Rice Unconventional Wisdom

Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations header image

 The ancient world is still alive.

The Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations (AMC) program at Rice offers you a challenging, interdisciplinary major that explores the worlds of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Jews and the cultures of the Christians and Muslims in their formative periods.

You’ll immerse yourself in more than two millennia of some of the world’s most influential civilizations, while studying their histories, arts, religions, philosophies, economies, literatures, languages and political systems and evaluating their contributions to the modern world. With AMC’s highly integrated curriculum, you’ll acquire a broad perspective on the beginnings of the society in which we live today.

AMC stresses the critical evaluation of ancient evidence through close reading of ancient texts and the careful examination of art and material culture. Writing and research play an important role in the AMC curriculum, as students explore and share their interests. Through debate and discussion, students and professors analyze ancient ideas for their own sake and for how they have helped shape the West.

In conjunction with course work, the Rice AMC major also includes opportunities to participate in foreign study programs, such as the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and the College Year in Athens, as well as the possibility for internships at local museums and involvement in archaeological digs.

By focusing on the interactions of great civilizations in the past and by exploring our encounters with them, AMC reaches across academic boundaries and beyond the classroom and promises you an exciting and innovative course of study at Rice. AMC graduates have become successful as college professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, editors, teachers and in many other professions. The knowledge gained through studying the civilizations of antiquity and their influence on the present is an invaluable resource that will inform and influence you long after graduation.

One AMC graduate wrote, "Not only does AMC grant you the freedom to select your courses from a wide variety of interesting disciplines, it also boasts some of the most outstanding professors at Rice."

Requirements of Study

Students must take one course from

three of the five following categories:

• Graeco–Roman civilization

• Islamic civilization

• Jewish civilization

• Christian civilization

• Archaeological methods and theory

In addition, students must take one course that addresses the creation, transmission and reception of traditions in the Mediterranean world. Courses that meet this requirement are designated as "Themes Across Time." Students must also fulfill a comparative requirement by taking either one course that in and of itself discusses two different cultural traditions (designated "Comparative") or two separate courses on similar themes but from different cultures (e.g., Women in Greece and Rome/Women in the Islamic World). Although not required, courses in ancient languages are recommended. A minimum of five courses must be taken at the 300 level or above.