Master's Program

Graduate Programs in Classics

In recent decades there has been a renewed and welcome demand for the re-entry of Greek and Latin into all stages of education, from primary schools to universities. The Master's program in Classics is UD's response to this demand at the post-baccalaureate level. The program aims to satisfy the needs of a variety of potential students by offering study in one or both languages for those who have done none in either language or a little or even a substantial amount in one or both. The more knowledge students bring with them, the further they can progress. Some may earn the degree in order to apply for a PhD in Classics elsewhere. Others will use it to teach in primary and secondary schools. Still others will simply want to fill some lacunae in their education.

Because of the different needs of entering students, the program is designed to be as flexible as possible. It includes an opportunity to take courses outside of those taught by the Classics Department - courses wherein the reading is done in English, but which are appropriate for students who want to expand their acquaintance with classical texts. The program recognizes that in quantity more of the great works of antiquity can be read in translation than in the original languages. In the interest of breadth, therefore, at least three such courses may be part of the degree, with the understanding, however, that depth comes most assuredly through reading the texts in Greek and Latin. At least five courses, therefore, must be at the graduate level in one or both of the languages. In consultation with an advisor students will construct degree plans that best meet their individual needs. Plans will vary depending upon these needs and the amount of the language students bring with them, even including none of either. It is never too late to start.

Degree Requirements

UD offers two different graduate degrees: the Master of Arts in Classics and the Master of Classics. The degree requirements are stipulated below. 

Master of Arts in Classics

1) 24 units of course work at the 5000 level or above (at least 15 hours must be in Greek or Latin courses or both - 9 may be in related field wherein the reading is done in translation)

2) 6 units for a Master's thesis

3) a reading knowledge of one or both languages sufficient to do work at the 5000 level

4) a comprehensive exam to be passed before submitting a thesis proposal

Master of Classics

1) 30 units of course work at the 5000 level or above (at least 15 hours must be in Greek or Latin courses or both - 15 may be in related fields wherein the reading is done in translation)

2) a reading knowledge of one or both languages sufficient to do work at the 5000 level

3) a comprehensive exam to be passed in the final semester before the degree is granted


Consult the entry for the Classics Department in the undergraduate section of the bulletin or the "Courses" section of this website. All courses listed at the 3000 and 4000 levels may be taken for graduate credit at the 5000 level with the addition of supplementary work (typically a longer list of assigned readings and/or a longer paper, although this is dependent on the instructor).

A few examples of courses that may be taken for credit in other departments of the humanities are: ENG 5318 Tragedy/Comedy, ENG 5319 Classical Epic, HIS 3303 Ancient Greece, HIS 3304 The Roman Republic, HIS 3305 The Roman Empire, PHI 3343 From Ancient to Medieval Philosophy, POL 3331 Plato's Republic, POL 3332 Aristotle's Politics, POL 4311 Thucydides: Justice, War, and Necessity, and POL 4350 Aristotle's Ethics.

Additional Stipulations

1) All requirements ordinarily must be met within six years of a student's initial registration in coursework, excluding leaves of absence.

2) With regard to transfer credits, up to nine units of graduate work done at other institutions may be accepted for transfer after a student has completed at least nine units at UD.

3) For students with no prior knowledge of a classical language, completion of the elementary and intermediate courses in at least one language will be necessary. The Summer Institute in Classical Languages is designed to enable students to meet this requirement quickly.

Admissions Requirements

Application for admission to the Master's Program in Classics requires a completed application form, two letters of reference, a statement of purpose, an intellectual autobiography, a sample of academic writing, and official transcripts of previous college work. Possession of a bachelor's degree, but not necessarily one in the humanities, is a prerequisite for matriculating. Special students are welcome to participate after consulting with the Chair in Classics, Dr. David Sweet (

Nota bene: a knowledge of Latin or Greek is not a prerequisite for admission to the program.



Background photo: Hippocampus Mosaic at the Palazzo Massimo © 2015 by Rebecca Deitsch, BA '17


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