Recent graduate Jennifer Knox, a classical studies major and international relations major, who is now studying international relations at Oxford University. Knox says that her classical studies major was an important factor in learning how to approach her work with perseverance and the nuance that literary, documentary, and monumental evidence drawn from Rome and its empire demands. Read more about Knox's story.

Studying classics at Cornell can help prepare students for work in any field. We ask our students to analyze complex and disparate sets of data in order to understand how we have come to know about the ancient world and to question our assumptions about that world from multiple perspectives and viewpoints, something that has paid off for our alumni.

If you want a guide on how to prepare for life after Cornell, John Gruber-Miller has co-authored Careers for Classicists: Undergraduate Edition.  It offers student profiles, answers the question, "what can I do with a Classics major?" and offers career-seekers a step-by-step guide in "where do I go from here?"

Alumni careers

A few of the locations where recent classical studies graduates are working include:

  • Americorp Vista, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Class of 2015)
  • Archaeological field technician, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Middleburg, Pennsylvania (Class of 2015)
  • Issue resolution analyst, Western Paper Distributors, Denver, Colorado (Class of 2015)
  • Assistant for the American Museum of Asmat Art, St. Thomas University, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Class of 2014)
  • Natural resources specialist, the State of Alaska, Anchorage (Class of 2014)
  • Associate scientist, Environmental Works Inc., Kansas City, Missouri (Class of 2013)
  • Conversation assistant, Xunta de Galicia, Santiago De Compostela, Spain (Class of 2013)
  • Web content creator, CreatiVagabond Media Labs, Arlington, Texas (Class of 2013)
  • Marketing director, Mind Over Matter Studio Method, Chesterton, Indiana (Class of 2013)
  • Teacher, San Francisco Unified School District, Fairfax, California (Class of 2012)
  • Latin teacher, Cave Spring High and Hidden Valley Middle schools, Yorkville, Illinois (Class of 2011)
  • Fiction librarian, Schaumburg Township District Library, Lake Zurich, Illinois (Class of 2010)
  • Research librarian, Legislative Research Unit of the Illinois General Assembly, Springfield, Illinois (Class of 2006)
  • Electronic information management consultant, U.S. Government, Washington, D.C. (Class of 2004)
  • Theatre arts teacher, Denver Public Schools, Denver (Class of 2003)
  • Project manager, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Denver (Class of 2003)
  • Graduate teaching assistant, City University, Hong Kong (Class of 2003)

Graduate schools attended

  • M. A., international relations, Oxford University, Cambridge, U.K. (Class of 2014)
  • M.A., art history, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota (Class of 2014)
  • M.A., maritime archaeology, University of Southampton, England (Class of 2013)
  • M.A., history, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas (Class of 2012)
  • M.A., art history and archaeology, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana; pursuing Ph.D., University of Chicago (Class of 2012)
  • M.A., classics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland (Class of 2011)
  • M.S., library science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Class of 2010)
  • M.A., humanities, University of Chicago (Class of 2010)

Alumnae reflections

Morgan Hoffman '15
I was hired by SWCA environmental consultants as a cultural resource management (CRM) field technician. It's for phase one archaeological survey where a proposed pipeline is going. I think the classics courses helped my overall critical thinking. We looked at multiple accounts of the same story and discussed point of view and biases. You have to understand motive and intent, along with reading between the lines. The people in the classics courses I took also had varying backgrounds and all brought different things to our discussions. It's good to be put in that position because you'll often have to work with people different from yourself. In my job some people have been doing it for 20 years, others a few seasons, and some like me are fresh out of school. Interaction like that is a great way to learn. While I'm not digging in Rome, classics obviously studies a culture no longer present. My job is looking for and preserving cultural artifacts, and on some level trying to understand the people they came from.
Janessa Weightman '15
I am working in Cedar Rapids as an enrichment assistant with the Youth Achievement AmeriCorps Program at Harrison Elementary School. I'm not going to lie, the most (direct) use I get out of my classics major is in arguing with my philosophy major co-worker. However, I think the most transferable skill is the analytical thinking/writing component. There is not a day that goes by where I am not given a ton of information which then needs to processed and given a plan of action. Though the information I need to analyze is definitely not on the same level as an Egyptian Stele or a dry passage of Pausanias working through those has definitely made analyzing student data much easier.