MA in Classical Studies

 Offered by the Department of Classical Studies

The MA in Classical Studies trains students in the language skills and critical methods of scholarship required for advanced studies in classics. Students may choose to concentrate in Greek or Latin, but most students achieve and demonstrate competence in both languages. The program is designed primarily to prepare students either for the teaching of Latin or Greek language, literature, and culture at the secondary level or for the pursuit of a PhD.

The department encourages combined or comparative programs of study designed to take advantage of Boston University’s offerings in such other areas as the Romance languages, comparative studies in literature and the arts program, archaeology, and philosophy, as well as the possibilities provided by cross-registration in the Boston Area Graduate School Consortium. Graduates of these programs are expected to have acquired a range and depth of knowledge of antiquity that will provide the basis for innovative scholarship as well as for professional careers in university or college teaching and in other positions that require a background in humanities. We seek students of outstanding ability and imagination, who wish to communicate their enthusiasm to others , primarily as teachers. Typically, successful applicants have a minimum of three years (or the equivalent) of Greek or Latin.

MA applicants for the Department of Classical Studies must follow the application procedures as described on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions page. Please pay close attention to the deadlines posted in the Bulletin. Important factors in the department’s ranking of applicants are the breadth and quality of the undergraduate experience –particularly the language components, the quality of the essay and writing sample, the strength of the letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and the suitability of the department’s programs to the particular applicant.

There is currently no funding for MA-only students.

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

  • CAS CL 563: Greek Prose Composition or CAS CL 530: Latin Prose Composition
  • Seven additional courses at or above the 500 level offered in the Department of Classical Studies or related departments (with advisor approval). Among these, one course in Greek or Roman history is required.

Students typically concentrate in either Latin or Greek. One course in Greek or Roman art or archaeology is recommended. Students who wish to take more than two courses from related departments must receive approval from the director of graduate studies.

The history requirement can also be fulfilled by taking an undergraduate history course as a graduate directed study (2 credits) or by passing an examination in history.

‪All students pursuing an MA in Classical Studies are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in one modern language, typically German or French, prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination, successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course offered by Boston University, or the equivalent of two years of undergraduate study of the language at Boston University. With the consent of the department, another modern foreign language may be substituted for those named above. ‬

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

  • The translation of passages from either Greek or Latin
  • 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.

For more information about this program, contact Professor James Uden, Director of Graduate Admissions (617-353-2427).