MA in Classical Studies/PhD in Philosophy

The dual degree program is designed for those who wish to acquire a strong competency in ancient philosophy and to add a specialization in classical studies to a PhD in Philosophy. Both components of the program call for the fulfillment of the usual requirements of either degree but allow for special emphasis on ancient philosophy and the study of ancient Greek and/or Latin and knowledge of the history of Greek and/or Roman literature.

On fulfilling all degree requirements, the candidate will receive a regular PhD in Philosophy as well as a regular Master of Arts in Classical Studies. The philosophy component of the dual degree will equip the candidate with a special competence in ancient philosophy, while the training in classical studies will enhance the candidate’s understanding of ancient philosophical texts in a number of crucial ways, such as attention to genre and expressive values in literary style and to crucial poetical, oratorical, historical, religious, and scientific contexts.

Course Requirements

Students must fulfill all degree requirements in both programs. The dual degree program is a 19-course program (76 credits). Eleven courses (44 credits) receive credit only for the PhD in the Department of Philosophy; three courses (12 credits) receive credit only for the MA in the Department of Classical Studies; five courses (20 credits) receive credit both for the PhD and for the MA. For more information about this program, please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions in the Classics Department and/or refer to the MA in Classical Studies website.

A minimum of 16 courses (64 credits) is required for the PhD in Philosophy. The course requirements are as follows:

Eight courses are required from five categories of courses

  • Two courses from ancient and medieval philosophy
  • Two courses from modern philosophy
  • Two courses from twentieth-century philosophy
  • One course from theoretical philosophy
  • One course from practical philosophy

From the eight electives:

  • An additional course in classical studies in Greek or Latin numbered CL 300/400 may be taken as a graduate-level directed study in philosophy for graduate credit
  • Three additional courses in classical studies at the 500 level or above may be taken toward fulfillment of the PhD credits in the Department of Philosophy

A minimum of eight courses (32 credits) is required for a MA in Classical Studies. The course requirements are as follows:

  • CL 563 Greek Prose Composition or CL 530 Latin Prose Composition
  • Seven additional courses at or above the 500 level offered in the Department of Classical Studies
    • Two courses in ancient philosophy from the Department of Philosophy may be taken toward fulfillment of MA credits in the Department of Classical Studies
    • An additional course from the Department of Philosophy, most likely in the form of a directed study, may be counted toward the MA requirements in classical studies, provided that the primary texts are read extensively in ancient Greek or Latin

Language Requirements

In fulfillment of the PhD requirements in philosophy, one foreign language is required; this requirement will be satisfied by successful completion of the MA requirements in the Department of Classical Studies.

In fulfillment of the MA requirement in classical studies, a student must show proficiency in one modern foreign language by written examination or by successfully completing Reading German (GRS LG 621) or Reading French (GRS LF 621), etc.

Students without sufficient language preparation will need to take a number of prerequisite undergraduate language courses before matriculating in the master’s program in the Department of Classical Studies. For students with no prior knowledge of their chosen ancient language, it is recommended that they take an intensive Greek or Latin course in the summer before the program and the second-year language courses (as a prerequisite, without graduate credit) in their first year.

Qualifying Exam Requirements

Candidates must demonstrate, by written examination, proficiency in the following:

For the MA in Classical Studies

  • The translation of passages from either Greek or Latin authors
  • The history of either Greek or Latin literature

Comprehensive exams are typically taken at the end of the student’s first year of study. At the student’s request and with the approval of the student’s advisor and the director of graduate studies, the history of literature exam may be taken as an oral examination.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the readers, the director of graduate studies, and the department chair/program director. Candidates must undergo a final oral examination in which they defend their dissertations as valuable contributions to knowledge in their fields and demonstrate a mastery of their fields of specialization in relation to their dissertations. All portions of the dissertation and final oral examination must be completed as outlined in the GRS General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree.