Combined B.A./M.A.


A student pursuing a major in Classical Languages and Literature or Ancient History may apply to “submatriculate” and thereby work toward an M.A. at the same time as the B.A. Submatriculation allows an outstanding and committed undergraduate to pursue a substantial program of graduate-level coursework and research, which culminates in the senior year. The combined B.A./M.A. is not expected to be a substitute for work that a student might later pursue in a separate M.A. or Ph.D. program, though it will serve as robust preparation for it.

Submatriculation is not permitted for majors in Classical Civilizations. Students in Mediterranean Archaeology may apply to submatriculate in the Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW).

Note: This program of study is distinct from simple enrollment in one or more graduate courses, which undergraduates may do with the permission of the instructor in each case. It is also distinct from a terminal M.A. degree, such as the terminal M.A. in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World.

Planning Ahead

Students interested in this opportunity should consult early with the undergraduate chair in Classical Studies and the chair of the graduate group in Classical Studies or Ancient History (as relevant), ideally before the end of the sophomore year. It is important to be aware that graduate courses taken prior to admission by submatriculation into a master’s program in the School of Arts and Sciences cannot be applied toward a master's degree, unless approved by the associate dean for graduate studies. In other words, a student must apply for submatriculation early in order for courses to be counted toward the M.A.

The student should plan to complete at least two graduate-level courses by the end of the junior year. Admission to these courses will be at the discretion of the instructor in each case, in consultation with the undergraduate and graduate chairs. This will allow the student to avoid being overwhelmed in the senior year; and to take required courses that are not offered every year (see below).


An application to the combined B.A./M.A. should ideally be submitted during the sophomore year, and certainly by the end of the fall semester in the junior year.The student must apply as follows:

  • Read carefully the College’s policies on Submatriculation.
  • Print the “Application for Submatriculation” form and then see Dr. Gary Purpura in the College advising office, 120 Claudia Cohen Hall, for a consultation about submatriculation.
  • Meet with the undergraduate chair and the relevant graduate chair to discuss a provisional graduate course plan (using the “Application for Submatriculation” form to list the courses).
  • Submit the following materials to the undergraduate chair and graduate chair as email attachments in pdf:
  1. A personal statement by the student (approximately 500 words) that explains her/his intellectual and professional goals in applying.
  2. A writing sample of 10–20 pages which shows strong evidence of the student’s ability to conduct research and to present it in a professional form.
  3. A completed “Application for Submatriculation” form listing all courses to be used for both the major and the M.A.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from Classical Studies department faculty addressing the student’s readiness for intensive graduate work. (These should be submitted directly to the undergraduate chair and graduate chair by the faculty members.) 

 If the application is approved by the department, the student must then:

  • Submit a copy of the approved “Application for Submatriculation” form to the Graduate Division Office (3401 Walnut Street, Suite 322A) in order to obtain the signature of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (Dr Pat Rea).
  • Complete an online application here (portal is accessible through the year, except in June).
  • Note: Any changes to the courses to be counted toward the combined degree must be submitted in writing to Dr Purpura on a new Application for Submatriculation form.

B.A. Requirements

The B.A. requirements for a submatriculated student are the same as for other students, except that up to 4 graduate-level courses numbered 500 and above may be double-counted for specific major requirements, at the discretion of the undergraduate chair. These courses may not be independent study credits.

A submatriculated student may still write a Senior Research Paper in pursuance of Honors in the major, according to the regular guidelines; and this may serve as the basis of the M.A. research paper (see below).

M.A. Requirements

The M.A. requirements for a submatriculated student are as follows:

  • 8 graduate-level courses (numbered 5000 or above) completed with a grade of B+ or better, of which no more than 4 can be double-counted toward the B.A.
  • This coursework may be selected to match the linguistic strengths and the field interests of the student (e.g., the focus will be on Latin and/or Greek and/or Ancient History; on literature, culture, archaeology, ancient history, etc.), but it must include the following:
  • CLST 6000 Materials and Methods in Classical Studies and Ancient History (proseminar for first-year graduate students in CLST and ANCH, taught every fall).
  • At least 2 of the “survey” courses most relevant to the course of study, whether this is from the two-year sequence of survey courses in the languages (GREK 6610 Reading Greek; GREK 5801 Advanced Greek Language and Composition; LATN 6610 Reading Latin; LATN 5801 Advanced Latin Language and Composition) or from the three-year rotation of ANCH "Problems" courses taught at the 6000-level.
  • At least 5 additional graduate courses in ANCH, CLST, LATN, GREK, or AAMW (or ARTH) of which at least 1 must be a research seminar (not a survey).
  • A substantial research paper, submitted to the undergraduate chair and the graduate chair by April 15 in the senior year. This paper may be based on the Senior Research Paper produced by the student according to the regular undergraduate requirements, or it may be a paper written for a graduate-level research seminar.

 To discuss the possibility of applying for the combined degree, please consult with the undergraduate chair and the relevant graduate chair.