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Department of Classical and Oriental Studies

Welcome to the Department of Classical and Oriental Studies

Hunter College is the hub of language studies in the CUNY system. More languages are taught here at Hunter and more students study languages at Hunter than on any other CUNY campus. Hunter's historic support of the study of foreign languages and literatures has produced not only the strongest programs in CUNY in both the traditional and less commonly taught languages, but a heightened visibility for Hunter both inside the university and in the larger academic world.

The Department of Classical and Oriental Studies offers programs in ArabicChineseClassicsHebrew, Japanese, and Russian. With over 20 full-time faculty and approximately 20–25 adjunct faculty, the department is able to offer nine B.A. degrees: Arabic, Chinese, Classical Archaeology, Classical Studies, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Latin and Greek, and Russian. In addition, the department offers a three-year sequence in the Japanese language, and―in joint sponsorship with the Kosciuszko Foundation―a wide range of courses in Polish language, literature and culture. The department participates in several interdisciplinary programs, including Religion, Women and Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, and Jewish Studies.

On the graduate level, the department offers the following degrees: In the Classics program: an M.A. in Adolescent Education Latin, Grades 7–12; in the Russian program: an M.A. in Translation and Interpreting; in the Chinese program: an M.A. in Adolescent Education Chinese, Grades 7–12 and an M.A. in Translation and Interpreting.

All the programs of the department have as their common goal the teaching of the foreign languages and literatures, traditionally viewed as one of the cornerstones of the liberal arts curriculum. This goal is met in several ways. Each of the languages helps fulfill the 12-credit (normally four-semester) foreign-language requirement. The six-credit requirement in literature may be satisfied in part by a course in literature in the original language or by a course in literature in translation. Undergraduate majors are given a solid grounding in foreign languages and literature study in order to prepare them both for careers in which they will use these skills and for further study on the graduate level. The department serves the broader Hunter community as well by offering a wide variety of culture courses, ranging from Classical Mythology to Job, Ecclesiastes and the Human Predicament, and from Chinese Culture to Modern Russian Cinema. Each of the individual languages represented (Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Polish, and Russian) has been an important part of the curriculum. Because the Department of Classical and Oriental Studies provides such diversity and choice among several important languages and language families, we have 100 majors and some 2000 students enroll every semester in our seventy or more courses.

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