Careers

Study Classics. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Classics major?

Graduates of Notre Dame’s Classics program enjoy success in a variety of careers. While many pursue graduate degrees in law, medicine, or education, others go on to trade stocks on Wall Street, decipher documents for the CIA, or teach high school Latin.  Recent graduates have continued their studies at prestigious universities like the University of Oxford, Yale, University of Chicago, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, USC, University of Wisconsin-Madison, UT-Austin, UVA, IU-Bloomington, and Bryn Mawr.

Skills you'll learn

  • Ability to articulate complex thoughts and theories
  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

 

Daniel Amiri '09

Hedge fund research analyst, Mercer

"Classics provided me with the tools to discover the meaning behind what we sense, be it in everyday language or even in finance. We have so much in common with each other and yet we fail to understand each other and what is essential. On a practical level, I have benefitted—even in my career—from a style of critical, incisive thinking instilled in me by my classics education. It has sharpened my ability to search for patterns in data, but then also to find their greater connection to other seemingly unrelated phenomena."

  • Daniel Amiri '09

    Hedge fund research analyst, Mercer

    "Classics provided me with the tools to discover the meaning behind what we sense, be it in everyday language or even in finance. We have so much in common with each other and yet we fail to understand each other and what is essential. On a practical level, I have benefitted—even in my career—from a style of critical, incisive thinking instilled in me by my classics education. It has sharpened my ability to search for patterns in data, but then also to find their greater connection to other seemingly unrelated phenomena."

  • Emily (Garnett) Unglesbee '09

    Staff Reporter, DTN/Progressive Farmer

    "Studying Latin and Greek gave me excellent language and grammar skills that helped me through graduate school and every day at work, where I crank out multiple news stories a week.  The literary analysis and strong understanding of grammar and sentence construction required to study Greek and Latin help my writing every single day.  Studying classical history gave me a different worldview and valuable historic and cultural context as I cover the complex and ever evolving agricultural industry and rural America."

  • Stephen Morris '11

    Internal Medicine Chief Resident, Loyola University Medical Center

    Studying the Classics helped train me to think in a more detail-oriented and precise manner. While in school, I was taught to notice how subtle differences in word choice and placement can completely change the meaning of a text. That ultimately translated to creating a more focused way of thinking which I have carried over into the field of Medicine. While I am not translating Homer or Virgil during rounds in the hospital, I certainly still use some of the skills I learned while studying the Classics on a daily basis. The attention to detail and focus needed to properly translate Latin or Greek is something I obtained during my time at Notre Dame and I can honestly say that it is a skill I use each and every day in my career.

  • Kayla (Durcholz) Dang '11

    Ph.D. student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Yale University

    "I went directly from my ND Classics degree to a Classics PhD program but have since switched trajectories to study religion in the late antique Middle East.  Every part of my undergraduate experience prepared me for my academic career today: studying abroad (twice!) in Italy, the summer archaeological dig in Albania, and especially the senior thesis I wrote.   All of the language preparation from ND Classics helped me expand into learning other languages (Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Persian, etc.).  My curiosity and love of learning and teaching really started at ND, with the excellent example of the faculty of the Department of Classics."

  • Michael Mercurio '17

    Lawyer, Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

    The writing, research, and analytical training I received through ND Classics was essential in preparing me for law school and the practice of law. It taught me to be organized and concise.  Paper-intensive classes, culminating in a thesis in the Honors Seminar, taught me how to organize my research and sustain such research over a long period of time—critical in the practice of law.  The culture and history classes were fundamental to me ultimately pursuing law, as they introduced me to the legal foundations of Western society in Ancient Greece and Rome.  More than anything, law is about how words have meaning and power, and I first came to appreciate and hone that through my study of Classics.

96% of recent Notre Dame Classics majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, joined the military, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

39% find full-time jobs

  • Analyst, Springhill Consulting Group
  • Audit staff accountant, Crowe Horwath
  • Business analyst, Target
  • Clinical information manager, Emergency Medical Associates
  • Database marketing coordinator, Aspire Group
  • Fixed incomes and derivatives analyst, NISA Investment Advisors
  • Investment banking analyst, Morgan Stanley
  • Litigation paralegal, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox
  • Proposal specialist, Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Software engineer, IBM
  • Teacher, St. John Bosco High School
  • Urban designer, Urban Design Associates

 

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Classics graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

35% go to graduate or professional school

  • Art history: Indiana University
  • Classics: UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin, Washington University
  • Clinical psychology: Arizona State University
  • Earth and space sciences: University of Washington
  • Education: Miami University
  • Law: American University, Cornell University, University of Illinois, University of Texas, Washington University
  • Library science: University of Texas
  • Medicine: Baylor University, Cornell University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Wisconsin
  • Medical sciences: University of South Florida
  • Quantum information: University of Waterloo
  • Refugee and forced migration studies: Oxford University
  • Religion: Yale University

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Classics is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

15% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education
  • Americorps, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Congregation of the Holy Cross
  • Passionist Volunteers International, Jamaica
  • Peace Corps, Namibia
  • Teach for America, Kansas City, Missouri

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide Classics students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

5% join the miliary

2% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Further Reading

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