Texas Tech University
TTU HomeClassical & Modern Languages & Literatures Classical Language & Literature Studies Graduate

Guide to the MA in LACU-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 (and re-organized in 2014 as the MA in LACU-Classics), prepares students planning to continue in Ph.D. studies in Classics elsewhere and provides advanced training for current and prospective teachers of Latin in secondary school. 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 and a book series are edited here: The American Journal of Philology (Editor: David Larmour; Book Review Associate Editor: Corby Kelly), Intertexts (Editor: Jacob Blevins; Associate Editor: David Larmour; Assistant Editor, Corby Kelly), and Archaeological Orientations (Editor: Christopher Witmore (Co-edited with Gavin Lucas). 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. Depending on current projects, similar opportunities are also available for Archaeological Orientations.

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

Dr. Donald E. 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, Ancient Greece

Dr. Catalina Popescu, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
Greek Tragedy, Memory, Gender Studies, Greek and Roman Mythology and Modern Folklore

Dr. Peter Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
Archaic and Classical Greek poetry, epigram, ancient athletics, gender and critical theory

Emeriti/-a Professors of Classics

Dr. Peder Christiansen
Latin poetry, Latin language, Roman Republic, Late Antiquity

Dr. Edward George
Neo-Latin, Juan Luis Vives (1493-1540, Northern Renaissance humanist), Renaissance Rhetoric, Reception of Roman Republican History

Dr. Jim Holland
Latin Literature; Petronius

Dr. Nancy Reed
Greek and Roman Archaeology and Art History

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

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

Dr. Gary Forsythe, Associate Professor of History
Greek and Roman History

Dr. John Howe, Professor of History
Medieval Studies, Church History

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

Dr. 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 MA 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. Hannah Friedman.

Study can be pursued with a concentration in one of two areas or a combination thereof: Archaeology or 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 should have significant background in Archaeology and/or Classical Culture; knowledge of Greek and/or Latin is highly desirable, 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.

To apply, students will complete the Graduate School application, to be found here. In addition, students should prepare a dossier consisting of a CV (with a list of Classics courses taken), a statement of purpose detailing their qualifications and reasons for pursuing an advanced degree in Classics, and a writing sample (a research paper of 20-25 pages). Finally, students should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the admissions committee. The dossier and recommendation letters should be sent to:

Classics MA Admissions Committee
c/o Ms. Liz Hildebrand
Dept. of CMLL
P.O. Box 42071
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409, USA

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.

Many students who pursue an MA in Classics at Texas Tech are supported with TAships. The performance of students who are awarded a TAship will be evaluated each semester. Continuation of funding will be based on satisfactory performance.

The Program

1. Basic framework. The program extends over two years. There are two options: 39 hours minimum of regular courses (9 hours per semester plus 3 hours of Pedagogy) , or 33 hours minimum of regular courses plus 6 hours minimum of thesis hours. In each student's first year, 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 core requirements of the Degree Program are as follows: CMLL 5305 Survey of Greek and Latin Poetry/Prose (4x’s) CMLL 5309 Survey of Greek and Roman Culture (1x) LING 5322 Pedagogy (1x) The following seminars will complete the degree plan in consultation with the Graduate Advisor: CLAS 53xx/GRK 53xx/LAT 53xx (7x’s)* *One of these courses may be replaced with CMLL 5302 (Theoretical Foundations) in consultation with the graduate advisor. Students with concentrations in Philology will enroll primarily in courses designated GRK or LAT; those with concentrations in Archaeology will enroll primarily in courses designated CLAS and either GRK or LAT, depending on their stronger language. In exceptional cases, students may pursue a thesis in consultation with the faculty (in lieu of 6 hours of the seminars).


2. The MA 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. As part of the requirements for completion of the MA degree, all students will have a Comprehensive Oral Exam and a Language Proficiency Exam in their final semester. Students should consult with the graduate advisor at the beginning of their final semester to schedule these exams.

The Classics Comprehensive Oral Exam

Toward the end of a candidate's final semester a comprehensive oral examination is administered by a committee, ordinarily consisting of three faculty members, and composed in consultation between the graduate advisor and the candidate. This exam gives the candidate an opportunity to show what she or he has achieved and lasts for approximately 75 minutes. Beginning with areas of greatest familiarity to the candidate and proceeding outward, the exam covers the courses the candidate has taken, the thesis if there is one, and the reading list of recommended primary and secondary sources. The candidate will supply the committee in advance with a list of courses taken, briefly indicating the contents of those courses. In testing the candidate over the reading list, the committee will look for evidence of an overall grasp of the main periods in Greek and Latin literature and ancient Greek and Roman history and culture. Students will receive either a HIGH PASS, PASS, or FAIL.

If a candidate has written a thesis, there will be a separate Thesis Defense, administered by the members of the Thesis Committee. This will last approximately one hour.

The Classics Language Proficiency Exam

In April 2001, the Classics Graduate Faculty instituted a Language Proficiency examination requirement in Latin and Greek, to be fulfilled near the beginning of each student's last (usually the fourth) semester and based on the reading list of primary sources as well as the texts studied in each student’s coursework. In exceptional cases, a student may be permitted to take the exam near the end of the third semester. The purpose of the requirement is to enable the student to demonstrate and document achievement in mastery of the languages.

The guidelines for students with concentrations in Philology are as follows:

The guidelines for students with concentrations in Archaeology are as follows: