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What is Letters?

In 1937 the School of Letters was organized in the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences to “provide guidance and systematic programs of instruction for students whose chief interest lies in the fields of ancient and modern language and literature, and closely allied subjects.”

Today the letters program offers students a carefully supervised and coordinated curriculum in the humanities leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in letters.

The program’s original purpose was to instill a deeper appreciation of the major movements of Western civilization. By studying the important and characteristic achievements of the human mind from Greco-Roman antiquity to the modern era, students come to understand and appreciate the ideas and principles that form the basis of their own culture. This purpose has been expanded to include the study of other, non-western civilizations and cultures.

The letters degree is interdisciplinary, and the curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate most students' interests. Majors take courses in the areas of:

  • History (History and the History of Science)
  • Literature (Classics, English, Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics)
  • Philosophy (Philosophy, Political Science and Religious Studies)

In addition, the major requires students to take supporting courses in an ancient language, a modern language, and the appreciation of the fine arts. The program is based upon the assumption that cultivated intelligence, good judgment, and artistic expression in speech and writing are desirable in and for themselves.

So, what's my degree?

A letters student graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in letters degree. The letters degree is interdisciplinary, and the curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate most students' interests.

Do my interests fit?

The letters degress is interdisciplinary, and the curriculum is flexible enough to accomodate most students' interests. Letters students typically have interests in:

  • History
  • Literature
  • Classics
  • English
  • Languages
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies

How can OU Letters help me?

Full-time faculty teach all of our courses, and many of them have opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects. We have an academic counselor on staff to help you plan your schedule and graduate on time. Letters also has many scholarships available to help with tuition and other expenses. We also have many alumni interested in mentoring current letters majors at OU. Finally, we work closely with the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences and Career Services to help our students plan for their future.

Wait, I can have a minor?

Although there isn’t a minor in letters, the structure of the letters program makes it easy to schedule time for a minor or even a second major. In fact, many letters majors choose to double major in a science or social science field as a complement to the major’s focus on history, literature, philosophy, and language. The pre-med program, for example, is a popular path for several of our students. Our academic counselor can help you select the right programs for you.

What courses will I take?

Letters courses include:

  • Introduction to Letters
  • The Examined Life
  • Law and Justice
  • Fate and the Individual in Literature 

How can I study abroad?

The Department of Classics and Letters has several study abroad opportunities for students of the classics. In addition, OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies. 

What kind of career could I pursue?

Higher Education Faculty or Administration
Program Manager
U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer
Professor of Law
Chief of Staff for the Oklahoma Office of
    Homeland Security

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Department of Classics and Letters
Phone: (405) 325-6921