This program as a whole emphasizes the interdisciplinary study of the ancient, late antique, and medieval worlds from the classical (at the M.A. level) through the Christian (at the Ph.D. level) eras.

This later emphasis at the doctoral level reflects the department's reputation as a center for the study of Christian Greek and Latin, and is exemplified by two series of published dissertations it has sponsored over the years, Patristic Studies and Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Latin Language and Literature, and by The Fathers of the Church, a well-known series of English translations published by The Catholic University of America Press and long associated with this department. This unique heritage in the study of late antiquity and the medieval period, which is shared by other departments and programs at the university, has also been responsible for the development of a number of projects undertaken by the university press, notably Studies in Christian Antiquity, Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide (co-edited by Prof. Frank Mantello, a member of the department's faculty), and the Catalogus translationum et commentariorum, a series devoted to the medieval and Renaissance translations of ancient Greek authors and the Latin commentaries on ancient Greek and Latin authors up to the year 1600. The most recent initiative is The Library of Early Christianity, a new series of texts and facing-page translations, whose editorial director, Dr. John Petruccione, is also a faculty member in the department.

The Department of Greek and Latin also participates in the university's Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies and Center for the Study of Early Christianity.


  • The M.A. program in Greek and Latin (30 cr)
  • CLAS 572, Mediterranean World of Late Antiquity (3 cr)
  • 3 approved courses in Greek texts (9 cr total)
  • 3 approved courses in Latin texts (9 cr total)
  • 3 other approved courses (9 cr total)
  • Modern language examination in French or German ( + any other relevant languages)
  • Doctoral comprehensive examinations (3 parts)
  • Doctoral dissertation

TOTAL = 60 cr

Language placement upon entrance

All graduate students in this program take placement exams in both Greek and Latin prior to beginning their coursework. The exam results are used to place students in appropriate classes; it is therefore advisable to arrange with the departmental administrative assistant to take them during the summer prior to entrance, or at least prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Departmental consent is required for registration for all advanced language courses.

Application for conversion from M.A. to Ph.D. student status

Upon completion of the M.A. degree requirements, all continuing students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. –even if they are nominally listed as "M.A.-Ph.D." students in Cardinal Station –must file the "Application for Current Students to Apply to a Higher Degree."

Modern language examinations

The M.A. program in Greek and Latin requires the passing of a modern language examination in either French or German. The doctoral modern language examination will therefore be administered in the other of these two languages, as well as in any other modern languages (e.g. Italian, Russian, modern Greek) that are essential for the student's proposed areas of specialization and dissertation research. Any such additional modern languages will be agreed upon by the student and his/her faculty advisor, and must be submitted for approval to the faculty of the department, who may require changes.

The departmental modern language examination is one hour long and consists of a single passage of academic German, French, or other language deemed necessary for research. A dictionary may be used. To pass the examination, students must be able to translate approximately one full page into standard English with a high level of accuracy. Students who have not previously studied a given language at the college level should first take and pass the graduate-level reading courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages (e.g. French 500, German 500) or similar courses, if desired, at other local institutions.

  • Comprehensive Examinations

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  • Procedures

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  • Frequently Asked Questions – Graduate Programs

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  • Graduate and Certificate Handbook

    The Graduate and Certificate Handbook gathers into one place most of the departmental information that our graduate and certificate students will need throughout their Catholic University careers

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