Ancient Religion

The Ancient Religion Emphasis combines both classical philological and religious studies training and is ideal for those interested in pursuing further graduate work (in Classics, Ancient Judaism, or early Christianity) and those interested in careers teaching these subjects at the pre-collegiate level. 

Program of Study

All graduate students in the Classics program at the University of Arizona earn the same degree (Master of Arts in Classics), but each student chooses an emphasis that determines the series of courses and exams they will pursue. All students are required to complete 34 hours of coursework, a thesis, and a reading knowledge of French, German, or Italian, in addition to demonstrating proficiency in Classical Languages. Both Greek and Latin are required in the Ancient Religion, Classical Archaeology, and Classical Philology emphases; only Latin is required for the Latin Pedagogy and Latin Philosophy emphases. 

Students who pursue the emphasis in Ancient Religion develop comprehensive knowledge of Religion in the ancient Mediterranean world through courses in the Classics program as well as in Religious Studies. Rigorous philological training is also stressed with advanced coursework and a translation exam in at least one ancient language. Students are offered the flexibility in their elective credits to pursue further coursework as their interests and plans dictate. The University of Arizona's Judaic Studies Program is a resource for students interested in ancient Judaism. 

Degree Requirements

Minimum credit hours: 34

  • Proficiency in French, German, or Italian.
  • 3 units of the Methodology course, CLAS 510A.
  • 1 unit of Thesis Preparation, CLAS 510B.
  • Qualifying Examination in Ancient Religion.
  • Graduate level proficiency in one classical language, upper-level undergraduate proficiency in the other. 
  • 3 units of either CLAS 596E (Topics in Ancient Mediterranean Religion); CLAS 501A (Early Christian Literature: Greek Texts); CLAS 501B (Early Christian Literature: Latin Texts); RELI 581 (Jews in the Roman Empire); or any 5xx course with a specific focus on ancient religion (with the approval of a faculty advisor). 
  • 3 units of RELI 550 (Graduate Readings in Theories and Methods for the Study of Religion) or equivalent.
  • 9 units of electives in 5xx-level CLAS, GRK, and/or LAT (or other 5xx-level courses with the approval of an advisor). Students pursuing the emphasis in Ancient Religion should select courses related to ancient religion or philosophy in consultation with a faculty advisor.
  • 3 units of thesis credit.

For more information on these requirements, including reading lists for exams, please see the Graduate Handbook

To explore other emphases, peruse the list here

Ready to apply? Start your application here! Questions? Contact the Director of Graduate Studies.