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Masters in Classics with no background?

tiredtoasttiredtoast Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
So I'm currently a 3rd year undergrad with a major in Global History with minors in African Studies and Classic and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. I want to pursue an advanced degree in classics, but due to my university not offering that as an undergrad minor, I've had to make due. My question is, will I be able to get into programs with little to no knowledge of the ancient languages, and only Spanish as my modern language? All of the research I've done has indicated that this is more than likely a no, but any input you guys had would be great.

Replies to: Masters in Classics with no background?

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,283 Senior Member
    My best guess is that any worthwhile classics graduate program would require at least working knowledge of Latin & Greek languages--but I really do not know.

    Should be easy to do a google search to determine the requirements of specific graduate programs in classics.
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 10,023 Super Moderator
    edited October 2018
    MA programs in Classics typically require 3 years of either Greek or Latin and 2 of the other, though it's possible to be admitted with 2 years of one and 1 year of the other. You should also have a reading knowledge of either French or German. (French should be pretty easy to pick up if you know Spanish.) Generally language requirements are stricter for applicants to philology and ancient history tracks than for classical archaeology.

    If your college doesn't offer Greek or Latin, have you done any independent study of either? If not, I recommend beginning with Latin by working through Wheelock's Latin, the standard textbook for introductory Latin courses at the college level. There are several good options among Greek textbooks, but Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek (which comes with an answer key), the JACT Reading Greek books, and Greek: An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn (typically used in summer intensive courses) are particularly good.

    One option is a summer program in intensive Greek or Latin. You've already looked at Cork according to your other thread, but Berkeley, UT Austin, Arizona, and other universities in the US also run highly regarded intensive courses each summer.

    If you're serious about pursuing classics at the graduate level, your best bet is probably to complete a classics post-bac, which gets students up to speed in Greek and Latin to prepare them for MA/PhD programs. Some of the post-bac programs expect applicants to have at least 1 year of Greek and/or Latin. You can find a list here:


    Honestly, though, you should reconsider a graduate degree in classics. Job prospects are abysmal in academia, and even high school positions teaching Latin are not plentiful. I only recommend graduate school in the humanities to those who absolutely can't see themselves doing anything else.
    Post edited by warblersrule on
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,204 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    Also, understand grad school is about hitting the ground running, being ready to dig in. It's not the sort of exploring that early college classes are. You would want to have a defined interest, some show that you've got experience with it.. On top of the advice from warblersrule.
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