This program provides the training for students interested in future work on the languages, cultures, and religions of the eastern Mediterranean world, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Students who enter this program may also elect the study of Latin, although this is not required.


All graduate students in this program take a placement exam in Greek 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 it 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.


  • GR 511, Greek Prose Composition (3 cr)
  • GR 655, Survey of Greek Literature (3 cr) (Students are not ordinarily permitted to register for GR 655 in their first year of graduate studies)
  • 8 other approved courses (24 cr total)
  • Modern language examination in French or German
  • M.A. comprehensive examinations in Greek (preceded by sight-translation exam)
  • Submission of 2 approved research papers

TOTAL = 30 credits

Modern language examination in French or German

Competence in French or German is demonstrated by passing a departmental examination. The examination is one hour long and consists of a single passage of academic French or German. 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 the language at the college level should first take and pass the graduate-level reading courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages (French 500 or German 500).

Master’s comprehensive examinations

Prerequisite: sight-translation exam
To qualify for taking their translation examinations in Greek, graduate students must pass a sight examination in that language.

Sight examinations are one hour long, and consist of a single passage in prose and a single passage in poetry. They are taken without a dictionary in October or March by arrangement with the graduate adviser.

Comprehensive exams
A passing grade on comprehensive examinations is B minus (80%). Each examination is graded separately and awarded a high pass (90-100), pass (80-89), or failure (below 80). Students who fail any examination may retake that examination a second time. Comprehensive examinations are offered on the days set in the University's academic calendar.

1. ONE 3-hour translation examination in Greek, based on an official departmental list of Greek texts.

2. ONE 3-hour essay examination in Greek Literature/History, based on an official departmental list of secondary scholarship, with essay questions (one or more required) drawn from an official departmental list of questions known in advance.