MA in Classical Studies

The MA in Classical Studies program 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 in classics or related fields.

We seek students of outstanding ability and imagination who wish to communicate their enthusiasm to others, as scholars and teachers. Typically, successful applicants have a minimum of three years (or the equivalent) of Greek or Latin.

Learning Outcomes

  • 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.

Course Requirements

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)

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.

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 DGS

Language Requirements—Modern

‪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 noncredit 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 useful for classical scholarship may be substituted for those named above.‬

Comprehensive Exams

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.