Department of Classics



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Our Program

The Department of Classics at Queen’s offers a two-year program of study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Classics. Graduate instruction and opportunities for research are now available in two fields:  

  • Greek and Roman Literature, History and Archaeology
  • ​Classical Studies and Archaeology

The Greek and Roman Literature, History and Archaeology field includes classical language requirements (6.0 units of Greek and/or Latin). 

The ​Classical Studies and Archaeology field is distinct from the first in several ways. The emphasis here is on the acquisition of field research skills and tools, focusing on experiential learning opportunities and applied knowledge. Students in this field are not required to be proficient in Greek or Latin, or to take graduate level Greek or Latin language courses.

Patterns of Study

Our Master of Arts program offers two patterns of study:

Pattern I:  Thesis
Students are required to take three half-courses (9.0 units) from our current list of course offerings, CLAS 802 (3.0 units), and write a thesis of about 80-100 pages (CLAS 899) on a topic chosen in consultation with a thesis supervisor. The thesis will be subject to an oral examination under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

Pattern II:  Major Research Paper OR Research Project
Students take five half-courses (15.0 units) from our current list of course offerings, CLAS 802 (3.0 units), and: 

  • write a research essay (CLAS 898) of about 50 pages on a topic chosen in consultation with an essay supervisor
  • submit a research project (CLAS 898) with an accompanying essay of no less than 25 pages that explicates the methodology and advances an interpretation of the results, on a topic chosen in consultation with a project supervisor.

Although not subject to an oral defence, once the essay/project has met the approval of the supervisor, it will be evaluated by a second reader, either internal or external to Queen’s Classics Department as deemed appropriate by the essay/project supervisor and the graduate coordinator.

The research essay, in particular, must show the capacity for critical and analytical research and reflect the state of scholarship on the subject.

Pattern II is recommended for students in the Classical Studies and Archaeology field, but is also available to students in the Greek and Roman Literature, History and Archaeology field.

More about Coursework

The first year will consist primarily of coursework. Students registered in Pattern I are expected to write a thesis in their second year. For students who choose Pattern II, coursework normally continues into the first semester of their second year, and the essay is written in the second semester. 

Under the School of Graduate Studies regulations, students in the MA program are required to achieve a minimum passing grade of B- in all graduate courses.

Students in either field are required to participate in two Pro-Seminar courses focusing on research methods:

(i) CLAS 800 (0.0 units), taken in the first year of study, and
(ii) CLAS 802 (3.0 units), usually taken in the second year of study.

In addition to the Pro-Seminar course requirements, graduate students are expected to attend all Classics presentations (visiting speakers and Queen's faculty).

All students are required to reach proficiency in reading a modern language (normally French, German or Italian) to assist with their research and normally undertaken before beginning work on the thesis or research essay. This language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of a year-long undergraduate course or by an Ontario Academic credit or equivalent. For incoming graduate students who lack modern language proficiency, language courses at the appropriate levels are also available at Queen’s to be taken concurrently with the graduate program.​