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Guide to the MA in Classics

All the details of this document are subject to, and supplemented by, the regulations of the Texas Tech University Graduate School, the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, and the current Graduate Catalog, or the catalog under which the student completes the program.

General Description of the Program

The Master of Arts degree in Classics, established in 1974, provides advanced training for current and prospective teachers of Latin in secondary school, and prepares students planning to continue in Ph.D. studies in Classics elsewhere. Areas covered, based on concentrated language study in Latin and Greek, include Literary Criticism, the Classical Tradition, and Archaeology, as well as Ancient Philosophy, History, and Sexuality and Gender. The program features a diverse faculty who are at home in both traditional Classical scholarship and contemporary theoretical approaches.

Two journals are edited here: The American Journal of Philology (Editor: David Larmour; Book Review Associate Editor: Donald Lavigne) and Intertexts (Editor: Jacob Blevins; Associate Editor: David Larmour). For AJP, the department funds a full-time graduate assistant (a Classics MA student); Intertexts also offers students the opportunity to assist with editorial work.

The Graduate Advisor

The current Graduate Advisor, Dr. Donald Lavigne, coordinates the Graduate Program, keeps graduate students' records, advises students regarding degree programs, and assists students in making sure that requirements and deadlines are met. The Graduate Advisor is not the only mentor; students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with all Graduate Faculty members and to choose whom they find appropriate for mentoring.

The Classics Faculty

Dr. Hannah Friedman, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology
Roman Archaeology, Metallurgy

Dr. Corby Kelly, Assistant Professor of Classics, Undergraduate Advisor
Latin Poetry, Elegy, Ancient Magic, Theater

Dr. David Larmour, Horn Professor of Classics, Editor of AJP
Greek Poetry, Latin Satire, Literary Theory, Comparative Literature

Dr. Donald Lavigne, Associate Professor of Classics, Graduate Advisor, Coordinator of Classics Division
Archaic Greek Poetry, Greek and Latin Epigram, Gender and Critical Theory

Dr. Julian Frederick Suppe, Professor of Classics
Presocratics, Greek Science and Philosophy, Patristics, Roman Spain

Dr. Christopher Witmore, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology
Mediterranean Archaeology, Archaeological Theory, Bronze Age Greece

The following professors teach courses at Texas Tech pertinent to Classical Studies:

Howard J. Curzer, Professor of Philosophy
Greek Philosophy, Ethics

Gary Forsythe, Associate Professor of History
Greek and Roman History

John Howe, Professor of History
Medieval Studies, Church History

Esen Ogus, Assistant Professor of Art History
Ancient Mediterranean Art History

Aliza Wong, Associate Professor of History
Modern Italy, Italian History


The Classics Graduate Studies Committee

The Classics MA Program functions with the support of a Graduate Studies Committee, whose purpose is to provide advice regarding the conduct of the program. The Committee is composed of the members of the Classics Graduate Faculty plus one student representative, elected each fall semester by the Classics graduate students currently in progress toward a degree. The representative chosen should be available for meetings on campus during each semester.

Career Development & Recent Graduates

To learn more about the career opportunities that can arise from obtaining a graduate degree in Classics click here.


Admission to the Classics M.A. degree program presupposes an undergraduate major's proficiency in either Latin or Greek, or as close to the equivalent as possible. Proficiency in the other of the two classical languages is needed for completion of the degree. Applicants wishing to specialize in ARCHAEOLOGY AND MATERIAL CULTURE may be considered with lower levels of language proficiency and should contact Dr. Christopher Witmore.

Study can be pursued with a concentration in one of three areas or a combination thereof: Archaeology, Language and Literature. A degree plan for each student will be set in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. Students who wish to study Language and Literature should have significant experience in Greek or Latin, preferably both. Students for Archaeology or Classical Culture should have significant background in Archaeology and/or Classical Culture; knowledge of Greek and/or Latin is desirable, but not necessary. In all cases, admission decisions and the formation of a degree plan will be based on a holistic review of the candidate’s dossier. There is broad scope to create a program of study suited to students’ needs.

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fee costs can be found on the Graduate School website.

Financial Support

Information on CMLL Graduate Student Financial Support can be found here.

The Program

1. Basic framework. The program extends over two years. There are two options: 36 hours minimum of regular courses (9 hours per semester) , or 30 hours minimum of regular courses plus 6 hours minimum of thesis hours.

Early in a student's first semester, a Degree Program will be compiled and submitted to the Graduate School, listing the courses to be taken as part of the student's program. This Degree Program is subject to revision as necessary.

The ordinary pattern of core course offerings in a Degree Program is as follows:

Fall A
  • Latin
  • Greek
  • Either Greek or Latin
  • CLAS 5101 (Classical Language Pedagogy)
Fall B
  • Latin
  • Greek
  • Either Greek or Latin
  • CLAS 5102 (Classical Culture Pedagogy)
Spring A
  • Latin
  • Greek
  • CLAS 5305 (Aims & Methods in Classical Scholarship
Spring B
  • Latin Prose Composition
  • Greek
  • Classical Archaeology


2. The M.A. language requirement. The Graduate School requires sophomore proficiency in a second language for completion of the Classics MA degree. Classics graduate students meet and surpass this requirement by taking courses in both Latin and Greek in their degree program.

3. Exams. All students will have a Comprehensive Oral Exam in their final semester. A thesis is generally required for students in Archaeology or Classical Culture. Students in Philology are required to take CLAS 5305 (Aims and Methods of Classical Scholarship) and LAT 5360 (Prose Composition). All students will have a Language Proficiency Exam in their final semester.