Master of Arts in Classics

Admission to the Program

The ideal applicant to the Master of Arts in Classics program is someone with

  1.  an undergraduate major in classics (or equivalent learning experience); and
  2.  sufficient proficiency in both Latin and Greek to take graduate seminars in those languages.

The Graduate Division also requires that applicants have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. The department does admit students who have less than the ideal preparation described above; in those cases, the applicant is admitted conditionally (subject to meeting certain conditions for progress through the program).

Applicants must take the GRE, complete the online application to the graduate program, and submit directly to the department a two to three-page statement of purpose, an eight to ten-page writing sample, and one letter of recommendation (sent directly by the recommender).

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Satisfied by the writing sample submitted as part of the application process.

Level Two

Satisfied by the culminating experience project (either the literature survey that accompanies the oral exam (CLAS 896/CLAS 896EXM) or the thesis (CLAS 898).

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. program in Classics:

  1. (language) Students will achieve advanced proficiency in either Latin or Greek and at least basic proficiency in the other.
  2. (history) Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of the diachronic development of Greek and Roman literature and of ancient Mediterranean cultures generally.
  3. (material culture) Students will achieve an advanced understanding of how material evidence informs our understanding of ancient Mediterranean cultures.
  4. (writing) Students will write critical research papers demonstrating mastery of scholarship on selected topics.
  5. (career development) Students will become capable of entering a doctoral program in the field of classics and/or gaining employment as an instructor at the K-12 or community college level.

Classics (M.A.) — Minimum 30 Units

Core Requirements (18 Units)

CLAS 700Proseminar in Classical Studies: Texts and Contexts3
CLAS 720Seminar in Classical Languages and Literature (variable topic)3
Select one course in the range of CLAR 800 - CLAR 890 Seminars in Classical Archaeology—Cultures and Civilizations3
Choose one additional course from either CLAS 720 or CLAR 800 – CLAR 8903
Select two graduate courses in ancient literature (courses with GRE and/or LATN prefixes)6

Electives (9 Units)

Three electives, one of which may be from outside the department. All electives taken within the department (CLAS, CLAR, GRE, LATN) must be graduate level. Any course taken outside of the department must be approved by an advisor; such a course may be upper division.

Culminating Experience (3 Units)

Select one of the following:3
Directed Reading in Classics
and Culminating Experience Examination
Master's Thesis (and Prospectus)

Comprehensive Oral Examination

Upon completion of course work, the student not writing a thesis must pass a comprehensive oral examination administered by a committee of at least two faculty members on a specified group of works in the student’s area of emphasis.

Master’s Thesis and Prospectus

A written and oral presentation of the thesis prospectus is required before the writing of the thesis. The student’s committee of at least two faculty members must approve the prospectus before the student files the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form with the Graduate Division.

Written M.A. Examinations

Upon completion of course work, students must pass two of the following exams:

  • Greek Translation
  • Latin Translation
  • Classical Archaeology

Modern Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one modern language (French, German, or Italian) by passing a two-hour translation examination (with dictionary), set by the department; or by obtaining a minimum grade of B in one upper division foreign language course or course for reading knowledge taken at SF State or elsewhere. This requirement must be satisfied by the end of the student’s third semester in the program.