Master of Arts in Classics

The Master of Arts in Classics introduces students to advanced methodologies used in the study of the ancient languages, the interpretation of ancient texts, and the analysis of material culture.

All graduate students must fulfill the same basic program requirements, but will, with the help of an advisor, tailor their coursework and schedule of exams in accordance with their career plans.

The graduate degree is of particular value for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in classics or who plan to teach at the high school or community college levels. Students with goals in other academic areas, including museum studies, history, philosophy, theology, modern languages or comparative literature, can also benefit from a master’s degree in classics.

(not yet up to date for Fall 2023, please see M.A. requirements listed below.)


Classics (M.A.) — Minimum 30 Units

Core Requirements (12 Units)

Course List

Code Title Units
CLAS 701 Greek Language and Literature 3
CLAS 702 Latin Language and Literature 3
CLAS 703 Greek Art and Archaeology 3
CLAS 704 Roman Art and Archaeology 3

Electives (15 Units)

Five electives from the CLAS, CLAR, GRE, and LATN prefixes, three of which could be at the upper-division level.

Culminating Experience (3 Units)

Course List

Code Title Units
Select one of the following:   3
CLAS 894 Community Engagement Project  
CLAS 896
Directed Reading in Classics
and Culminating Experience Examination
CLAS 898 Master's Thesis  

Community Engagement Project (CLAS 894)

Students who pursue this option will, guided by a committee of two faculty members, work with a community organization on some intersection between the classical world and the mission of that organization and will write a report of the results.

Comprehensive Oral Examination (CLAS 896/896EXM)

Students who pursue this option will write a literature survey and pass a comprehensive oral examination administered by a committee of two faculty members on a specified list of topics in the student’s area of emphasis.

Master’s Thesis and Prospectus (CLAS 898)

The student may be permitted, as part of the advising process, to write a master's thesis. The student’s committee of two faculty members must approve the prospectus before the student files the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form with the Graduate Division.

Admission to the Program

The ideal applicant to the Master of Arts in Classics program is someone with (1) an undergraduate major in classics (or equivalent learning experience); and (2) sufficient proficiency in both Latin and Greek to take graduate seminars in those languages. The Graduate Division requires that applicants have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

The Department also accepts applications from students without such preparation, providing pathways of study so that interested students may either begin to acquire such expertise but also so that the degree may be completed without study of the ancient languages.

Applicants must complete the online application to the graduate program through the Division of Graduate Studies/Cal State Apply. As part of the online application, applicants must upload a two to three page statement of purpose and an eight to ten page writing sample. Letters of recommendation (sent directly by the recommender) are optional but welcome.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: Satisfied by the writing sample submitted as part of the application process.
Level Two: Satisfied by the culminating experience project (either the literature survey that accompanies the oral exam (CLAS 896) or the thesis (CLAS 898).

Classics Graduate Student Handbook

The Graduate Student Handbook for all current and prospective students is currently being revised but is forthcoming.  This document is designed to help graduate students answer questions about advising and administrative processes.


Ancient Greek

Classical Archeology