Classical Languages & Literature
Types of Degrees Classical Languages & Literature Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many classical languages and literature graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Classical Languages & Literature Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, classical languages majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Classical Languages Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Foreign Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Classical Languages Majors
classical languages majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Classical Languages Majors
As a classical languages major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
What Can You Do With a Classical Languages & Literature Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with classical languages:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Foreign Language and Literature Professors||11.7%||$67,640|
|Interpreters and Translators||17.7%||$49,930|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||7.5%||$60,320|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Classical Languages & Literature?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of classical languages majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||4|
|Hispanic or Latino||10|
Students from other countries are interested in Classical Languages, too. About 8.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- United Kingdom
How Much Do Classical Languages & Literature Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $55,230 to $79,160 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to classical languages. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Classical Languages & Literature
Some degrees associated with classical languages may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to classical languages have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.3%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||0.3%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.9%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||7.2%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||4.3%|
Online Classical Languages & Literature Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 285 schools offered some type of classical languages and literature program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||4||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||46||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Classical Languages & Literature Worth It?
The median salary for a classical languages grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Classical Languages & Literature
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to classical languages.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.