MA in Classical and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures

Apply to be a part of the CNRC master's program.

Students interested in furthering their studies in language and culture may pursue a master's of arts in Classical and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures. Our program encourages careful reading and writing and will develop your knowledge of history, politics, rhetoric, and research in a small and friendly cohort of students and faculty.

CNRC graduate students are strongly encouraged to adopt a broad interdisciplinary approach by taking courses and serving as teaching and research assistants across the entire range of the department’s offerings. Learn more about the graduate courses offered in CNRC.

Applicants should have experience in at least one relevant ancient language (Greek, Hebrew, or Latin) sufficient to begin graduate-level reading courses in their first term.

Further details about requirements are found in the Graduate Handbook.
Open Close


Religions in Antiquity

The religions in antiquity track is designed for students seeking advanced preparation in the languages, religious texts, and historical cultures of antiquity. As part of a vibrant graduate program in Greek and Latin literature, ancient philosophy, and ancient history, this track offers an exciting intellectual setting in which to undertake advanced studies in religion.

Students concentrate in one of four fields: Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East; Greek and Roman religions; Second Temple Judaism; or New Testament and early Christianity. The program includes four semesters of a primary ancient language (Greek, Hebrew, or Latin), along with comparative, historical, and literary study of the religious traditions of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world. Students follow a program that combines their chosen ancient language with advanced courses in the religions of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Comparative analysis across the four areas of concentration is fundamental. 

The strongest applicants will have (1) enough coursework in their primary language that they can enroll in CNES language courses at the 5000-level and above and (2) appropriate coursework in religious studies. Although the MA in Religions of Antiquity is technically a terminal degree, normally students will be encouraged to continue on to the PhD in Religions of Antiquity, assuming satisfactory academic progress throughout their MA program.

Faculty List Page


Evenly balanced between the study of Greek and Latin language and literature. Students will dive into the framework for how our civilization operates today by exploring these two classic languages and their historical context as the ancestors of drama, rhetoric, romance, poetry, and more.


Focuses on Greek language and literature, with a strong emphasis on some additional academic field or topic of your choice and at least two graduate courses in another language. This track will allow you to read ancient epics in their original language and work with ancient documents firsthand. A language of comedy, tragedy, and philosophy, Greek allows you to dive into multiple areas of interest during your studies, such as drama, political science, religion, or mythology.


Focuses on Latin language and literature, with a strong emphasis on some additional academic field or topic of your choice and at least two graduate courses in another language. One of the chief languages of early civilization, Latin has a strong influence on the modern languages we use today. It is a language of education, religion, science, and romance. Students in this track will explore and compare ancient texts as they were originally composed.