The Classical Studies B.A./M.A. option allows exceptional current Columbia undergraduates (Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, and Barnard College) interested in ancient studies to start graduate coursework while in the final year of their degree.

Applicants interested in the Classical Studies B.A./M.A. option should apply the semester before the one in which they intend to begin taking courses that will count toward the M.A. Prospective applicants must consult the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Chair before applying. This consultation is a required part of the application process and must take place before a B.A./M.A. application may be submitted.

If admitted to the program, students take graduate-level coursework while still enrolled as undergraduates, and take classes in excess of the credit requirements for the B.A. Students then apply those extra credits toward the M.A. after they have graduated. Students utilizing the B.A./M.A. option enter our M.A. program with advanced standing: they can be credited with up to three courses at the 4000 level or above (for between 9 and 12 credits), and up to 0.5 Residence Units. Once they are enrolled, students work toward completing the remaining requirements for the M.A.


The requirements below should be read in conjunction with the general requirements of the Graduate School.

After admittance to the program, students should consult the Chair to set up an Advisory Committee to assist in planning a course of study for each term in residence. Typically, the Chair and the Vice-Chair of the program shall act as advisors, and an individual advisor shall be assigned depending on the specific interests of the students. Each student’s program of study must be approved before registration.

Students in the M.A. program may be enrolled part-time or full-time. Should a student in the M.A. program wish to study toward the Ph.D. at Columbia, he or she must submit a separate application which will be evaluated along with the entire pool of applicants to the Ph.D. program for that year.

Languages: Competence in one ancient language, Greek or Latin, to be demonstrated by either course work or examination, and one modern language, preferably German, by examination.

Courses: 30 credits from a minimum of eight courses in classics, history (ancient history section), art history and archaeology (ancient section), and philosophy (ancient), or related fields, with at least six courses taken for a letter grade. No more than four of these courses can be taken in any one department. At least two terms of a seminar or colloquium must be included in the total of eight. One of the required courses shall be an Independent Study, leading up to the completion of the student’s M.A. thesis (see below). One of the required courses can (but may not) be the CLST Research Seminar, taken for credit. Students are expected to maintain at least a B+ average in their graded courses.

Written work: Each student is required to submit a substantial seminar or colloquium paper (“dissertation”) to be evaluated by the student’s Thesis Advisor, Chair, and Vice-Chair.

CLST M.A. Distinction may be awarded for excellence with the self-standing M.A. degree based on the following criteria:

  • assessment of M.A. thesis by faculty members, including the thesis advisor and the Program Chair
  • assessment of overall academic record
  • assessment of the student’s further activities in the program

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