Dual Degree: 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. For those who wish to concentrate almost entirely in Philosophy, please apply to the PhD program in Philosophy.

On fulfilling all degree requirements, the candidate will receive a regular PhD degree in Philosophy as well as a regular Masters 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.

Dual-Degree applicants for the PhD in Philosophy and the MA in Classical Studies will submit one application to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. However, this application will be reviewed by both departments independently of one another. Applicants must be accepted into both programs in order to be recommended for admission to the Dual-Degree program.

Prospective students interested in this dual-degree program should select the following choices from the online application:

  1. choose the MA/PhD program
  2. choose the MA/PhD in Classical Studies
  3. choose the semester
  4. choose the PhD in Philosophy

The choices must be made in this order because as each choice is selected, the next drop-down menu appears for the next choice – they do not all appear in one screen simultaneously.

Please pay close attention to the deadlines posted on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions page. Students applying to the program need to satisfy general eligibility requirements for study at the graduate level. To find out more about the policies and procedures of the Graduate School, go to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences site.

All students accepted into the MA/PhD program are awarded five years of financial support, plus health insurance. For further information and for information about other sources of financial support , please visit our funding webpage.

Post-Bachelor’s Requirements

Students must fulfill all degree requirements in both programs. For post-BA candidates, 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.

Philosophy Requirements

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.

Classical Studies Requirements

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

Post-Master’s Requirements

For post-master’s candidates, the dual degree program is a 14-course program. Both the post-master’s program in the Department of Philosophy and the MA program in the Department of Classical Studies require eight courses; both programs allow two courses to be taken outside the department. Students must consult with the director of graduate students in the Department of Philosophy to ensure that emphasis on ancient philosophy is preserved while distribution requirements are met.

Philosophy Requirements

A minimum of eight courses (32 credit hours) is required for the PhD in Philosophy. The course requirements are as follows:

  • One course from ancient and medieval philosophy
  • One course from modern philosophy
  • One course from twentieth-century philosophy
  • One course from theoretical philosophy
  • One course from practical philosophy
Classical Studies Requirements

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

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.

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

For the PhD in Philosophy

  • Logic (to be taken at any time)
  • Comprehensive (three days of examinations to be taken in the third or fourth year, usually after all coursework is completed)

For the MA in Classical Studies

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

(The translation and history of literature examinations should be taken near the end of completing classics courses, or after they are completed.)

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.

Further details of the preparation of the prospectus and dissertation are contained in the GRS Bulletin Policies page under degree requirements and in the Classical Studies Graduate Handbook, which is available on the department’s website.

For more information about this program, contact Professor Stephen Scully, (617-353-2427) or Professor David Roochnik in the Philosophy department.