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Classical Languages & Literature Major

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Classical Languages & Literature

225 Master's Degrees Annually
105 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#199 in Popularity (Master's)
$64,340 Median Salary

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
Master’s Degree 225
Doctor’s Degree 105
Graduate Certificate 6

What Classical Languages & Literature Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to classical languages were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Classical Languages Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in classical languages should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • 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

A major in classical languages prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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:

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  • 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?

People with a classical languages degree often go into the following careers:

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?

225 Master's Degrees Annually
51% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Roughly 51% of the graduates are women, and 49% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of classical languages majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Classical Languages Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 5
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 10
White 167
International Students 20
Other Races/Ethnicities 19

Geographic Diversity

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:

  • China
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Greece

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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.

Median Salary for a Classical Languages & Literature Major  ( 55230 to 79160 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with classical languages may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for classical languages careers below.

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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%
Bachelor’s Degree 41.2%
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%
Master’s Degree 23.0%
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%
Doctoral Degree 21.5%

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
Associate’s Degree 2 1
Bachelor’s Degree 14 3
Post-Baccalaureate 4 0
Master’s Degree 83 2
Post-Master’s 2 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!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to classical languages.

Major Number of Grads
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 1,722
Romance Languages 1,512
East Asian Languages 257
Germanic Languages 207
Middle Eastern Semitic Languages 155
American Sign Language 106
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 99
Foreign Language, Literature & Linguistics (Other) 54
African Languages 7
Celtic Language & Literature 4
South Asian Languages 3
Native American Languages 2
Greek Language & Literature 1
Turkic & Central Asian Languages 1
Iranian & Persian Languages 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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