MA in Classics: Ancient History

The program in Ancient History offers students a historical focus, while also emphasizing a strong foundation in the methods and materials of the Classical world. This program is recommended for students interested in pursuing subsequent doctoral work in many areas of Classics or History; graduates will have the broad competencies needed for further study in all areas of Greek and Roman antiquity.

Towards this end, students pursuing a Masters in Ancient History must meet language requirements in Greek and Latin. The focus of the program, however, is on historical interpretations of the ancient Mediterranean - what are sometimes divided into "history" and "historiography," but which collectively aim at furthering our understanding of past contexts and cultures. Emphasis is on the acquisition and refinement of the basic tools of our field, in addition to the exploration of new developments and models.

This program requires a comprehensive exam in ancient history, passing a language exam in either Greek or Latin, and the writing of a Masters Paper.

Degree Requirements

This degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework as follows:

Credit Hours Requirement
1 Proseminar (CLA 5936)
12 Four courses at the 5000- or 6000-level in Greek or Roman History (at least one course must be a 6000-level seminar)
6 Two courses at the 5000- or 6000-level in Greek or Latin (at least one course must be a 6000-level seminar; one course must be on a historical author)
3 One Archaeology course (5000- or 6000-level)
8 Three additional courses (5000- or 6000-level) which may be based in related departments (students are encouraged to use at least one elective for further advanced language study of a historical author)
0 Translation Exam in Greek or Latin
0 Comprehensive Exam in Ancient History
3 MA paper (CLA 5919)

Comprehensive Exams

All students must pass a translation exam in Greek or Latin, which will normally follow the same format as the departmental Comprehensive Exam but be based upon the Ancient History Reading Lists (see below).

All students must also pass a Comprehensive Exam in ancient history.

MA Ancient History Reading List

Master's Paper

All M.A. students in Ancient History should follow the guidelines for M.A. Paper outlined in the Departmental Graduate Handbook. In addition, the M.A. students should submit to the DGS the "Classics Department M.A. Paper Approval Form" (available here) in the last week of September.

All students must also submit an M.A. Paper prospectus by October 15. It should include a proposal for research, a literature review or context of the proposed research, and a bibliography. The specific details of the prospectus are determined by the major professor. The students are strongly advised to meet their major professor early and often. The prospectus is read by the committee and returned to the student, with comments, within two weeks of final submission.

Students who choose the course option are required to write a master's paper (a substantial research paper that is usually an expanded version of a seminar paper) during the semester in which they are registered for CLA 5919.


See Forms & Resources for reading lists and information on comprehensive exams.