UB Department of Classics: Mission Statement

The University at Buffalo Department of Classics’ mission embraces research, teaching, and service to the University at Buffalo, the State of New York, and the discipline of Classics.

The Department takes a holistic view of the discipline of Classics, considering it to consist of the study of Greco-Roman civilization and the various related cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region in all of their expressions, including language, philosophy and religion, the arts (literature, the performing arts, architecture, sculpture, painting, the minor arts), the sciences, society, politics, economy, technology, and relation to the natural environment. Also regarded as an integral part of the discipline is the study of the rediscovery and reception of information and ideas about Greco-Roman civilization, and the role that these have played in the development of Western and World Civilization.

In the area of research, the Department’s faculty strives to conduct original research into significant problems regarding one or more of the aspects of Greco-Roman Civilization listed above, publishing and otherwise disseminating the results of this activity in a timely fashion and in forms useful both to scholars working within and outside the discipline and to the general public.

In the area of undergraduate teaching, we seek to assist with the general cultural education of the broader University at Buffalo student body in the context of service courses and general education courses, while also providing a rigorous and broad-based training in the discipline to a more restricted group of majors, minors, and other interested members of the student body that will equip them with the necessary verbal, written, and intellectual skills to assume a role as a productive citizen, while also providing them with a strong academic base for graduate study, either in Classics or in some other field.

In the area of graduate education, our principal focus is to provide developing scholars with a rigorous and broad-based training that will provide them with the knowledge, research skills, teaching skills, and appreciation for the scholarly vocation that they will need to become productive members of the discipline. We are particularly committed to providing our graduate students with training that will enable them to work across sub-disciplinary and disciplinary boundaries, promoting the interchange of ideas with other areas of study in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical sciences, thereby demonstrating the continued significance to our society of the study of the Greco-Roman world.

In the area of service, we seek to make significant contributions to the operation and administration of our home institution, and the ongoing development of our discipline in the form of its various associated professional organizations.

As the only Ph.D.-granting department in our discipline within the State University of New York, we recognize and accept the distinctive role that we must play within the system of public higher education in the State of New York, and will strive to acquit ourselves of our obligations to the citizens of the State for their investments by attaining and maintaining a national and international reputation for excellence.