Program in Hellenic Studies

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Program in Hellenic Studies, under the general direction of the Council of the Humanities and with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies is designed for students interested in the interdisciplinary study of the Greek world, ancient, Byzantine or modern, as well as the classical tradition. The program offers language courses in modern Greek and postclassical Greek (Hellenistic koine to Byzantine Greek); freshman seminars in Hellenic studies; introductory courses in Byzantine and modern Greek studies; upperclass seminars in classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek studies; global seminars and a senior thesis colloquium for concentrators in the program. These are complemented by cognate courses offered in several cooperating University departments.

Additional information about the program can be found at the program's website.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to undergraduates majoring in any department. Students should apply for admission during the sophomore or junior year. Students will be accepted into the program on the basis of interest and a coherent academic plan.

The formal requirements for admission are:

1. Satisfactory completion of the requirements for admission to a department.

2. Satisfactory completion of one of the following: HLS 107, HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 266, HLS 346; HUM 216-217; or COM 205; or a freshman seminar on a Hellenic studies topic approved by the program executive director.

Program of Study

Program students may elect to follow one of three plans of study:

Plan A allows a specialization in the language and literature of modern Greece. Students in this plan must satisfy a language requirement (HLS 107 or its equivalent).

Plan B provides for a broad-based interdisciplinary study of modern Greek culture, including literature in translation, history, politics, and anthropology.

Plan C offers a diachronic survey of the Hellenic tradition, including the classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek periods.

Each student works out an individual program of study in consultation with the program executive director. Students in all three plans of study must complete the following requirements:

1. Completion of at least one of the following: HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 266, HLS 346; or HUM 216-217; or COM 205. Plan A students must also complete HLS 107 or its equivalent.

2. Two upper-level HLS seminars or one upper-level HLS seminar and one upper-level cognate course.

3. A senior thesis with an appropriate Hellenic studies focus approved by the program executive director. For science and engineering majors, a substantial research paper on a Hellenic topic, approved by the program executive director.

The Seeger Center also sponsors Hellenic Studies Workshops, a lecture series, and occasional colloquia that provide a forum for discussion of research in progress on all aspects of Greek civilization by faculty members, students, members of the Institute for Advanced Study, and visiting scholars.


Students choosing Plan B or Plan C are encouraged to take at least two years of ancient or modern Greek.

Study Abroad

Program students are encouraged to pursue further study and research in Greece during the summer months and, on occasion, during the academic year. Interested students may apply for Stanley J. Seeger study/travel fellowships through the Seeger Center.

Under the auspices of the Study Abroad Program, students may complement their academic work in Hellenic studies by enrolling for one or two terms at selected institutions in Greece or England. The Princeton-Oxford Exchange Program provides additional opportunities for students in Hellenic studies.

The program also offers scholarships to qualified Greek nationals who have been admitted to Princeton for study at the undergraduate level.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in Hellenic studies.

Cognate Courses. A list of complete cognate courses may be found on the program's website. Any of these courses may provide an appropriate supplement to the program's core courses. Other courses may be added to this list with the approval of the appropriate department and the director of the program.