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Our Program

The Department of Classics at Queen’s offers a two-year program of studies leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Classics. Two patterns of study are available:
Sidebar depicting various aspects of Classics

For Pattern I, students are required to take four half courses from our current list of course offerings 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.

For Pattern II, students take six half courses from our current list of course offerings and write a research essay (CLAS 898) of about 50 pages on a topic chosen in consultation with an essay supervisor. The research essay must show the capacity for critical and analytical research and reflect the state of scholarship on the subject. Although not subject to an oral defence, once the essay has met the approval of the essay supervisor the research essay will be evaluated by a second reader, either internal or external to Queen’s Classics Department as deemed appropriate by the essay supervisor and the graduate coordinator.


For both patterns, the first year will consist primarily of coursework in 3 subject fields: Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies. Students should complete at least one course in each of the 3 fields in the first year of their program. 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 research essay is written in the second semester. Under normal circumstances, permission to proceed to the thesis or essay work will be denied to any student who has not shown satisfactory progress in coursework.

In addition to coursework in the three required fields of study, graduate students are required to participate in two Pro-Seminar courses (CLAS 800 & CLAS 802) focussing on research methods. Students are also required to complete an online tutorial (AODA 800) to assist them with their TA duties.

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.