Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Classical and Near Eastern Studies M.A.

Classical & Near Eastern Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, 245 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-5353; fax: 612-624-4894)
Email: cnes@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 31 to 41
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Classical and Near Eastern Studies (CNES) is an interdisciplinary department that brings together faculty and graduate students who might in other settings be dispersed among a wide range of programs. CNES is dedicated to rigorous philological and literary training and to the conviction that the ancient Mediterranean world is best studied as a diverse but richly integrated cultural whole. The various master's and Ph.D. tracks allow students to concentrate in the area and period that most appeal to them, but students are strongly encouraged to take courses across the entire range of the department's offerings and to develop a broad, multidisciplinary approach to research and teaching. Related special facilities include the Center for Medieval Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for Modern Greek Studies.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
For the major track in classics, students should have sufficient knowledge to begin graduate reading courses in either Greek or Latin and at least intermediate ability in the other language.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
In addition to the online University application, applicants must complete the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies application on the ApplyYourself site (also available for download on the department website); other supporting materials, including recommendations and a writing sample, can be uploaded directly into the University's online application. For non-native speakers of English, a copy of TOEFL results is required. Students may be admitted in any academic term, but financial assistance is normally available only to applicants admitted for fall semester.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 25 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is written and oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 25 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is written and oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:The capstone project can only be done through plan B. It consists of two research papers from departmental seminars (numbered 8190 or 8910), as long as the paper receives a grade of B+ or higher and makes substantive use of at least one modern scholarly language other than English.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Translation proficiency exams offered 1x semester
A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Required Coursework
CNES 5794 - Introduction to Classical and Near Eastern Studies (1.0 cr)
Plan Options
Plan A Requirements
Take at least 10 master's thesis credits.
CNES 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
-OR-
Plan B Requirements
Complete two master's-level research papers, in consultation with the adviser.
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Classics
The Classics track provides broad training in the literature of ancient Greece and Rome in its cultural context. Work in Greek and Latin is supplemented by courses in a related field or area of interest. This track requires nearly equal emphasis on courses and seminars in Greek and in Latin. Both the Plan A and Plan B options require a minimum of 31 course credits. The Plan A also requires 10 master's thesis credits. Language Requirements: One modern research language as appropriate (normally French, German, or Italian), and reading proficiency in both Greek and Latin as certified by departmental exam based on a set reading list. Final examinations: the final examinations are written (Greek and Latin reading proficiency) and oral (general).
Required Coursework (24 credits)
Take a minimum of 24 Greek and Latin language credits, with at least 12 credits in each language. One 3-credit prose composition course and two 3-credit seminars (one in each language) are required, and can be applied to the 24-credit minimum with approval of the director of graduate studies. No more than two 51xx or 52xx courses can be used to meet this requirement.
Language Courses
GRK 5xxx
GRK 8xxx
LAT 5xxx
LAT 8xxx
Seminar Courses
Take at least one seminar each in Greek and Latin
GRK 8910 - Seminar (3.0 cr)
LAT 8910 - Seminar (3.0 cr)
Prose Composition Course
Take at least one of the following courses:
GRK 5701 - Prose Composition (3.0 cr)
LAT 5701 - Latin Prose Composition (3.0 cr)
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program (6 credits)
Formal Minor Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of the major in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the adviser and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
Greek
A core of advanced work in Greek is supplemented by a related field or area of interest. Both the Plan A and Plan B options require a minimum of 31 course credits. The Plan A also requires 10 master's thesis credits. Language Requirements: One modern research language as appropriate, preferably French, German, or Italian, and reading proficiency in Greek as demonstrated by a departmental examination based on a set reading list. Final examinations: the final examinations are written (Greek reading proficiency) and oral (general).
Required Language Coursework (24 credits)
Take a minimum of 24 Greek language credits. One 3-credit prose composition course and two 3-credit seminars are required, and can be applied to the 24-credit minimum with approval of the director of graduate studies. No more than two 51xx or 52xx courses can be used to meet this requirement.
Language Courses
Take at least 15 credits of Greek.
GRK 5xxx
GRK 8xxx
Seminar Courses
Take two seminars for a total of 6 credits. At least one seminar must be GRK 8910.
GRK 8910 - Seminar (3.0 cr)
CNES 8190 - Seminar: Issues in Ancient Art and Archaeology (3.0 cr)
Prose Composition Course
Take the following course for 3 credits:
GRK 5701 - Prose Composition (3.0 cr)
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program (6 credits)
Formal Minor Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of the major in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the adviser and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
Latin
A core of advanced work in Latin is supplemented by a related field or area of interest. Both the Plan A and Plan B options require a minimum of 31 course credits. The Plan A also requires 10 master's thesis credits. Language Requirements: One modern research language as appropriate, preferably French, German, or Italian, and reading proficiency in Latin as demonstrated by a departmental examination based on a set reading list. Final examinations: the final examinations are written (Latin reading proficiency) and oral (general).
Required Language Coursework (24 credits)
Take a minimum of 24 Latin language credits. One 3-credit prose composition course and two 3-credit seminars are required, and can be applied to the 24-credit minimum with approval of the director of graduate studies. No more than two 51xx or 52xx courses can be used to meet this requirement.
Language Courses
Take at least 15 credits of Latin.
LAT 5xxx
LAT 8xxx
Seminar Courses
Take two seminars for a total of 6 credits. At least one seminar must be LAT 8910.
LAT 8910 - Seminar (3.0 cr)
CNES 8190 - Seminar: Issues in Ancient Art and Archaeology (3.0 cr)
Prose Composition Course
Take the following course for 3 credits:
LAT 5701 - Latin Prose Composition (3.0 cr)
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program (6 credits)
Formal Minor Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of the major in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the adviser and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
Religions in Antiquity
The religions in antiquity track is comparative in both method and content. Although students may focus on a particular religious tradition, they will nonetheless study several ancient religions. Both the Plan A and Plan B require a minimum of 31 course credits. The Plan A also requires 10 master's thesis credits. Language Requirements: Proficiency in one modern language (usually German) and master's-level proficiency in classical Hebrew, Greek, or Latin as demonstrated by a departmental examination based on a set reading list. Final examinations: the final examinations are written (ancient language reading proficiency) and oral (general).
Required Core (3 credits)
Take the following courses for a total of 3 credits, or substitute with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
RELS 5001 - Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion (3.0 cr)
Distribution Requirement (21 credits)
Take a minimum of 21 credits, with at least one 3-credit course from three of the four following areas, and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. At least four of the courses must involve substantial primary readings in an ancient language (usually Greek, Hebrew, or Latin). At least one of the courses must be at the 8xxx-level.
Hebrew Bible or Ancient Near East
CNES 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism [WI] (3.0 cr)
RELS 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism [WI] (3.0 cr)
JWST 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism [WI] (3.0 cr)
CNES 8513 - Scripture and Interpretation (3.0 cr)
Greek and Roman Religions
CNES 5071 - Greek and Hellenistic Religions (3.0 cr)
RELS 5071 - Greek and Hellenistic Religions (3.0 cr)
Ancient Judaism
CNES 5204 - The Dead Sea Scrolls (3.0 cr)
RELS 5204 - The Dead Sea Scrolls (3.0 cr)
RELS 5504 - Development of Israelite Religion II (3.0 cr)
HEBR 5300 - Post-Biblical Hebrew: Second Temple Period (3.0 cr)
New Testament and Early Christianity
RELS 5072 - The Birth of Christianity [AH] (3.0 cr)
CNES 5072 - The Birth of Christianity [AH] (3.0 cr)
GRK 5200 - Biblical Greek (3.0 cr)
GRK 8400 - Readings in Patristic Greek (3.0 cr)
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program (6 credits)
Formal Minor Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of the major in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the adviser and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
 
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CNES 5794 - Introduction to Classical and Near Eastern Studies
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to core research materials and reference materials in the various disciplines which make up classical studies. prereq: grad major or minor or instr consent
CNES 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required (Plan A only)
GRK 8910 - Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Various topics in Greek literature examined in depth with emphasis on current scholarship and original student research.
LAT 8910 - Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics in Latin literature examined in depth. Emphasizes current scholarship, original student research.
GRK 5701 - Prose Composition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Moving step by step through Ancient Greek grammar, starting with simple sentences and progressing to complex ones. Course ends with students translating short passages of modern English prose into Greek. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
LAT 5701 - Latin Prose Composition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Latin grammar, syntax, diction, and prose style. Graduated exercises in prose composition. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
GRK 8910 - Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Various topics in Greek literature examined in depth with emphasis on current scholarship and original student research.
CNES 8190 - Seminar: Issues in Ancient Art and Archaeology
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00772 - ArtH 8190/CNES 8190
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Selected issues, with special attention to current scholarly disputes. Topics specified in [Class Schedule].
GRK 5701 - Prose Composition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Moving step by step through Ancient Greek grammar, starting with simple sentences and progressing to complex ones. Course ends with students translating short passages of modern English prose into Greek. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
LAT 8910 - Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics in Latin literature examined in depth. Emphasizes current scholarship, original student research.
CNES 8190 - Seminar: Issues in Ancient Art and Archaeology
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00772 - ArtH 8190/CNES 8190
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Selected issues, with special attention to current scholarly disputes. Topics specified in [Class Schedule].
LAT 5701 - Latin Prose Composition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Latin grammar, syntax, diction, and prose style. Graduated exercises in prose composition. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
RELS 5001 - Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01522
Typically offered: Every Spring
Theoretical/methodological issues in academic study of religion. Theories of origin, character, and function of religion as a human phenomenon. Psychological, sociological, anthropological, and phenomenological perspectives. prereq: Sr or grad student or instr consent
CNES 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02067
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Idea of divine revelation. Impact upon religion/literature. How history of Bible's creation, transmission, interpretation helps us think critically about role of revelation in history of religious traditions. prereq: At least one upper level course (3xxx or higher) in academic biblical or religious studies
RELS 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02067
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Idea of divine revelation. Impact on religion/literature. How history of Bible's creation, transmission, interpretation helps us think critically about role of idea of revelation in history of religious traditions. prereq: At least one upper level course (3xxx or higher) in academic biblical or religious studies
JWST 5513W - Scripture and Interpretation in Israelite Religion and Judaism (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02067
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Idea of divine revelation. Impact on religion/literature. How history of Bible's creation, transmission, interpretation help us think critically about role of revelation in religious traditions. prereq: At least one upper level course (3xxx or higher) in academic biblical or religious studies
CNES 8513 - Scripture and Interpretation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02067
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Ideas of divine revelation. Impact upon religion/literature. How history of Bible's creation, transmission, interpretation helps us think critically about role of revelation in history of religious traditions. prereq: Grad student
CNES 5071 - Greek and Hellenistic Religions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00138
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Greek religion from Bronze Age to Hellenistic times. Literature, art, archaeology. Homer/Olympian deities. Ritual performance, prayer, sacrifice. Temple architecture. Death/afterlife. Mystery cults. Philosophical religion. Near Eastern salvation religions. Meets with 3071.
RELS 5071 - Greek and Hellenistic Religions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00138
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Greek religion from Bronze Age to Hellenistic times. Literature, art, archaeology. Homer/Olympian deities. Ritual performance, prayer, sacrifice. Temple architecture. Death/afterlife. Mystery cults. Philosophical religion. Near Eastern salvation religions. Meets with 3071.
CNES 5204 - The Dead Sea Scrolls
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01734 - CNES 3204/RelS5204/JwSt 3204/
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran. Contents of Dead Sea Scrolls, significance for development of Bible. Background of Judaism and Christianity. Archaeological site of Qumran. Open to graduate students across the college; knowledge of classical Hebrew will not be required. The course is open to upper level undergraduate students with permission of the instructor.
RELS 5204 - The Dead Sea Scrolls
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01734 - CNES 3204/RelS5204/JwSt 3204/
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran. Contents of Dead Sea Scrolls, significance for development of Bible. Background of Judaism and Christianity. Archaeological site of Qumran. The course will focus on the material in translation and academic scholarship on the literature and archaeological site. Open to graduate students across the college; knowledge of classical Hebrew will not be required. The course is open to upper level undergraduate students with permission of the instructor.
RELS 5504 - Development of Israelite Religion II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Ancient Judaism from the Persian restoration (520 B.C.E.) to Roman times (2nd century C.E.). Religious, cultural, and historical developments are examined to understand Jewish life, work, and worship under a succession of foreign empires: Persian, Greek, Roman.
HEBR 5300 - Post-Biblical Hebrew: Second Temple Period
Credits: 3.0 [max 18.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Readings in late-/post-biblical Hebrew literature of Persian, Hellenistic, and early Roman periods (e.g., Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Dead Sea Scrolls, apocrypha, pseudepigrapha). Focuses on historical development of Hebrew language and literature in relation to earlier biblical sources. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
RELS 5072 - The Birth of Christianity (AH)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00139 - CNES 3072/CNES 5072/RelS 3072/
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Early Jesus movement in cultural/historical setting. Origins in Judaism. Traditions about Jesus. Apostle Paul, controversies/interpreters. Authority, religious practice, structure. Emergence of canon. Contemporary methods of New Testament study. Biblical writings as history/narrative. CNES 3072/CNES 5072/RELS 3072/RELS 5072 meet together.
CNES 5072 - The Birth of Christianity (AH)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00139 - CNES 3072/CNES 5072/RelS 3072/
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Early Jesus movement in cultural/historical setting. Origins in Judaism. Traditions about Jesus. Apostle Paul, controversies/interpreters. Authority, religious practice, structure. Emergence of canon. Contemporary methods of New Testament study. Biblical writings as history/narrative. CNES 3072/CNES 5072/RELS 3072/RELS 5072 meet together.
GRK 5200 - Biblical Greek
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Readings from Gospels, epistles of Paul, related literature. Emphasizes proficiency in reading Greek New Testament. Selections vary. prereq: [GRK 3004 or equiv], at least two yrs of college level Greek. Must contact Classical and Near Eastern Studies department for permission to register.
GRK 8400 - Readings in Patristic Greek
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Reading/discussion of early Christian texts in Greek. prereq: Advanced grad student