The master’s degree in classics is intended for students who wish to advance their understanding of ancient Mediterranean languages, literatures, and cultures. Although it is primarily intended for students who wish to teach classics—Greek, Latin, mythology, Mediterranean archaeology, ancient philosophy, and classical literature—at the high school level or continue on to a Ph.D. program, many students bring their advanced education to such careers as law, counseling, publishing, library science, grant writing, nonprofit organizations, and university administration.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • understanding of advanced Greek and Latin vocabulary and grammar;
  • broad knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin literature;
  • comprehension of ancient Mediterranean states, geography, and history;
  • synthesis of the interplay between economics and trade, politics, warfare, class, race, ethnicity, gender, and rhetoric; and
  • application of ancient concepts to modern problems.

The Master of Arts program in classics requires a minimum of 30 s.h. in courses numbered 3000 or above. Students may count a maximum of 12 s.h. earned in courses numbered 3000-4999 toward the degree. They must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 to earn the degree.

Students must pass a sight examination in the language(s) studied and an examination on literature and history.

Courses taken to complete the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Classics do not count toward the degree.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Classics, M.A.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
30 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a
Students pursuing the master's degree in Classics who have had no Greek or Latin must include at least elementary Greek or Latin in their programs. Additionally, students must complete either Greek Composition or Advanced Latin Composition. b
First Year
Greek Composition
or Latin Composition
CLSG:5001 Greek Survey I: Archaic to Classical Literature 3
Departmental Seminar c 3
Departmental Seminar c 3
Sight-reading exam in Greek and Latin
Latin Composition
or Greek Composition
CLSG:5002 Greek Survey II: Hellenistic to Late Antique Literature 3
CLSA:5010 Proseminar in Classics 1
Departmental Seminar c 3
Second Year
CLSL:5001 Latin Survey I: Republican Literature 3
Departmental Seminar c 3
CLSL:5002 Latin Survey II: Imperial to Late Antique Literature 3
Departmental Seminar c 3
Final Exam d
 Total Hours30
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
This requirement may be satisfied by examination. A sight-reading examination in both languages must be taken before the final written comprehensive examination.
Choose from CLSG or CLSL courses numbered 6011-6014, or CLSA:6100.
Written comprehensive examination on Greek and Latin (Roman) history and literature.