MA in Classical and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures

CNRC offers two Master's subplans: Classics and Religions in Antiquity

Classics

The Classics MA program is aimed at preparing students for admission to top national programs or for employment at selective secondary educational institutions (such as high schools or prep schools). Students should be able to complete the degree in two years by:

Taking four graduate courses per year (total of 24-26 credits), half in Greek, half in Latin. At least one of these languages must be taken entirely at the advanced level; the other could be taken at the intermediate level for the first year and then advanced level in the second year. These courses cover a variety of authors and genres over the course of two years to give students a strong foundation in classical literature.

  • Taking one 3-credit graduate seminar in either Latin or Greek.
  • Taking 6 credits outside the major. CNRC graduate students are strongly encouraged to adopt a broad interdisciplinary approach.

Other Program Requirements

  • Pass proficiency exam in either Classical Greek or Latin by the third semester in the program.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a modern language that is used in the discipline.
  • Pass a final examination that consists of both written and oral formats and that a faculty committee evaluates.
  • Program Prerequisites (beyond what is required for the application process)
  • Upon matriculation, ability to take the advanced level in at least one classical language, and at least intermediate level in the other. (Normally this means successfully completing two years at the college level for advanced entry, and one year of the other language for intermediate entry.)

Program Funding

The primary source of funding in our program typically comes in the form of teaching assistantships that offer a salary and carry full tuition and nearly full health care benefits.

Summer fellowship funding is typically available the summer after your completed first year.

Contact Information

This page offers a general description of the MA program. For more information on the program and funding opportunities, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Patricia Ahearne-Kroll at pahearne@umn.edu.

Please also note the changing direction of our department and curricula, which are best represented by our current series: “The Future of the Past: Rethinking Legacies of Injustice in Ancient Studies.”

Example of an MA graduate student’s course of study

Coursework towards the major

  • LAT 5100 and 5200 for two years (12 credits)
  • GRK 5100 and 5200 for two years (12 credits)
  • GRK 8910: Seminar: Abandoned Women

Coursework outside the major

  • HIST 5890: Readings in American Indian and Indigenous History
  • ANTH 5327W: Inca, Aztec & Maya Civilization

Religions in Antiquity

General Information

The RelA MA program is designed for students interested in comparative analysis of religious activity in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The program also provides advanced preparation in languages, preparing students for graduate work beyond the degree. Although the MA in Religions in Antiquity is technically a terminal degree, normally students will be encouraged to continue on to the PhD in Religions in Antiquity, assuming satisfactory academic progress throughout their MA program.

Students should be able to complete the degree in two years by:

Taking eight 3-credit graduate courses in two years (total of 24 credits). The courses include at least one in theoretical approaches to the study of ancient religion and the remaining in  at least three of four fields: Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East; Greek and Roman religions; Second Temple Judaism; or New Testament and early Christianity. 

Taking 6 credits outside the major. CNRC graduate students are strongly encouraged to adopt a broad interdisciplinary approach.

Other Program Requirements

  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in classical Greek, Hebrew or Latin. This is achieved by completed one of two options:
    • Pass a proficiency exam in the respective language; OR
    • Pass 4 semesters of one of these three languages. Must be at the intermediate level or above; the typical arrangement would be 2 courses at the intermediate level, 2 courses at the advanced level. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a modern language that is used in the discipline.
  • Pass a final examination that consists of submitting two research papers from graduate courses (taken towards the degree) and then taking an oral examination facilitated by a faculty committee.
  • Program Prerequisites (beyond what is required for the application process)
  • Successful completion at the introductory level of either Classical Greek, Hebrew, or Latin. (If you were admitted, your primary language work would be done in this language.)
  • Evidence of coursework in the study of religion (at the college level is sufficient).

Program Funding

The primary source of funding in our program typically comes in the form of teaching assistantships that offer a salary and carry tuition and health care benefits. 

Summer fellowship funding is typically available the summer after your completed first year.

Contact Information

This page offers a general description of the RelA MA program. For more information on the program and funding opportunities, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Patricia Ahearne-Kroll, for more information (pahearne@umn.edu).

Please also note the changing direction of our department and curricula, which are best represented by our upcoming series: “The Future of the Past: Rethinking Legacies of Injustice in Ancient Studies.” 

Example: Coursework from a recent RelA MA graduate student

Coursework towards the major

  • CNRC 5071: Greek & Hellenistic Religions
  • CNRC 5121: Gender and Body in Early Christianity
  • CNRC 5204: The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • CNRC 8530: Ancient Mediterranean Religion (Topic: The Emergence of Islam)
  • CNRC 8530: Ancient Mediterranean Religion (Topic: Metaphor and Gender)
  • CNRC 8570: Readings in Religious Texts (Topic: Gospel of Mark)
  • GRK 5200: Biblical Greek (Topic: Greek Old Testament)
  • GRK 8910: Seminar (Topic: The Bacchae and Dionysian Cult)
  • REL 8910: Comparative Seminar in Religions in Antiquity (Topic: Religion and Power in the Ptolemaic and Seleukid Empires)

Coursework outside the major

  • GRK 8910: Seminar (Topic: Intertextuality and Reception)
  • GRK 8200: Readings in Greek Verse (Topic: Homer’s Iliad)

 

The following Full Requirements page will be retired soon and replaced with a listing of the full requirements with our new departmental program titles. Please note that we are still accepting applications for our Classics M.A., RelA M.A., and RelA PhD.

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