The M.A. Program

The M.A. degree in classics may be awarded either upon completing the Ph.D. course requirements and passing the written Ph.D. examinations or upon completing the M.A. course requirements and masters paper and passing the M.A. translation examinations and general exam. The latter path to the M.A. is intended for Ph.D. students who decide to leave the program before completing the requirements for a Ph.D.

Course Work for the M.A.

M.A. students must successfully complete a minimum of twelve approved, seminar-level courses. The twelve courses must be distributed as follows:

  • Nine quarters of Classics 220.
  • At least three quarters of Classics 200A-B-C and 201; a fourth quarter may be substituted for a Classics 220.
  • Up to one quarter of Classics 290 for research and writing of the masters paper may be substituted for a Classics 220.
  • If remedial work is required in Greek or Latin, with the graduate advisers approval, one enhanced upper-division Greek or Latin course enrolled as a Classics 280 may be substituted for a Classics 220.
  • With the graduate advisers approval, M.A. students may substitute one external graduate seminar in a relevant area outside of classics (at any of the three participating campuses) for a Classics 220.

Samples M.A. Program


Diagnostic Exams: Immediately upon entering the program, the student takes diagnostic translation examinations in both Greek and Latin to establish his or her level of competency and to determine where effort should be directed. In the second year of course work, students will take as diagnostic exams the Latin and Greek translation exams administered as part of the qualifying exam battery.

Exams for the M.A.

  1. Foreign Language Requirement: Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of German, French, Italian, or an equivalent research language either through appropriate course work or by examination.
  2. Translation Exams: Each student must pass a set of translation examinations in Greek and in Latin administered by the masters committee (two hours each).

The JEC in consultation with the graduate adviser and the student recommends to the graduate dean a three-member masters committee composed of program faculty from at least two campuses to set and evaluate the translation exams and to evaluate the masters paper. Normally this committee is established in the quarter preceding completion of the masters paper.

Thesis & Defense for the M.A.

The masters paper comprises a substantial piece of original research. It should exceed the breadth and depth expected for a seminar paper, which can provide a good foundation for the masters paper. The masters paper must be submitted to members of the masters committee three weeks in advance of the general exam.

If the masters paper is found to be of passing quality by the committee, the student may take the general exam, a one-hour oral exam covering the broader implications of the masters paper and the classical world generally.

Tri-Campus Graduate Program