Exciting changes to CANES’ majors

The Department of Classical & Ancient Near Eastern Studies is excited to share some news about recent changes to the department majors, which we believe will increase access to the discipline of classics and the study of ancient languages here at UW-Madison.


As we noted in the Spring Newsletter, we are enhancing our Classical Humanities major to allow for more flexible and inclusive study of classical antiquity. Students who pursue this major will still be required to study some ancient languages, but now they can do it even faster than before while also approaching Greco-Roman antiquity in more diverse ways – as students of religious studies, art history, archeology, and of course the Ancient Near East.

To that end, we have streamlined our Latin sequence and broadened our introductory offerings. In our old system, the Latin major required more courses than students could take in four years! In our new system, students can graduate with all the training they need to pursue advanced degrees and keep the field alive, even if they weren’t lucky enough to study Latin before college.

For administrative reasons, these changes will require teaching out our remaining Latin and Classics majors, but as you can see from the above explanation, students will be able to study Latin and even Ancient Greek more efficiently – and we hope more frequently – than ever before. We are certain these changes will improve the quality of education and intellectual community cultivated by CANES, strengthen the Classical Humanities major in the eyes of the University, keep the Department in line with broad changes in the disciplines it comprises, and attract – and retain – more students.





Alex Dressler


Professor, Chair

Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies