Classics

College of Humanities
Dean: Paul Sherwin

Department of Classics
HUM 377
415-338-2068
E-mail: clas@sfsu.edu
Chair: David D. Leitão

Undergraduate Advisers: M. Anderson, D. Leitão, G. McIntosh, D.G. Smith
Graduate Coordinator: David G. Smith

Faculty

Professor—Leitão

Assistant Professor—Anderson, McIntosh, Smith

Programs

B.A. in Classics
Minor in Classics
M.A. in Classics


Program Scope

Undergraduate Program. The B.A. in Classics is an interdisciplinary program which provides students with the means to explore the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East, including Egypt. The study of ancient languages, literature (in the original languages and in translation), and art and archaeology enables students to reconstruct ancient cultures and to examine critically the importance which they continue to have in the world of today. Students also learn the methods of archaeological, art historical, and philological approaches to the past. The student may choose from one of four emphases within the major: single ancient language (Latin or Greek); two ancient languages (Latin and Greek); classical archaeology; or ancient philosophy. Students who pursue the minor may choose one of three emphases: ancient language; classical archaeology; or ancient Mediterranean studies.

Graduate Program. The M.A. in Classics introduces students to advanced methodologies used in the study of the ancient languages, the interpretation of ancient texts, and the analysis of material culture. All M.A. students must fulfill the same basic program requirements (see below), but each student will, with the help of an advisor, tailor his coursework and schedule of exams in accordance with his career plans.

Latin Teaching Credential. The department offers a Certification of Single Subject Matter Preparation in Latin, recognized by the State of California, for students interested in teaching Latin in California public middle and high schools.

The student may select a field of emphasis in one of four areas of study: Latin, Greek, Classics, or Classical Archaeology.

Career Outlook

The undergraduate degree in classics is designed for students who wish to gain an interdisciplinary and broad liberal arts education. Students will find training in classics valuable in professional programs (in law or medicine, for example) which increasingly emphasize the importance of the humanities. The undergraduate degree also provides a sound foundation for students who wish to continue work in classics at the graduate level.

The M.A. degree is of particular value for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in classics or who plan to teach at the high school or community college levels. Students with goals in other academic areas, including museum studies, history, philosophy, theology, modern languages, or comparative literature, can also benefit from a masterís degree in classics.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN CLASSICS

All classics majors are expected to take 9 units of core courses specified below. There are three basic emphases within the major.

Emphasis in Language. Students elect to concentrate on the study of Greek, Latin, or both Greek and Latin.

Emphasis in Classical Archaeology. Students elect to concentrate on the study of classical archaeology.

Emphasis in Philosophy. Students elect to concentrate on the study of Classical or Medieval Philosophy (this emphasis involves taking courses in the philosophy department and in the classics department).

Advising. To insure adequate planning of a student's program, all majors must consult an adviser regularly throughout their undergraduate years.

Classics Graduation Examination. All B.A. students must pass a graduation exam that tests oral and written skills in Latin and/or Greek. The exam has three parts: oral declamation of a prose passage; written transcription of a prose passage dictated by a test administrator; and oral declamation of passage of poetry (scansion) in dactylic hexameter.

Student Portfolio. Following departmental guidelines, all students will complete a portfolio prior to graduation.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Courses for All Classics Majors Units
CLAS 410 Classical Culture: Greece or 3
CLAS 415 Classical Culture: Rome
CLAR 507-508 Ancient Roman Civilization (3 each) or 6
CLAR 515-516 Ancient Greek Civilization (3 each)
Total for core 9
Emphasis in Language
Concentration in Single Language:
Greek or Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division Greek or Latin courses 18
Upper division elective on advisement 3
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology (or equivalent) 3
Total for concentration 34
Concentration in Two Languages:
Greek (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division courses in either Greek or Latin1 12
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology (or equivalent) 3
Total for concentration 35
Emphasis in Classical Archaeology
Greek or Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division courses in either Greek or Latin2 12
Upper division courses in Classical Archaeology (excluding core courses) 12
Total for emphasis 34
Emphasis in Philosophy
Greek or Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division course in either Greek or Latin 3
Courses selected from the Philosophy Department on advisement 21
Total for emphasis 34
Field of Emphasis (chosen from the above alternatives) 34-35
Total for the major 43-44

MINOR IN CLASSICS

Core Courses Units
CLAS 410 Classical Culture: Greece or 3
CLAS 415 Classical Culture: Rome
CLAR 507-508 Ancient Roman Civilization (3 each) or 6
CLAR 515-516 Ancient Greek Civilization (3 each)
Total for core 9
Emphasis in Language
Greek or Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division courses in Greek or Latin 6
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology 3
Total for emphasis 19
Emphasis in Classical Archaeology
Greek or Latin (Beginning and Intermediate) 10
Upper division course in Greek or Latin 3
Upper division courses in Classical Archaeology (excluding core courses) 6
Total for emphasis 19
Emphasis in Ancient Mediterranean Studies
CLAS 330 Ancient Epic Tales 3
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology 3
CLAS 490 History of Ideas 3
Electives selected for courses in Classics, Classical Archaeology, History or Philosophy on advisement 6
Total for emphasis 15
Field of Emphasis (chosen from the above alternatives) 15-19
Total for the minor 24-28

MASTER OF ARTS IN CLASSICS

Admission to the Program

The ideal applicant to the M.A. program is someone with (1) undergraduate major in classics (or equivalent learning experience); and (2) sufficient proficiency in both Latin and Greek to take graduate seminars in those languages. The Graduate Division also requires that applicants to have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. The department does admit students who have less than the ideal preparation described above; in those cases, the applicant is admitted conditionally (subject to meeting certain condtions for progress through the program).

Applicants must take the GRE, complete the online application to the MA program, and submit directly to the department a 2-3 page statement of purpose, an 8-10 page writing sample, and one letter of recommendation (sent directly by the recommender).

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: satisfied by the writing sample submitted as part of the application process. Level Two: satisfied by the culminating experience project (either the literature survey that accompanies the oral exam (CLAS 896) or the thesis (CLAS 898)).

On-line course descriptions are available. With the approval of the graduate adviser, all upper division courses offered by the Department of Classics may be considered for the master's degree.

Core Requirements Units
CLAS 700 Proseminar in Classical Studies: Texts and Contexts 3
CLAS 720-790 Seminars in Classical Languages and Literature 6
CLAR 820-890 Seminar in Classical Archaeology--Cultures and Civilizations 3
Language and Literature Requirement
Graduate courses in ancient literature (readings in the original languages) 6
Electives
Courses chosen from at least 2 of the following 3 categories on advisement 9
Upper division/graduate courses in ancient literature (readings in the original languages)  
Upper division/graduate courses in classical archaeology, cultures, and civilizations
Upper division/graduate courses in related departments (Comparative and World  Literature, History, Philosophy, and others on advisement)
Culminating Experience
One of the following options: 3
CLAS 896 Directed Reading in Classics and
  Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination
 
CLAS 898 Master's Thesis and Prospectus
Minimum total 30

Comprehensive Oral Examination. Upon completion of course work, the student not writing a thesis must pass a comprehensive oral examination administered by a committee of at least two faculty members on a specified group of works in the student's area of emphasis.

Master's Thesis and Prospectus. A written and oral presentation of the thesis prospectus is required before the writing of the thesis. The student's committee of at least two faculty members must approve the prospectus before the student files the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form with the Graduate Division.

Written Ancient Language Examination(s)

Upon completion of course work, students must pass a written translation examination in Greek and/or Latin (depending on the individual goals within the program and future plans), based on a departmental reading list of ancient authors.

Modern Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one modern language (French, German, or Italian) by passing a two-hour translation examination (with dictionary), set by the department; or by obtaining a minimum grade of B in one upper division foreign language course or in a course for reading knowledge.


Footnotes

  1. 3 to 6 units of Sanskrit may be substituted in this category.
  2. Students interested in Egyptian archaeology may use 3 units of CLAR 502 as partial fulfillment of this requirement.


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