Graduate Program


Full-Time M.A.

The M.A. degree is earned in either Greek or Latin, and adequate and proven reading knowledge in this language is required for admission. Students are also expected to have completed at least one year of advanced work in the other language; transcripts of undergraduate course work are accepted as evidence that this requirement has been met. Students will generally be able to complete the M.A. degree in one academic year. No full-time student may take longer than two years to complete the degree.

Course Requirements: 30 points comprised of eight courses, at least six of them taken for graded credit, and CLPH G4300 Approaches to Antiquity. Students are expected to maintain at least a B+ average in their graded courses. E credit courses must include either Greek or Latin 4105, 4106, and 4139. Exemption from Greek or Latin 4139 may be given on the basis of an examination. Candidates who do not intend to proceed beyond the M.A. may substitute a research essay for Greek/Latin 4105 or 4106. 

Modern Language Requirement: A reading knowledge of French, Italian or German, to be demonstrated by a written test.

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Part-Time M.A.

The purpose of the part-time M.A. is to provide a period of graduate study in the classics, including research experience, at the same level as that of the full-time M.A.

Requirements: The requirements for the part-time M.A. are the same as those for the full-time M.A., with the exception of the time limit. Part-time students are expected to complete the degree within eight consecutive semesters, but leaves of absence that extend the time limit will be granted in cases in which a student's other obligations conflict unavoidably with attendance at the University. The time limit may also be extended by petition in special circumstances.

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Continuation of study beyond the M.A. degree or the equivalent is authorized by the Director of Graduate Studies. The M.Phil. degree is always in Classics, both Greek and Latin. Thus, course work and examinations are related to the study of both classical languages and their literatures (including their cultural and political backgrounds). Programs of study are individually arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

General Course Requirements: Fourteen courses, including twelve for a letter grade. These fourteen courses must include Greek and Latin 4105, 4106 and 4139 (all six of which must be taken for a letter grade) and four advanced courses (8000 level or above) in Greek or Latin. The Courses taken for the M. A. count toward the total of fourteen. Students are expected to maintain at least a B+ average in their graded courses.

Modern Language Requirement: A reading knowledge of French or Italian and German, to be demonstrated by written tests as early as possible in the student's graduate career, and in no case later than the certification examination. This requirement includes competence in one language demonstrated as part of the work for the M.A. degree.

Qualification Examination: The qualification examination is offered at the beginning of each semester. It consists of two two-hour examinations, to be taken either on two successive days or in different semesters, in the translation of Greek and Latin texts chosen from the common reading list. The examination can be taken as soon as the student feels confident and may be repeated as often as necessary if failed, but the examinations in both languages must be first attempted no later than the beginning of the student’s fifth semester of residence, and must be passed no later than the beginning of the sixth semester.

Each examination consists of six passages (three prose, three poetry) of about 100-150 words, of which the student must translate four (two prose, two poetry). The examination is designed less to test the student’s ability to translate Greek and Latin (which is assumed) than his or her knowledge of the texts on the reading list. The passages on the examination are chosen so as to be representative both of the breadth of the list (expect passages from different genres and different periods) and of the works in question (expect passages that are typical for the content and style of a work and/or particularly significant for its interpretation).

Certification Examination: Students are required

(i) to complete a written examination on a special author in the secondary language (i.e. the language that is not expected to be the focus of the student's dissertation). The form and content of the examination are to be determined by the examiner in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. This examination is to be taken no later than the end of a student's sixth semester of residence.

(ii) to complete a take-home examination (to be completed within a designated period of 48 hours) on the field of the proposed dissertation. The examination will be set and administered by the prospective dissertation supervisor and second reader, on the basis of a reading list of both primary and secondary materials to be approved by the prospective supervisor. The examination is to be taken no later than the beginning of a student's eighth semester of residence.

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Within one semester of the completion of requirements for the M.Phil. degree (i.e., by the end of the fourth year of residence), a candidate for the Ph.D. must submit to the supervisory committee a prospectus for the proposed dissertation, to consist of a statement of the topic and a rough outline of both working order and expected structure, in no more than 20 pages, with a short bibliography (no more than 30 titles) of relevant scholarship. It should be noted that all dissertation (i.e. non-teaching) fellowship awards are contingent upon the approval of the dissertation prospectus. The student must present and successfully defend a dissertation, normally on the subject approved by the supervisory committee.

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New Common Reading Lists

(Continuing students are still operating under the old lists.)


  • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, Eumenides
  • Apollonios, Argonautica Book III
  • Aristophanes, Clouds, Frogs
  • Aristotle, Poetics, Nicomachean Ethics 1
  • Callimachus, Hymns 2, 5, Aetia frgt 1-2 Pfeiffer, Epigrams
  • Demosthenes, Philippics 1-3
  • Euripides, Medea, Bacchae
  • Gorgias, Helen
  • Herodotus, 1
  • Hesiod, Theogony all; Works and Days 1-335
  • Homer, Iliad 1, 6, 9, 16, 18-22, 24; Odyssey 1, 5-12, 18-23
  • Homeric Hymn 5 To Aphrodite
  • Isocrates, Helen, Evagoras
  • Longus, Daphnis and Chloe
  • Lucian, Icaromenippus, Zeus Refuted
  • Lyric Selections as in Campbell ed. Greek Lyric Poetry
  • Lysias, Oration 12
  • Menander, Samia
  • Pindar, Olympian 1, 6; Pythian 1, 2, Nemean 7
  • Plato, Republic II-III, Symposium
  • Plutarch, Life of Pericles
  • Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus the King
  • Theocritus, Idylls 2,7,11
  • Thucydides, Histories 1.1-22,  2.34-65, 5. 84-115, 6.8-32, 7. 72-87
  • Xenophon, Memorabilia I


  • Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche
  • Caesar, Bellum Gallicum 1
  • Catullus, entire
  • Cicero, Pro Archia; Pro Caelio; Catilinarians 1-4; De oratore 1; Somnium Scipionis; Tusculan Disputations 5; Letters (nos. 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 42, 43, 44, 61, 63, 66, 67, 69, 74, 76 in Shackleton-Bailey, ed., Selected Letters)
  • Horace, Odes 1-4; Satires 1.1, 4-6, 9, 10, 2.6; Epodes 1, 16; Epistles 2; Ars Poetica
  • Juvenal, Satires 1, 3, 6, 10
  • Livy, Histories 1, 5, 21
  • Lucan, Pharsalia 1, 7
  • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 1, 3, 4.1058-end, 5.772-1457
  • Martial, Epigrams 2.8, 14, 20, 77, 91, 92; 3.2; 4.30, 67, 72; 6.21, 64; 7.36; 8.55; 9.18; 10.4, 5, 47, 64; 12.15, 18, 31, 57 (= nos. 1-22 in L. and P. Watson, eds., Martial: Select Epigrams (Cambridge)).
  • Ovid, Amores 1; Ars Amatoria 1; Heroides 1; Metamorphoses 1, 8; Tristia 2
  • Petronius, Cena Trimalchionis
  • Plautus, Amphitruo; Bacchides
  • Pliny, Letters (nos. 3, 5, 6, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 38, 40, 47, 48 in Sherwin-White, ed., Selected Letters)
  • Propertius, Elegies 1, 3.1-5, 4
  • Quintilian, Institutio 10.1
  • Sallust, Bellum Catilinae
  • Seneca, Consolatio ad Helviam; Epistles (nos. 5, 7, 18, 77, 88.1-20, 114 in Summers' edition); Apocolocyntosis; Thyestes
  • Statius, Siluae 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.7
  • Tacitus, Histories 1; Annals 4; Agricola; Dialogus de oratoribus
  • Terence, Adelphoe
  • Tibullus, Elegies 1, 2.5
  • Vergil, entire

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  • Contact Info

  • Department of Classics
    1130 Amsterdam Avenue
    617 Hamilton Hall, MC 2861
    New York, NY 10027

  • Phone: (212) 854-3902
    Fax: (212) 854-7856