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Classics Senior Reflections

Jarrod Mock - Classical Studies

(Double major in Mathematics)

As I reflect on my journey in Classical Studies, my only regret is that I did not begin sooner. I entered Stanford as a freshman determined to study a technical discipline: at the time, I did not even know what Classical Studies was! A year later as a sophomore, I found myself sitting in an introductory Latin class, enjoying myself far more than I had expected. The logical and precise syntax of the language engaged me intellectually as no other subject had; I saw my writing noticeably improve; and upon finishing the sequence, I felt elated that I now had the tools to read the works of Caesar, Ovid, and other Classical authors that had always fascinated me.
Since declaring Classics as my major that year, my intellectual interest in the discipline has only continued to grow. In Classical Studies, I found an interdisciplinary breadth that I didn’t know I was searching for—in addition to Latin, I have been able to take Classics courses on art, architecture, mythology, etymology, ancient Greek, mathematical history, and much more besides. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to receive a generous travel grant from the department to travel to Italy to study the practice of the Grand Tour and reaffirm my passion for all that I have learned. In the future, I look forward to building my professional skills upon the foundations of my Classical education for a fruitful career in any field I may go into.


Madeleine (Elle) Ota - Classical Studies

(Double major in Archaeology)

I have always been fascinated by classical civilizations and the stories, writings, material culture, and intellectual lessons they bequeathed to modern society. Together, the Stanford Classics Department and the Stanford Archaeology Center have challenged me to tackle critical questions about the ancient Mediterranean world. I have been incredibly grateful for the Classics Department’s willingness – and often, eagerness – to explore beyond traditional disciplinary topics, while also maintaining an academically rigorous curriculum. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have learned about syntactical idiosyncrasies of Homeric Greek and the history of the Peloponnesian Wars; yet, I have also debated the ethical ownership of classical materials and studied the sociopolitical ramifications surrounding the repatriation of classical archaeology.

With the Classics Department’s support, I have completed two field seasons with the Marzamemi Maritime Heritage Project – an underwater excavation of a sixth century Roman shipwreck. I have also conducted independent ethnographic research on the significance of classical heritage for my Honors Thesis. Stanford Classics has allowed me to develop a strong foundation in Classical Studies, as well as gain a more nuanced understanding of how the classical world continues to shape our society today.


Emma Leeds Armstrong - Latin

(Double major in Political Science)


I have to admit, I was doubtful applying to Stanford, notorious Silicon Valley school, as a Classics major. The minute I came to campus, that doubt dissipated. Between the tight-knit Stanford Classics community, the emphasis on strong mentorship, and the expertise and enthusiasm of every single faculty member, I could not have had a better undergraduate experience. At Stanford, I have honed my interests in classical political thought, which is informing the honors thesis I am now writing in Ethics and Society. Where I came in thinking I was a Latin-all-the-way type of student, the classical history classes I took sparked a new interest in art and archeology of ancient Rome. I was able to pursue those interests by studying at the Centro in Rome with the support of the department. Ultimately, being a humanities, and specifically Classics, major at Stanford has promoted intellectual curiosity and creativity that I will carry with me in my studies and in my life.



For more undergraduate stories and other news from the Department, check out the Classics Newsletter

Declaring Your Major

Ready to declare in Classics? Apply on Axess and contact the  Director of Undergraduate Studies 

Get Involved with Classics


The Stanford Undergraduate Journal of Classical Studies (Aisthesis) is published annually and distributed to over 100 universities. Authors must be current undergraduates or graduates who were enrolled in the previous academic year. Submissions are open to authors from any university and can be sent to A committee of Stanford Classics Majors select the entries and edit the journal. 

Research and Activities

Classics undergraduates can participate in overseas archaeology, digital research projects, Stanford Classics in Theater (SCIT), and more. See our Projects Page to get involved! 


All Classics undergraduates are eligible to apply for travel funding. In the past, students have received funds for study abroad programs, independent research projects, archaeological digs, Classics conferences, and more. Funding is available for travel in the US and abroad. Learn how to apply on our Travel and Research Grants Page

Affiliated Organizations

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (Duke University)

Classics Majors have the opportunity to study abroad in Rome through the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies. ICCS students come from colleges and universities throughout the country. Established in 1965, the "Centro" attracts several Stanford undergrads every year. Application information can be accessed on the ICCS Website

American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Advanced undergraduate students can apply to attend summer sessions of the American School of Classical Studies. ASCSA programs are based in Athens and provide an intensive introduction to ancient Greece through travel and immersion. Summer session applications can be accessed here. For more information on membership and programs, see the ASCSA Website

Archaeological Institute of America

The AIA invites researchers from around the world to Stanford for lectures and workshops throughout the year. In addition to their annual joint conference with the Society for Classical Studies, the AIA provides a databse for fieldwork opportunities, grants and scholarships, and education. Read more on the AIA Home Page

Society for Classical Studies/American Philological Association

Founded as the American Philological Association in 1869, the SCS is the primary association for Classics scholarship in North America. Next year's annual SCS/AIA national conference will be held in San Francisco. Visit the SCS to learn more about Classics organizations, journals, scholarship, employment, and conferences. 


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