Texas Tech University

Funded M.A. In Classics

Earn a professional degree, solidify your languages, develop your research skills, and gain hands-on teaching experience with the Masters of Arts in Languages & Cultures - Classics at Texas Tech University.

We offer one of the premier Classics M.A. programs both nationally and in Texas. Accomplished faculty work closely with students in small seminar courses and by supervising graduate research. Fruitful and life-long mentoring relationships are promoted by the high faculty-student ratio.

The M.A. is the highest degree that a student can earn in Classics at Texas Tech; our graduate students benefit in additional ways from this privileged position. Graduate students serve as Teaching Assistants in language and large culture courses and receive extensive pedagogical training. There are also opportunities for faculty-student research collaboration and to work with the journal Intertexts, which is edited on campus, and our branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, as well as area K-12 Latin programs. Funding is available for summer research, as well as for presenting at conferences. Texas Tech has one of the best libraries in Texas for Classics, as well as a departmental Classics library. Graduate students also have dedicated individual office space in the department and full access to Interlibrary Loan. While all students study Classical Languages, Literature, and Culture, we offer individually-tailored programs to suit the needs and goals of our students, with concentrations in Philology, Archaeology and Material Culture, and/or Pedagogy.

Financial Support
Students usually receive financial support via employment as a Teaching Assistant, Graduate Part-Time Instructor, or as the Editorial Assistant to Intertexts. The University also offers several competitive scholarships.


Here at Texas Tech we are proud of the success of our M.A. students. They have gone on to:

Top Ph.D. programs in Classics and related fields

Recent placements include Brown, Harvard, St. Andrews, and UNC-Chapel Hill

Careers in Latin and Greek teaching at the K-12 level, in both public and private schools throughout the nation

Careers in Publishing, Information Systems, and Museums

Other advanced professional degrees, including in Law and Business

For more information about the program and application process:

Contact Dr. Donald Lavigne, Graduate Advisor, don.lavigne@ttu.edu, and see the program requirements listed below

We review applications continually; to be considered for University scholarships, applications must be completed by January 15th.

Admission

Admission to the Languages & Cultures - 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 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.

Apply Now

You will need to apply to the Graduate School.

Please submit the following documents to the Graduate School's website.

  1. CMLL MA Program Application
  2. CMLL Teaching Assistantship Application
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. A 20-25 page academic writing sample in English
  5. Resume
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Transcripts from your most recent university degree
  8. Copy of your diploma or certificate
  9. Certified English translations of transcripts and diploma or certificate (foreign transcripts and diplomas)

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 Graduate Advisor. Ordinarily, the thesis is in addition to the 9 hours/semester load of regular courses and the topic will emerge from a term paper or similar project in the first year which the faculty consider worthy of more extended treatment.

Notes:

  • Specific topics in courses, ordinarily specifying authors, genres, or theoretical approaches, will be chosen with a view to the needs of the current graduate students and the specialties of the faculty.
  • Any member of the graduate faculty may direct a thesis. The thesis committee ordinarily consists of the Director and one or two other members, chosen by the student in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. The course pattern of a thesis student will be adjusted according to the student's needs and future plans.

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:

  • A test of four passages will be made up for each student, two in each language. The passages will be unseen, chosen from the texts which each student has read either in class or on the Reading List (students may NOT use a dictionary). Students will be given ample time to translate three of the four passages (THREE HOURS), since we are not gauging speed. Approximate length of each passage: 15-20 lines (occasionally shorter or longer passages have been assigned).
  • There will be one passage in prose and one passage in poetry in each language.
  • Passing two of the three parts of the test will constitute fulfillment of the requirement. To achieve a grade of HIGH PASS, the student must have a HIGH PASS score on all three passages submitted.
  • The test will be administered early enough in the semester to provide time for the student to retake a part or parts of the test if necessary.

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

  • A test of four passages will be made up for each student, in the student's strongest language. The passages will be unseen, chosen from the texts which each student has read either in class or on the Reading List (students may NOT use a dictionary). Students will be given ample time to translate three of the four passages (THREE HOURS), since we are not gauging speed. Approximate length of each passage: 15-20 lines (occasionally shorter or longer passages have been assigned).
  • There will be two passages in prose and two passages in poetry.
  • Passing two of the three parts of the test will constitute fulfillment of the requirement. To achieve a grade of HIGH PASS, the student must have a HIGH PASS score on all three passages submitted.
  • The test will be administered early enough in the semester to provide time for the student to retake a part or parts of the test if necessary.

Faculty

Texas Tech Classics features a diverse faculty who are at home in both traditional Classical scholarship and contemporary theoretical approaches. Below are the core faculty and their areas of expertise:

  • Caroline Bishop, Assistant Professor of Classics (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania): Greek and Roman Intellectual History, Latin Prose, Classical Tradition
  • Hannah Friedman, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology (Ph.D. University of Leicester): Roman Archaeology, Ancient Economy, Mines and Metallurgy
  • David H. J. Larmour, P.W. Horn Professor of Classics (Ph.D. University of Illinois): Greek Literature, Latin Satire, Narratology, Literary Theory, Ancient Sports, Classical Tradition
  • Donald E. Lavigne, Associate Professor of Classics(Ph.D. Stanford University): Archaic Greek Poetry, Greek and Latin Epigram, Gender and Critical Theory
  • Sydnor Roy, Assistant Professor of Classics(Ph.D. UNC-Chapel Hill): Greek Historiography, Political Theory, Race and Identity, Ancient Warfare and Trauma Narratives
  • William Tortorelli, Assistant Professor of Practice (Ph.D. Brown University): Greek and Latin Lyric, Textual Criticism
  • Christopher Witmore, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology(Ph.D. Stanford University): Mediterranean Archaeology, Archaeological Theory, Material Culture of Ancient Greece
  • Pamela Zinn, Assistant Professor of Classics(Ph.D. Trinity College Dublin): Latin Poetry, Hellenistic Philosophy, Greek and Roman Intellectual History, Animals, Classical Tradition

For Contact Information and Faculty Bios, please check our Faculty Webpage

Resources

  • Texas Tech University Library: It includes a solid collection of basic classical texts, dictionaries, concordances, atlases, periodical runs, the standard corpora of Latin and Greek inscriptions, and other fundamental research materials in Classics such as Pauly-Wissowa and L'Année Philologique. The Library's Special Collections includes a repository of rare sixteenth and seventeenth century editions of classical authors, among them Aldine editions.
  • The Jirgensons Reading Room: A location for study in the Foreign Language Building with a small collection of Latin and Greek authors, Greco-Roman history, and basic Latin and Greek teaching texts.
  • The AJP Collection: Books published since 2007 in Classics and related areas.
  • The TLG, PHI, and other databases.

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.

Program History

The Master of Arts degree in Classics, established in 1974 (and re-organized in 2014 as the M.A. 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. 

Two journals and a book series are edited here: The American Journal of Philology (Editor: David Larmour), Intertexts (Editor: Jacob Blevins; Associate Editor: David Larmour), 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.

*All the details of this webpage 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.*

ClassicsPoster
Please click image for larger PDF version

Classical Language & Literature Studies