MA in Classics

A piece of carved stonework from a former pillar.

The Department of Classics offers MA concentrations in Classical Literature, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, as well as standalone Master’s programs in Latin Teaching and Ancient History. 



About the MA Program

Students in the MA program receive training that combines individual specialization with a foundation of considerable breadth, and comprises 30 credit-hours. In the first year of study, students are given the opportunity to strengthen their command of the classical languages, and to survey methods, content and issues of the field as a whole. In the second year, students choose a special area of interest and undertake independent investigation leading to a Master’s project. With the MA, students may choose to continue their training in Classics or a related field, or seek professional placement in areas where obtaining an advanced degree is deemed valuable.

Student Testimonials

"The level of education I received has allowed me to continue a lifetime of scholarship. It is something for which I will always be grateful." – William Rusch, MA '60

In order to earn the MA degree, Classics track, students must:

  • Complete 30 credit-hours of course work (including required core courses)
  • Complete four core courses (CL 527: History of Greek Literature; CL 590: Greek Syntax and Stylistics; CL 538: History of Latin Literature; CL 595: Latin Syntax and Stylistics)
  • Complete an MA project or pass an MA exam
  • Pass a translation exam in one modern language (either French, German, Italian or modern Greek)

Students should be able to complete these requirements either by the end of their second academic year in the degree track, or by the end of the following summer.

MA Project or MA Exam
The MA project normally takes the form of a research paper (approx. 30-50 pages in length) written under the direction of a member of the faculty selected by the student. It is read and evaluated by that same and one additional member of the faculty. In many cases, the project represents the further development of a paper that the student has written in a seminar course.

The MA exam is a three-hour written exam on a topic that the student selects in consultation with a member of the faculty. The exam is read and evaluated by that same and one additional member of the faculty.

Translation Exam
A translation exam is administered twice a year in each of the four modern languages recognized by the program. This consists of a written exam three hours in length in which the student is required to translate two passages relating to some classical topic from the language in question into English. For one of the passages, the student may make use a dictionary, and for the other he/she may not. Students may retake the exam as many times as they need to in order to pass. Students may pass one part of the exam and retake only the other part, in which case they must complete the exam in no more than 90 minutes.

Degree Completion Schedule

Year 1 (Fall) Year 1 (Spring) Year 2 (Fall) Year 2 (Spring)
  • 3 courses (9 hours credit, incl. 1 of 4 core courses: Gk./Lat. Hist. of Lat. Lit., or Syntax and Style)
  • Diagnostic exams in Greek and Latin
  • Modern language exam (fall or spring)
  • Teaching
  • 3 courses (9 hours credit, incl. 1 core course)
  • 3 courses (9 hours credit, incl. 1 core course)
  • Submit application to candidacy for MA
  • Teaching
  • Begin MA project
  • 3 courses (9 hours credit, incl. 1 core course)
  • Teaching
  • 4th-semester review
  • MA project completed