How healthy are the Classic? There are plenty of anecdotes, but what’s the evidence? Here’s what I have been able to gather about undergraduate education in the Classics in the US. Please add to it or correct it when you think it is in error.
How many Classics programs are there? The American Philological Association (now the Society for Classical Studies) knows of over 450 institutions of higher education in the US and Canada offering some form of instruction in the ancient Greek and Roman classics:
406 US four year institutions (out of 2774 Title IV eligible four year institutions)
42 Canadian universities (out of about 98)
7 US community colleges (out of 1655 )
How many Classics majors are there? Material gathered by Ben Schmidt show 1197 bachelor degrees in classical languages, etc. awarded in 2011. (For comparison, there were over 52,000 degrees awarded in English, and over 371,000 in Business and related fields.)
How many students study the Greek and Latin languages? The MLA’s 2009 survey of US college enrollments in languages other than English shows
-Latin varying from 25,000 to 32,000 from 1980 to 2009, with a generally upward trend line.
-Ancient Greek varying between 16,000 and 22,000 per year, with no clear trend line, and some statistical problems in the tabulation.
How many college teachers of Classics are there? The membership of the professional association of Classicists is about 3,000. Not all are active classroom teachers, and not all college teachers of the Classics are members. The figure also includes a substatial number of Canadian membews.
What are enrollments in classical MOOCs? Massive open on-line courses in the Classics have substantial enrollments:
A course in classical mythology taught by Peter Struck of Penn enrolled about 50,000 the first time it was offered. About 5% earned certificates. Enrollment for the second iteration is around 30,000.
From Harvard Greg Nagy’s HeroesX enrolled 35,000 in Spring 2013, of whom 1400 earned certificates of completion.
The initial offering of a MOOC in Greek History by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak of Wesleyan University enrolled 43,000 students of whom 3868 earned a “statement of accomplishment.” In the second iteration 23,672 students enrolled and 2003 received a statement of accomplishment.
Is there global interest in Classics as they are taught in the US?
Over 40 percent of the enrollment in some of the classical MOOcs comes from outside the US.
At NYU’s ca,puses at Abu Dhabi campus and Shanghai: Matt Santirocco reports that the Classic are “part of the curriculum. “
The same is true at Yale University’s joint venure with the National University of Singapore.
What don’t we know? A lot, for example, the number of faculty associated with each classical program, total enrollment (including courses not requiring Greek or Latin), relationship between high school study of Latin and college work in Classics, gains in critical thinking as compared to those in other fields.