The Department of Classics at the University of Arizona offers graduate study in Ancient History, Classical Archaeology, Classical Philology, Latin Pedagogy, and Latin Philology leading to the Master of Arts degree in Classics. Degree requirements include 33 hours of course work (the Latin Pedagogy emphasis requires additional units in Education and Student Teaching), a Thesis, and a reading knowledge of French, German, or Italian, in addition to demonstrated proficiency in Greek and Latin (only Latin is required for the Latin Pedagogy and Latin Philology emphases). Students may earn Secondary School Latin teaching Certification through the Department of Classics and the College of Education by pursuing the Latin Pedagogy emphasis.
The departmental Curriculum Committee, with input form the entire faculty, current graduate students and alumni/ae, regularly reviews and revises the Guidelines for the Master of Arts in Classics and determines the graduate curriculum.
All students who complete the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Classics are expected to have:
- gained a broad understanding of the various branches of classical studies and its current research methodologies;
- engaged in sustained, yet focused research through the completion of the required M.A. Thesis as a capstone experience;
- demonstrated M.A. level proficiency in writing, research, speaking ability, creative synthesis, critical thinking and shown promise for further, more advanced research in conjunction with their completion of the M.A. Thesis;
- demonstrated reading competency in at least one modern language (French, German, or Italian) and utilized research in at least one of these languages in association with the M.A. thesis;
- demonstrated basic, broad knowledge of ancient history by passing a “common exam” required in all emphases;
- demonstrated varying levels of advanced proficiency, depending on M.A. emphasis, in Greek and/or Latin;
- acquired M.A. level knowledge in their specific emphases.
Classics M.A. assessment activities include the following:
1. Matriculation Interviews: all entering students are interviewed individually about their long-term career goals and immediate course and exam plans by the Department of Classics faculty convened as a whole during the (fall semester) departmental Orientation Week.
2. DGS Evaluation of individual students is performed continuously, largely through regular, required personal interviews.
3. Annual Interviews for continuing students with the entire faculty of the Department of Classics occur each fall, in conjunction with Classics Orientation Week (cf. #1 above).
4. Annual Assessment of Graduate Students: at the Department of Classics Annual Retreat, the progress of each graduate student is evaluated by the entire Classics faculty.
5. Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations in the various M.A. emphases provide a clear and graduated assessment of each student’s general and more specialized knowledge in appropriate subject areas.
6. Latin GAT Course Evaluations are administered for those graduate students (autonomously) serving as GATs in the Basic Latin Program, using a standard university instrument, i.e., TCE, and Latin GATs receive multiple evaluations each semester from the Director of the Basic Latin Program, who regularly observes all GATs in the classroom and meets with them individually to discuss the findings of these observations. A similarly frequent and rigorous process of classroom observation, evaluation (written and oral), and individual meetings takes places in the case of student teachers in the Latin Pedagogy Emphasis.
7. Evaluations of GATs in Classics Courses are performed by their faculty supervisors at the end of each semester, though supervising instructors in Classics also hold weekly meetings with their GATs, at which they evaluate their teaching assistants’ performance of their professional duties.
8. Thesis Supervision and Thesis Defense: the thesis is written under the close and constant supervision of a tenure-stream faculty director. Each M.A. thesis is read and evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members, who attend the M.A. thesis defense, at which time they determine both the outcome of the defense and, in conjunction with the student, formulate a plan for the thesis’s final acceptance. The M.A. thesis and the thesis defense require the unanimous approval of the committee members, who assign a grade of Pass, High Pass, or Fail.
9. Faculty Thesis Surveys: M.A. thesis committee members complete surveys of the thesis and thesis defense of each student on whose committee they serve. The evaluation measures the following rubrics: Writing Ability, Oral Competency, Research Competency, Creative Synthesis, Critical Thinking, and Prospects for further research.
10. Exit Surveys are administered to M.A. recipients to measure their satisfaction with their programs of study in the areas of courses, exams, and advising, as well as with more general aspects of the M.A. program.
Assessment findings have consistently found overwhelming satisfaction with the M.A. program on the part of students, and the same on the part of faculty with regard to the performance of students in the capstone M.A. Thesis process. Recent changes made in response to assessment findings include: (1) the creation of new M.A. emphases in Ancient History, Latin Pedagogy, and Latin Philology; (2) ongoing refinement of the M.A. exam structure, e.g., a change to a general topics/authors and bibliography system, organized by chronological period, for the M.A. Comprehensive Exam in the Ancient History and Classical Philology Emphases; (3) encouraging its graduate students to participate in interdisciplinary certificate programs and to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations; (4) a refocusing of the required CLAS 510A: Methods in Classical Studies course on the development of academic writing and research skills; and (5) the addition of the Italian option for the Modern Language Exam.