BA/MA Program in Classical Studies

The Department of Classical Studies offers a BA/MA program leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Arts (MA). Advanced-level study in one or both classical languages is required.

The BA/MA program is designed to allow undergraduates concentrating in Ancient Greek, Latin, or both to achieve advanced skills in language and critical methods by satisfying, in addition to undergraduate requirements, all requirements for the MA in Classical Studies. The program prepares students either for the teaching of Latin or Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture at the secondary level; or, if both ancient languages are studied, for the pursuit of a PhD in classics; or for advanced study in related humanistic fields.

Learning Outcomes

See individual learning outcomes for the BA programs in:

For the MA portion of the degrees, the learning outcomes are as follows:

  • Demonstrate the ability to read standard texts in Ancient Greek and Latin with an understanding of idiom, nuance, and complex levels of meaning.
  • Demonstrate mastery of a corpus of important texts in Ancient Greek and Latin, and of modern critical approaches to those texts.
  • Conduct scholarly activities at a high level and in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Teach classical subjects effectively at the undergraduate level.

Application Procedure

Applications must be received by April 1 of the junior year. If the application does not meet the deadline, a Request for Waiver of Application Deadline must be completed and signed by the department chair and submitted with an application. The applicant must include their BU transcript, two faculty recommendation letters, a writing sample (10 pages, usually drawn from previous coursework), a plan of study, and a personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in the program. The applicant must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission.


All required courses for the Classical Studies BA/MA programs are 4 credit hours.

BA Requirements

To fulfill the BA requirements, students must select one of the following eligible Classical Studies BA/MA program undergraduate majors and complete its requirements:

Note: Required BA courses are divided into four categories: classical civilization, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, and Latin. Refer to the Classical Studies programs section of this Bulletin for the full list of courses and their categories that may be used to fulfill the requirements stated and for information on the CAS foreign language requirement for classics majors.

MA in Classical Studies Requirements

On the graduate level, students must complete the requirements for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) MA in Classical Studies, which includes a minimum requirement of eight courses (32 credits):

  • CAS CL 530 or CAS CL 563
  • Seven additional courses at or above the 500 level offered within the Department of Classical Studies or related departments (with advisor approval)

Students may choose to take graduate-level courses in Ancient Greek and Latin, but students may take only one set of qualifying exams, either two in Ancient Greek or two in Latin. One course in Greek or Roman art or classical archaeology is recommended. Students who wish to take more than two courses from related departments must receive approval from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students must satisfy an area requirement in either Greek or Roman history. This may be fulfilled in the following ways:

  • Taking one graduate-level course in Greek or Roman history
  • Taking an undergraduate history course as a graduate directed study (2 credits)
  • Receiving a grade of Pass on an exam set by two evaluators appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies

Master’s students are also required to 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
  • German or French (with consent of the department, another language may be substituted)

Please note:

  • Requirements for both the BA and MA can be completed with a minimum of 36 courses and a maximum of 40 courses.
  • Graduate-level classes can be used to meet the CAS graduation requirement of a minimum of 32 courses.
  • Advanced placement and/or prior fulfillment of college requirements on the undergraduate level may result in the completion of the BA/MA requirements in fewer than 40 courses.
  • The usual completion time is five years. Approved course overloads, summer study, advanced placement, and/or exemption from college requirements may allow students to complete the program in less than five years.
  • For general information, please refer to the BA/MA and BA/MS Programs portion of this Bulletin.
  • Students interested in enrolling in the BA/MA program should contact the director of graduate studies in the Department of Classical Studies.

Honors in the Major

The department encourages work toward graduation with Honors. The primary requirement is successful completion of a two-semester program of directed research and writing in the student’s senior year, culminating in a written honors thesis and oral defense with a minimum of two examiners. The thesis should exhibit knowledge of primary and secondary sources, with bibliography, or the equivalent at the discretion of the readers, and ordinarily it should not exceed 10,000 words. The submission of a detailed outline by the end of the fall semester is also required.

In order to qualify for the honors track, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a department GPA of no less than 3.4, must submit an application to their Faculty Project Advisor in the spring of their junior year, and must have approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Department Chair.