Classics is the study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Greece and Rome, and as such embraces a number of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, history, literature, and philosophy. As the basis of western thought and culture, the study of the Classics remains a critical and essential foundation for all Humanistic inquiry. It is the origin of the Liberal Arts and the original interdisciplinary subject. McMaster boasts one of the oldest and best-reputed Classics departments in Canada, which, unlike many departments, encompasses all the classical disciplines and offers programs at all levels, BA, MA, and PhD.
Members of the department are currently involved in two archaeological excavations, both in Italy: the Villa di Tito dig (Rieti) and the site of Metaponto.