The department does not accept applicants for a Master of Arts degree in classics. The M.A. degree is intended only as a transitional degree in the process of completing requirements for the Ph.D. in classics.
Work toward the M.A. consists of six four-unit courses (24 units) and a thesis and oral defense, or the M.A. comprehensive examination. Two of the survey courses are required and five of the six courses must be taken in the classics department. Under the guidance of a faculty committee, the student elects those courses appropriate to individual areas of special interest and previous academic preparation.
Sixty units of course work are required. Of these ordinarily at least 48 will be taken in the USC Department of Classics. The final two years of the five-year program are reserved for dissertation preparation. In each of the first three years a student will sit for a portion of the preliminary examinations, with all preliminary exams to be completed by the end of the third year. In addition, in each of the first three years students present an individual research project before a jury of internal and external examiners. A substantial dissertation prospectus will be submitted within six months of the completion of course work, and an oral examination offered by the student's 5-member guidance committee will be based on the prospectus.