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Requirements for the Master's Degree Program


Track 1: Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations

Track 1 focuses more on classical art and archaeology, Greek and Roman history, courses in classical literature in translation, and classical mythology, and less on the languages and literatures of ancient Greek and Latin in the original. It is designed for students wishing to further their grounding in classical studies in a non-foreign language based program. We also welcome students already enrolled in the certificate program at Brandeis who want to achieve the master's degree either for professional development or in preparation for Ph.D. programs in Classical Art and Archaeology or Ancient History that encourage a master's degree for admission.

Teachers (K-12) who have graduated from the Brandeis Examined Life program (Ancient Greek Studies in the Schools) are particularly welcome to consider this track, which is designed to enhance career opportunities for teachers in the schools of the greater Boston area.

Requirements for admission to Track 1 are as follows:

  1. A bachelor's degree in any field of study from a reputable college or university (official transcript required as proof).
  2. A one-page statement of purpose from the candidate.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. An online application to the graduate school; and
  5. A curriculum vitae or resume.

Track 1 has no language requirement (in ancient Greek or Latin or in a modern language) for admission or for completion of the program. If a student decides to study Greek or Latin, courses at level 30 or higher "count" towards completion of the master's degree.

The courses for Track 1 can be in ancient languages (Greek and Latin above level 30), literature (in original languages or in translation), history, mythology, religion, art and/or archaeology. Faculty in the Department of Classical Studies must teach at least five of the required eight courses. Three courses covering other ancient civilizations can be chosen (in consultation with Professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, graduate program director and chair of the Department of Classical Studies) as electives counting toward the eight courses required for the Track 1 master's degree.

Track 1 students must take CLAS 250B ("Capstone Course"), and they are required to write a 20-30 page master's paper of professional quality to be read by two members of the classical studies faculty. The paper should demonstrate competency in one of the subfields of classical studies, for example:

  • Greek and/or Roman Art/Archaeology
  • Greek and/or Roman History
  • Latin Language and Literature in translation
  • Greek Language and Literature in translation
  • A specialized area of the student's choice, made in consultation with a faculty mentor on one of several topics in which the department has strength, for example, Classical Mythology, Homeric studies, Vergilian studies, etc.

The master's paper is generally submitted toward the end of a student's completion of the M.A. program and at least four weeks prior to a student's receipt of his or her degree. There is no comprehensive exam in Track 1, unless specially requested. There is no residency requirement.

Track 2: Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures

Track 2 focuses on Greek and Latin philology, languages and literatures. This track is designed specifically for students with a B.A. degree that already comprises serious undergraduate training in the classical languages (ancient Greek and Latin). M.A. students in Track 2 receive a high level of sophisticated philological training from a faculty distinguished in teaching both Greek and Latin language and literature courses.

After completing the M.A. in Track 2, students are in fine standing for admission to rigorous Ph.D. programs in classics across the U.S. and abroad. Track 2 provides students the chance to test the waters of an academic career in classical studies in a relatively short period of time.

Requirements for admission to Track 2 are as follows:

  1. A Bachelor's degree in any field of study from an accredited college or university (official transcript required as proof).
  2. A one-page statement of purpose from the candidate.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. An online application to the graduate school; and
  5. A curriculum vitae or resume.

Additionally, entrants must have studied at least two years of Greek and/or Latin at high school level or two semesters of Greek and/or Latin at college level. We are prepared to have students enter in Track 1 (the non-language based MA), complete the necessary catch-up work in elementary study of the languages, and switch to Track 2, if they so desire.

The courses for Track 2 can be in ancient languages (Greek and Latin above level 30), literature (in original languages), with electives in history, mythology, religion, art and/or archaeology. Faculty in the Department of Classical Studies must teach at least five of the required eight courses. Three courses covering other ancient civilizations can be chosen (in consultation with professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, graduate program director and chair of the Department of Classical Studies) as electives counting toward the eight courses required for the M.A. in Track 2.

Students in Track 2 must take CLAS 250B ("Capstone Course"), and they are also required to submit a 25-50 page master's paper -- research of professional quality to be read by two members of the classical studies faculty or, in lieu of a master's paper, to pass a comprehensive exam in two of the following five areas:

  1. Greek and/or Roman Art/Archaeology
  2. Greek and/or Roman History
  3. Latin Language and Literature
  4. Greek Language and Literature
  5. A specialized area of the student's choice, made in consultation with a faculty mentor
  6. On one of several topics in which the Department has strength, for example, Latin Epigraphy, Classical Mythology, Homeric studies, Vergilian studies, etc.

The master's paper for Track 2 is generally submitted (and the Track 2 comprehensive exam is taken) toward the end of a student's completion of the M.A. program and at least four weeks prior to a student's receipt of the degree. There is no residency requirement.