• I did not major in classics as an undergraduate. Can I still apply for an M.A. in this department?

    Yes, you can. The department will consider your entire academic background when evaluating your application, including your study of ancient and modern languages and of classics-related subjects, your writing sample, your application statement, and your GRE scores. You should also feel free to contact the advisors for more information about the relationship between your background and the department's admissions standards.
  • Does the department offer 'catch-up' or remedial coursework for students who want to pursue M.A.s but whose languages need additional study first?

    Yes. Students who are in all other ways qualified to pursue M.A. degrees but whose skills in one ancient language are not yet past the intermediate level will, if accepted to the M.A. program, be advised into earlier-level coursework at the beginning of their studies. Such courses do not count towards the pursuit of the M.A. degree, and so students who are remediating languages may expect their degree programs to take a little longer to complete.

    Students whose languages are not yet past the beginning or early intermediate level are advised to consider study in the Summer Program first, before inquiring about application for an M.A. Another appropriate option for those 'catching up' on languages may be applying to one of our Certificate programs first, with the plan to stay on, if accepted, to complete the M.A.

  • I have intermediate-level skills in one of the ancient languages, but little to no work in the other language. Can I still apply for the two-language M.A. program in Greek and Latin?

    The department would recommend that you first start the other ancient language--and possibly work on both languages--by spending a summer in the Summer Program.  Another appropriate option for you might also be applying to one of our Certificate programs first, with the plan to stay on, if accepted, to complete the M.A.

  • I am interested in pursuing a second career as a Latin teacher. I had four years of high school Latin and a couple semesters of it in college, but have not done much Latin since then. Can the department help me reach my goals?

    Yes, it can. The more time and energy you are able to commit to the study of Latin, the faster you can progress. For someone in your situation, the department would likely recommend the Certificate in Latin, ideally followed by the remainder of the M.A. program in Latin. You may, however, be able to consider starting directly in the M.A. program if your Latin skills are fresh enough.
  • What qualifications are needed to apply for a Ph.D. program?

    Every Ph.D. program in classics values depth of preparation in ancient and modern languages.  No matter your current student status, you will always do well to take as many courses in Greek and in Latin as you can.  Try to add a modern language as early as possible, too: German, French, and Italian are all good choices.

    In our discipline generally, it can be helpful to complete an M.A. first before entering a Ph.D. program.  Here in our department, we organize our program along these lines, and we often accept students for "M.A.-Ph.D." study, which means that (assuming they make satisfactory progress) they will work to complete both of these degrees during their time with us.  An M.A. in classics with a concentration in Greek and Latin from another institution can sometimes substitute for part or all of our own M.A. if a student hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in our department. This must be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the department chair and the graduate adviser.

  • What makes Catholic University's Ph.D. in Greek and Latin distinctive?

    The Ph.D. in our department requires work in the languages, literatures, and cultures of both classical and postclassical antiquity.  The classical portion is accomplished through the training and the comprehensive exams of our M.A. program in Greek and Latin.  The postclassical portion is covered through doctoral coursework, including our seminars offered every semester on later Greek or Latin authors and topics, along with other approved classes of interest from related programs such as Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, History, Medieval and Byzantine Studies, Semitics, and Early Christian Studies; through individualized doctoral reading lists and comprehensive exams; and through a dissertation that is to be written on a postclassical or medieval topic.
  • My primary area of interest is classical antiquity. Is Catholic University a good place to pursue that?

    Absolutely. Most of our faculty members possess either primary or secondary research interests in the classical world. The language training we provide emphasizes Greek and Latin as written by the classical authors, before moving forward in time to examine the inheritance of these languages by later writers. Our M.A. programs are centered upon classical antiquity, which both complements and provides necessary background for our doctoral program's emphasis on the late antique and medieval worlds.

    If you already know that you want to write a Ph.D. dissertation on a classical topic, you can still do an M.A. at Catholic University before moving on to a different institution's doctoral program, as some of our alumni have done.

  • Is it possible for me to pursue graduate study at Catholic University part-time?

    Yes! Both our Certificate programs and our M.A. programs charge their tuition by the credit hour, and use tuition rates significantly lower than those of the university at large. This makes either of these programs a good financial bargain for students who may wish to pursue their coursework alongside employment or personal obligations.

    Students who are on departmental scholarship packages or university merit fellowships, however, are required to be full-time members of their programs in good academic standing in order to continue receiving their financial support.


  • I know that the language placement exams are required of all entering graduate students before they begin taking coursework. When can I take them, and how do I arrange to do that?

    The language placement exams are administered online and can be requested by contacting the department.

  • I am coming to Catholic University next year, but I am not from the Washington, D.C. area and do not know the city well yet. Where should I live?

    Catholic University has a limited amount of on-campus housing available for graduate students, but most graduates live off-campus, either in D.C. or (equally often) in the surrounding suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. The graduate portion of the Housing website includes information, links, and resources to assist you in finding a place to live.