Department of Classics

General Rules

Courseload Students normally take three courses (nine credit-hours) every long semester (Fall and Spring). The University requires all Teaching Assistants (TAs), Assistant Instructors (AIs), and recipients of University fellowships to take a minimum of nine credit-hours during the full period of their appointment. Dissertation students must register for a minimum of three credit-hours (399).

Summer sessions: Students appointed as TAs or AIs for Summer courses are required to register for one course (three credit-hours). Summer enrollment is otherwise optional.

Note on course numbers: The University’s numbering system, though initially confusing, is transparently logical. Every number has three digits: the first specifies the number of credit-hours (1-9 but typically 3); the second indicates the level (01-19 for lower-division undergraduate courses, 20-79 for upper-division undergraduate courses; and 80-99 for graduate courses); and the third simply distinguishes topics. Thus, Latin 506 is an entry-level course (06) carrying 5 credit-hours; Latin 323 and 365 are junior-level and senior-level courses each carrying three credit-hours; and Latin 390 is a graduate seminar carrying three credit-hours.

Undergraduate Courses Graduate students may take up to 9 hours of upper-division courses for graduate credit, and no more than 6 hours in either the Major area or supporting work. Useful courses include some in History, Linguistics, Philosophy, History of Art, along with some advanced topics in Greek, Latin, or Classical Civilization. With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may also take lower-division courses (typically to learn other languages), but not for graduate credit.

Residency Continuation in the Graduate School requires 1) maintaining a B-average (3.0 GPA) in all coursework, and 2) satisfactory progress toward their degree (including passing doctoral exams). Students who have advanced to doctoral candidacy must maintain continuous enrollment  (registered for at least three credit-hours) until they graduate. Students must be registered during the semester in which their degree (either MA or PhD) is to be awarded.

Review The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) formally reviews each student’s progress near the end of their second, fourth, and sixth years in the program, and annually thereafter. Reviews are based on three main factors: 1) Written statements from each student outlining their progress and objectives; 2) Coursework, including brief written evaluations by faculty members with whom the student has either taken or assisted courses; and 3) Overall progress, including exams but also other academic work, such as conference papers and fieldwork. For students in doctoral candidacy, the review focuses on the dissertation and progress toward completion. The results of these reviews are communicated to each student in writing and placed in their academic files.

Note: Faculty evaluations and reviews form an important part of your academic file, which is housed in the office of the Graduate Coordinator and available for you to consult there. Reading your file at least once a year is a good way to keep track of your progress, and often a helpful stimulus to constructive discussion with your professors about the direction of your study.

Calendar for Exams and Reviews Precise dates for exams are arranged by committee chairs in consultation with students taking the exams. Chairs may propose and students may request dates earlier or later than those listed below for compelling reasons.

  • Greek and Latin Translation
    Fall: fifth Friday of the semester
    Spring: first Friday after Spring Break
  • Greek and Latin Literature
    Fall: tenth week of the semester (written); eleventh week of the semester (oral)
    Spring: tenth week of the semester (written); eleventh week of the semester (oral)
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
    One of the two exams: first weekend in February
    The other exam: second weekend in February
  • Greek and Roman History
    On scheduled final exam date for survey course, or as arranged by the students and instructor.
  • Philosophy
    Upon request and by arrangement of students and examiners.
  • Modern Language
    Upon request and by arrangement of students and examiners.
  • Reviews of progress
    Twelfth week of spring semester.

Timetable The Department expects students to complete all MA requirements by the end of their second year, to advance to doctoral candidacy in their fourth or fifth year, and to complete the PhD within another two years; some who take up appointments elsewhere before finishing naturally take longer. Graduate School rules  require that all work for the MA be completed within a six-year period, that doctoral students advance to candidacy within six years, and that the dissertation be completed within three years of advancing to candidacy, unless granted an extension by the GSC. The Graduate School also limits each student to fourteen semesters of teaching assistantships.

The timetable for specific examinations is described under the PhD program.

Interpretation Many of the rules described here are imposed by the University and cannot be modified by the Department. Interpretation of departmental rules (such as what courses meet an area or field requirement) is the responsibility of the Graduate Advisor and any area Advisors appointed by the GSC. Exceptions to these rules (such as exemptions from requirements for comparable work done at another institution) are at the discretion of the GSC. Students should address special concerns to the Graduate Advisor, GSC Chair, or Department Chair in accordance with the grievance procedures detailed in the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.