Master of Arts in Classics

Classics faculty members will host an informational Open House on Zoom in late January or early February. Please check back for further details.

The University of Arizona in Tucson would like to introduce you to our Classics M.A. program, which should be of interest to both Classics majors and Humanities-oriented undergraduate students.

Our graduate program has enjoyed remarkable growth since its inception in 1985 and, along with our undergraduate program, continues to expand. It is now one of the premier M.A. programs in the United States and attracts qualified students from all regions of this country and from abroad. In the last ten years, for example, graduates have been accepted at, and received fellowship packages from many prestigious doctoral programs, such as Berkeley, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, U. of British Columbia, U. of Chicago, U. of Michigan, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U. of Cincinnati, UCLA, U. of Toronto, U. of Virginia, and Yale, in the fields of Classics, Comparative Literature, History, and Philosophy.

Students in our M.A. program emphasize Classical Philology, Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, Ancient Religion, Latin Pedagogy, or Latin Philology. The Classics M.A. program at the University of Arizona offers one of the most generous funding packages of any terminal M.A. program in the country. Graduate students take courses and seminars, teach under supervision, and write their theses under the directorship of the departmental faculty. Associated faculty from Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and other programs also offer courses and mentoring opportunities benefiting graduate students in Classics.

M.A. concentrators in Classical Philology and Latin Philology focus on ancient Greek and Latin languages and literatures and study with the department's philologists. Faculty in Classical Philology are active researchers in a broad range of specialties, including Homer and Greek Poetry, Greek and Roman drama, the ancient novel, Augustan literature, feminist approaches to Classics, ancient sexuality, neoteric poetry, ancient astronomy and astrology, Greek papyrology, Greek and Roman historiography and social history, Roman topography, textual criticism, the classical tradition, New Testament and early Christianity, late antique Latin literature, medieval Latin, Latin paleography, literary reception, and ancient and modern performance studies.

The Classical Archaeology option aims to provide students with broad disciplinary training, including an introduction to a wide variety of field methods and interpretative approaches to material culture, as well as a firm foundation in Greek and Latin. All students are encouraged to participate in fieldwork throughout the Mediterranean region, and have opportunities to work with University of Arizona faculty involved in archaeological excavations and laboratories. Classical archaeology faculty at the University of Arizona include specialists in Greece (Minoan and Mycenean; archaic; classical; and Hellenistic periods) and Italy (Bronze Age, Etruscan, and Roman Imperial periods), as well as ancient Egypt.

The faculty of the Classics program approach ancient history from a variety of angles—political, economic, social, military, cultural, religious, etc.—and encourages this same approach in our students. Students in the Ancient History emphasis work with the department's philologists and archaeologists, as well as associate faculty in the History Department, to design M.A. programs tailored to their interests in ancient history. They first master the names, places and dates, and then move on to more in-depth analysis of ancient Greek and Roman history via fields such as historiography, prosopography, papyrology, epigraphy and numismatics. Those who obtain the M.A. in Classics with the Ancient History emphasis are well-qualified for study at the Ph.D. level. 

Students in the Ancient Religion emphasis deploy a broadly interdisciplinary approach to the diverse ritual practices and beliefs of the Mediterranean world. By studying with distinguished specialists in archaeology, students can develop expertise in reconstructing evidence for ancient rituals and sanctuaries as well religion in private or domestic life. Faculty expertise in material culture includes both Greece (Minoan and Mycenean; archaic; classical; and Hellenistic periods) and Italy (Bronze Age, Etruscan, and Roman Imperial periods), as well as ancient Egypt. Students with interests in the literatures and cultures of ancient Judaism and Christianity have ample opportunity to work with faculty experts in Classics, Religious Studies, and Judaic Studies.  A Classics M.A. with an emphasis in Ancient Religion will position students well for Ph.D. programs in either in a Classic department or in fields of ancient Jewish and early Christian studies.

Students whose interests are in Latin Pedagogy and teaching may earn Secondary School Latin Teaching Certification while completing the M.A. in Classics, in association with the College of Education. Students may also enroll in graduate level courses in second language acquisition and teaching through the SLAT Program and participate in language pedagogy workshops and seminars. As Graduate Teaching Assistants they typically have opportunities to teach in our Elementary Latin program. Our M.A. graduates have had enormous success in securing secondary school and community college teaching positions throughout the country.

To take full advantage of our M.A. program, an undergraduate applicant should have basic preparation in the classical languages, ancient history, and archaeology, and will be expected to demonstrate basic reading knowledge of German, French or Italian by the end of the first year of graduate study. Applicants who are not equally prepared in all these areas, but who have shown promise in their undergraduate coursework in ancient Greek, Latin, or archaeology (as well as courses in related areas) are also encouraged to apply. The department generally expects students to earn the M.A. degree in two years. Our faculty are committed to promoting deserving M.A. students in every possible way and routinely nominate them for departmental, university, regional, and national scholarships. The department has also established a Graduate Student Educational and Professional Development Fund.

The Department of Religious Studies and Classics normally has about twenty-five Classics graduate students in residence. These students enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Tucson and its surrounding mountain ranges, its benign desert climate ("it's a dry heat"), and its relatively low cost of living. Interested undergraduate students are invited to visit the department in Tucson, or to contact any of our faculty or student representatives.

For departmental admissions requirements, click here, or get in touch directly with us.

For online application materials, please contact the graduate school; for program information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Haec Studia Floreant!