Master of Arts
The Department of Classics offers three masters of arts programs: Greek, Latin, and Classical Archaeology. A minor in another department such as English, History, or Romance Languages is permitted, but no formal minor is required. As the student works toward the master's degree, he or she should strive, if a philology student, to acquire a sound knowledge of one language and literature (Greek or Latin), or, if an archaeology student, to master a limited number of fields (for example, Greek architecture; Roman sculpture; etc.) and to learn the basic principles involved in the use of evidence. At the same time the student should work on other areas that will be needed for the Ph.D., but without feeling the need to attain the same level of proficiency in them. Please explore the requirements for each degree, as well as the thesis requirements which are common to all master of arts degrees.
1. A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate courses, distributed as follows:
a. 15 in the major area, either Greek or Latin.
b. 3 in an advanced seminar in the major field.
c. 3 (but no more than 3) in thesis credit (993).
d. For students in Greek, one graduate level course in Latin; for students in Latin, one graduate level course in Greek. (Note: 601 and 602 courses do not count toward the requirement of 30 hours. Courses in other departments may be counted toward the 30-hour minimum if approved by the director of graduate studies.)
e. One course in either Greek or Latin composition.
f. Students who enter the program not having had approved undergraduate survey courses in Greek and Roman archaeology are required to take or audit undergraduate survey courses in both Greek and Roman archaeology (CLAR 244 and 245). A student choosing to audit must take and pass the examination(s). Courses in these areas taken elsewhere can count toward this requirement; the director of graduate studies has discretion to decide which courses meet this requirement.
g. Students who enter the program not having had approved undergraduate survey courses in Greek and Roman history are required to take or audit undergraduate survey courses in both Greek and Roman history (HIST 225 and 226). A student choosing to audit must take and pass the examination(s). As in (f), courses in these areas taken elsewhere can count toward this requirement; the DGS has discretion to decide which courses meet this requirement.
2. A reading knowledge of German or French or Italian. This may be demonstrated either by passing a translation test administered by the Department or by passing any undergraduate literature course (e.g. French 260 or the equivalent) in the language with a grade of B or better.
3. M.A. Translation Examination. The student will ordinarily take this examination in the second year of work. It is offered in February and September each year, lasts four hours, and consists of four passages (two prose, two poetry) in the student's major language (Latin or Greek). These passages are selected from the M.A. reading lists.
4. M.A. Written Examination. The student will ordinarily take this examination in the second year of work. It is offered in February and September each year, lasts four hours, and consists of essays on the literature in the student's major language. The essay examination is based primarily upon the ancient authors and works on the M.A. reading lists.
5. M.A. students must attend 15 proseminars over the first two years; at least five of these must be designated as involving theory, and at least five must be those not so designated.
1. A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate course work, of which one course must be an advanced seminar in archaeology, distributed as follows:
a. One course or seminar (3 hours) in Greek architecture or topography.
b. One course or seminar (3 hours) in Roman architecture or topography.
c. One course or seminar (3 hours) in Greek sculpture.
d. One course or seminar (3 hours) in Roman sculpture.
e. Two electives (any graduate-level CLAR course, 6 hours).
f. Three, but no more than three credits, in thesis credit (993).
g. One graduate-level course (3 hours) in ancient history in the History department.
Students who enter the program without an adequate background in Greek or Roman history, or both, should take or audit HIST 225 or HIST 226, or both. A student choosing to audit must take and pass the examination(s) in the course(s). The choice of course(s) will require the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Chair of the Archaeology Committee.
h. Two graduate level courses (6 hours) in Greek or Latin. (Note: 601 and 602 courses do not count toward the requirement of 30 hours.)
2. A reading knowledge of German, French, Italian, modern Greek, or another language appropriate to the student’s special area of study. The choice of language has to be approved by the archaeology committee. For French and German this may be demonstrated either by passing a translation test administered by the department or by passing any undergraduate literature course (e.g. French 260 or the equivalent) with a grade of B or better. For testing in languages other than German and French, contact the director of graduate studies or the chair of the archaeology committee. Students are urged to begin German as soon as possible. Demonstrated reading proficiency in German is required for the .
3. M.A. Written Examination. The student will ordinarily take this examination in the second year of work. It is offered in January or early February of each year. The student should notify the committee chair early in the fall semester before the examination is to be given.
The examination consists of three parts:
a. Visual identification (one hour). Identification and brief discussion of 30 slides drawn from all areas of Greek and Roman art and architecture (eighth century B.C.E. to fourth century C.E.). (Consult the for standard handbooks and surveys).
b. Greek and Roman sculpture and architecture (four hours). Four essays on questions drawn from fields of Greek and Roman sculpture and architecture (eighth century B.C.E. to fourth century C.E.).
c. Special topic (one hour). One essay on the special topic in art or archaeology, to be arranged in consultation with the chair of the archaeology committee.
4. M. A. students must attend 15 proseminars over the first two years; at least five of these must be designated as involving theory, and at least five must be those not so designated.
It is the goal of the department to make it possible for all Philology and Archaeology students to complete the M.A. requirements in four semesters.
- The thesis will normally be based on a paper the student has written for a graduate course; the student will choose the appropriate paper in consultation with the faculty member for whom papers were written and with either the director of graduate studies or the chair of the archaeology committee, or both.
- All of our students will be encouraged from their first semester onwards to think about one of their papers providing the basis for their thesis; the term paper will be substantially revised and expanded under the direction of the faculty member for whom it was originally written (who will be the director of the thesis);
- The revisions and expansions will, in particular, involve incorporating and engaging more of the relevant scholarship on the topic, and adding a substantial bibliography;
- The paper will be expanded to a maximum of 50-60 pages (i.e., in the majority of cases, this will involve adding 35-40 pages to a term paper that was originally 15-20 pages long);
- The thesis committee will be comprised of three members (as required by the Graduate School): the director of the thesis, one other faculty member appointed by the director of graduate studies in consultation with the student, and the director of graduate studies ex officio (whose role will be to serve as chair of the committee);
- Students will register for three hours of M.A. thesis credit (993) during their fourth semester;
- Students who fail to complete their thesis in the fourth semester will be subject to the same procedures and penalties currently in force for students who fail to complete it in the fifth semester.
The Graduate School website gives the deadline by which final copies of theses in approved form must be submitted to the Graduate School. In addition, the student must complete and submit to her or his readers a first draft of the thesis two weeks before that date in order to allow time for the committee to read the thesis and for the student to revise it in accordance with the committee’s requests.
Failure to meet either of these deadlines in time to receive the M.A. degree at the end of the fourth semester of work (in December or, more likely, in May) will make the student ineligible for financial aid from the department until the semester after the student completes the thesis, the Master’s degree is awarded by the Graduate School, and the student is readmitted to the Ph.D. program.
Students must submit to the Graduate School the required Application for Graduation early in the semester at the end of which they expect to receive the degree. The Application for Graduation is available online and must be submitted by the deadline. Deadlines for submission are:
Fall (December graduation) – October
Spring (May graduation) – February
Summer (August graduation) – June
All work for the M.A. degree must be completed within five calendar years of the student’s entrance into the graduate program. Approved leaves of absence do not count in the five years. Students who need to apply to the Graduate School for extensions must consult with the director of graduate studies.
Admission to the Ph.D. program while finishing thesis
Students intending to proceed beyond a Master's degree should indicate their desire to do so to the director of graduate studies at least one week before the completion of the thesis. Upon completion of all requirements for the M.A. in Greek, Latin, or Classical Archaeology, a decision will be made as to whether the student should continue on to the Ph.D. The director of graduate studies, having consulted with the student’s thesis committee and, as necessary, other members of the faculty, will inform the student of the department’s decision as to whether or not the student will be permitted to proceed to the Ph.D.
Bypassing the M.A. Thesis
By Oct. 15 of the student’s third semester of work, the student may apply to the director of graduate studies for permission to bypass the M.A. thesis, normally under the condition that the student has already written an M.A. thesis elsewhere. After evaluating the particular needs and potential of the student, the department may still require the student to write a thesis.
The M.A. in Teaching is offered by the School of Education and prepares students for initial licensure to teach Latin in North Carolina public schools in grades 9-12. Candidates are required to have a major or its equivalent in Latin or Classics (a minimum of 24 hours in Latin and Rome-focused coursework), and must present a passing score on the Praxis II exam in Latin for admissions. For further information about the M.A.T., see the School of Education website here.