POSTGRADUATE COURSES IN THE CLASSICAL GREEK AND ROMAN WORLDS
Following a successful undergraduate degree at Yale-NUS, students may wish to pursue more advanced study of the classical world via a postgraduate degree at an appropriate institution:
Masters level (typically 1 year in duration, full-time)
MA (‘Master of Arts’), MLitt (‘Master of Letters’), MPhil (‘Master of Philosophy’), or MRes (‘Master of Research’)
Doctoral level (typically 3 years in duration, full-time)
PhD (‘Doctor of Philosophy’) or D.Phil. (Oxford equivalent of PhD)
NB. It is now typically the case that students pursue a Masters level degree before proceeding to doctoral work.
HOW DO I BEST PREPARE MYSELF FOR POSTGRADUATE WORK IN CLASSICS?
While there is no discreet undergraduate Classics programme at Yale-NUS, there is a suite of classics and classically oriented courses available each year that might allow you to craft a strong classical trajectory to your studies. Judicious crafting of your academic portfolio can make you very attractive to other universities for postgraduate study in Classics.
You have already been exposed to classical literature and thought in your first semester via Lit-Hums 1 and PPT1 (e.g. Odyssey, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle), so you are off to a promising start! In order to continue the classical trajectory beyond your first semester, you should seek specific advice from your Professors, but the following is offered as sound general advice.
1. Latin and Ancient Greek: start early, develop proficiency
A solid knowledge of ancient Greek and/ or Latin is the basis for any postgraduate work in the classical world, as these are the principal languages in which our source materials are written. Some institutions, particularly those in the US, typically require advanced level in both languages before commencing doctoral work; other institutions, such as those in the UK, allow you to pick up or continue with one or other of the ancient languages as part of Masters level study. The requirements vary, and you should pay particular attention to what each institution wants, but the sound advice is:
- start your ancient language study at Yale-NUS as early as possible
- develop proficiency: attaining Advanced level in ancient Greek and Latin would put you in an excellent position for postgraduate work; if your other academic commitments make this impossible to achieve, it is better to develop proficiency (Advanced level) in one of these languages than to have only a basic knowledge of each.
2. Develop Classical Breadth (range of courses) and Depth (capstone)
Classics and classically oriented courses are offered at Yale-NUS across:
- different worlds (Greek and Roman, sometimes in combination);
- different disciplines (literature, history, philosophy, reception of the classical world);
- different levels (Level 2000 introductory courses to Level 4000 advanced courses).
You should seek to gain broad exposure to the different levels and strands of classical study offered at the college so as to create an intellectually balanced portfolio. You might also take advantage of classically oriented opportunities during your study semester abroad or during the summer: note in particular the yearly Yale Summer School Rome programme directed by Professor Virginia Jewiss.
In terms of depth, centring your capstone project around a classical theme would allow you to explore a particular aspect in detail and provide a fitting climax to your undergraduate trajectory in classics.