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M.A. Degree in Classics

The Department of Classics offers M.A. programs with a concentration in Philology, History, or Art and Archaeology. Candidates must comply with the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies and the specific regulations listed below.

Admission to the Program:

Applicants for the M.A. Program in Classics may be admitted as Regular Students if they are graduates with at least B+ standing of any Honours program taken at McMaster or other university, which includes:

  1. At least 12 units of either Ancient Greek or Latin and at least 6 units of the other language with an average of at least B in each language.
  2. At least 36 additional units of Classical Civilization, Greek, Latin, Ancient History, or other courses approved by the Department of Classics, at least 12 of these units to be in upper-level courses.

Graduates without sufficient specialization may be admitted with the requirement that they complete extra prerequisite courses with a grade of at least B+.

Candidates will not be allowed to take a graduate course in a language or area in which the Department feels they do not have sufficient background.

Program Requirements:

The general requirements for the M.A. degree appear in the “M.A. Program Description” section of the departmental website. With the approval of the Department of Classics, candidates may take the degree either with or without thesis. A grade of at least B- is required in all courses.

Requirements for the M.A. degree with thesis are:

  1. Ten half courses (one-term courses) offered by the Department, of which no more than four may be at the undergraduate level, and of which at least four, two in each year, must be graduate or undergraduate Latin or Greek (permission of the Graduate Adviser is required to take a course at undergraduate level). Students must pass at least one language class at the graduate level in each ancient language. Six courses are completed in the first year of study and four additional courses are taken in year two. Courses will be selected in consultation with the graduate advisor. A grade of at least B is required in all courses.Upon entry into the program all students will take diagnostic exams in Ancient Greek and Latin to determine appropriate language level placement.
  2. A comprehension test in French or German or Italian; exemption from this test may be granted to candidates who have completed an equivalent test at this or other universities.
  3. A satisfactory thesis of approximately 80 pages on an approved topic.
  4. An oral examination to defend the thesis.

Requirements for the M.A. degree without thesis are:

  1. Six half courses offered by the Department, of which no more than two may be at the undergraduate level, and of which at least two must be graduate or undergraduate Latin or Greek (permission of the Graduate Adviser is required to take a course at undergraduate level). Courses will be selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.Upon entry into the program all students will take diagnostic exams in Ancient Greek and Latin to determine appropriate language level placement.
  2. A project consisting of a major research paper to be written during the summer, under the supervision of a faculty member;
  3. A comprehension test in French or German or Italian; exemption from this test may be granted to candidates who have completed an equivalent test at this or other universities.