum and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Each student, after consultation with the Barnard Chair, chooses an advisor whose field is closely related to her own and with whom she will plan her senior essay.

A total of 36 points are required in the major, including at least four courses in one geographical area or period; courses in at least three departments to ensure proper interdisciplinary training and expertise; the elementary sequence of a relevant ancient language (for students focusing on a culture whose language is not taught on Columbia’s campus this requirement may be waived); the appropriate history course; ANCS V 3995 The Major Seminar, and ANCS V 3998 (senior essay).

Student Learning Objectives in Ancient Studies

  • Read, analyze, and write about ancient texts persuasively and locate texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
  • Achieve familiarity with the methodologies and critical approaches and research tools deployed in classical scholarship and in related disciplines studied by each individual student that is demonstrated in the successful completion of a senior research project.
  • Achieve familiarity with the work of a variety of ancient writers on a range of interdisciplinary topics.
  • Engage in detail with the methods needed to analyze the range of fragmentary evidence, written and material, required in an interdisciplinary study of the ancient Mediterranean world.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with one geographical area or period in the Greek, Latin or related ancient Mediterranean worlds.
  • Assess differences among and relations between ancient cultures and analyze the use and abuse of evidence about the ancient world by later cultures.

Which department am I in?

Barnard College

Study options

Full Time (Total 122 points)

Tuition fees
US$58,920.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, September 2022


Columbia University

116th Street, 2960 Broadway,

New York,

10027, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

The Committee on Admissions selects women of proven academic strength who exhibit intellectual voracity and strong potential for further scholarly growth. In addition to school records, recommendations, writing, and test scores, we carefully consider candidates' talents, abilities, interests, and personal history. While admission is highly selective, it is also holistic; no one criterion or score determines acceptance. We consider each applicant in terms of her personal qualities, her intellectual capacity, and the rigor of the curriculum she has pursued, as well as her potential for achieving at Barnard. We review each applicant in the context of her school, community, and individual story.

Barnard's general education requirements cover a wide range of subjects: literature, the social sciences, language and the arts, lab sciences, and quantitative areas. For this reason, you should acquire a strong foundation in high school, taking courses from the core academic subjects: math, science, English, history, and foreign language.

English Language Requirements

Applicant must have IELTS score of 7.0 or higher or TOEFL score of 600 or above on the written test, and 100 or above for the Internet-based test.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.